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Old 07-25-2007, 02:57 PM
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Leather seat covers HELP!

I have a 69 corvette, which I have re-built. Problem is I bought some after the market leather seat covers and installed them with no problems. BUT after about 10 months of use the piping edge on the drivers side seat has worn thru! This seems abit early for this type of problem to pop up!!? ...Be that as it may, do I try to replace this with other leather covered piping? Am I going to run into the same problem? ...OR do I try a vinyl cover piping? ...Would probably ware longer!!? ...OR do I just strip all the piping out, and go "bald"! *G*
Anybody have the same problem? ...OR experience with like problem. Any suggestions would be welcome! THX! ...Mark

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Old 07-25-2007, 07:21 PM
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I cant remember if there was a stitch next to the welt or not on that year or not. Can someone remind me?

Vinyl covered welt always have a huge wear issue. This was true all the way into the 90's. Most after market covers usually use the same vinyls they use everywhere else on the seat. The best thing to do if you want the original look for a longer period of time is to find a shop that can replace the welt cover using leather. This will not last forever but does wear better. There may still be an issue depending on how long the welt is you may not be able to get a single strip of hide long enough to make it a continuous piece out of a hide. But they can splice it.

In the mid 80's the OEM's used specific high wear vinyls or plastic hollow welts that helped lengthen the welts life alittle but in the end it usually still wore out.

I you want the original look than trying to get leather and replacing the welt cover may be the way to go.

The one thing is that if it has the stitch there may be more damage to the general well being of the covers if you take it out as you will have perforations from the top stitch as well.
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:42 PM
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That is an extremely short life span for the welt on your seat. No offense, but are you an extra large person? An upholstery shop should be able to replace the welting for you out of either leather or vinyl. The welt will probably need to be over 80" long. The problem with leather is that a long piece has to come more out of the middle of the hide, which could be very pricey and wasteful, unless you find a shop that has a half hide that could cut the welt off the center edge. Splicing it, even with an angled blind splice, would be very noticeable and would probably not be acceptable to you. Most shops have black vinyl in stock, which would be much cheaper. It probably would be indistinguishable from the leather. If there was a top stitch, it can be re-done if they can get the right stitch length, sew with some slightly larger thread, and sew extremely carefully. Black hides stuff like that extremely well. That hollow plastic one piece welt cord was a pain in the butt to sew, and over time it got hard, brittle, and broke. I'm glad they don't use welting much any more, it will always wear out first.
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:39 PM
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I have had a few Corvettes and been around many of them, I can tell you seat wear is an issue with them all because of the way you get in the car. due to the design of the car you tend to rub hard on the bolsters as you slide down into the seat when you get in, this is a very high wear area. the only way to keep your seats new is to get in butt first.
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Old 09-10-2007, 04:24 PM
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Mark,(11echo) and I worked out a deal to fix his Corvette seat. The trick here was to replace the welt using vinyl (which the original welt was made of) the same thickness as the original. The welt also had top stitching next to it, which meant I had to be real careful to sew back through the original sewing holes. No way to do it perfectly, but it's as good as I could do. The pictures are before and after, and the other two are a pic of the old vinyl welt, and the Lexol I used to clean and condition the seat leather before sewing it back together.
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Old 09-14-2007, 02:01 AM
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Man, I bet 11echo is happy. Looks like a perfect job by the pictures. KUDOS!! Nice work.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:13 AM
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Thank you for those very kind comments. I'd love to tell you it was a perfect job, but there is no way to re-sew something in exactly the same holes as the original, so it isn't perfect at all. At least now that flaw in the welt won't stick out like a sore thumb. Like I said, it was the best I could do.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:16 AM
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Well finally received my seat cover back from Dan late Saturday …and I am very pleased! I’m not an upholsterer but I do recognize quality workmanship when I see it, and I’m holding it in my hands now! I want to offer a special thanks to Dan here! He had saved me a lot of heart ache with this!!! …Dan if you ever need a reference put me first on the list! …Mark(11echo)
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:51 PM
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Thanks a lot, Mark. If you're happy, I'm happy!

Dan
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