I just joined this forum because I have some questions to ask you veterans before I get into my next project, and would appreciate your knowledge and advice.
Although I don't have a hotrod, I have a car with high sentimental value that is in need of upholstery repair. I was in the interior subforum and Dan2lakes looks like he's a wealth of info here.
I've purchased two types of fabric for the seats; a custom reproduction Poly weave on 3mm foam backing, and Alcantara microsuede on 3mm foam backing. Now I'm learning about what's next and my local upholstery shop seems clueless about my questions.
1) I want to do French seams around some of the curved pieces, in contrasting stitching, but nothing local (Tex 90 max) looks thick enough. The local upholsterer shop has nothing thicker either. I found this QTC contrast bonded nylon 270 thickness thread that looks good, but I can't find any references to machines that could handle it. Is 207 (210) poly thread the thickest thread I'm safe using? The upholsterer said if I buy the thread they can try to see if they can sew with it, but its $25 for a 16oz spool.
2) The OEM factory French seams were made on a double needle chain-stitch machine, something similar to a Singer 300W205 as best as I can tell... The backside is definitely two rows of chain stitch perfectly spaced with matches stitches. Why would they do this, as the chain stitch isn't as strong as a locking stitch? What do you all use for French seams?
3) The local upholsterer can do two-needle French seams but it looks like a standard locking stitch with two bobbins. The upholsterer actually said it's easier with a single needle and doing two passes but I'm concerned that it won't look right because
a) the French seam stitches won't line up on either side of the seam, instead looking like a zipper, with different number of stitches on either side, and
b) they won't have that railroad-track perfect spacing between them, as one might vary in or out compared to the other.
--- the upholsterer said "Oh who's going to even notice??" ... Answer: me!
4) With Alcantara (microsuede) and woven fabric (like a knit) what kind of needle would be best? I'm thinking that the woven fabric will prefer a ball-point or something blunt, but the microsuede will prefer something with an acute or sharp point.
Thanks guys, I just want to be asking the right questions and go into this with open eyes and clear expectations as I'm hopeful that my requests can be met.