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Old 12-26-2012, 01:24 PM
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Working With Leather ?

Can leather stretch while being sewn ? I'm having some alignment issues on a very simple project.

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Old 12-26-2012, 01:47 PM
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Im sure it does, ive had witness marks slightly out on alignment but by adding tension to top or bottom leather by gripping either tighter ive pulled them back in line. It is a natural fibrous material after all . Dan will have a better answer im sure. Hes the man.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:07 PM
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Yes it will. try placing a sheet of newspaper between leather and sewing machine surface. you can sew right through the newspaper then just tear it free. This will allow the leather to slide easily across the sewing machine surface. Also make sure the surface area is clean and free of glue or other sticky stuff. You can use silicone spray but make sure you wipe off the access as it could stain the leather.
Heres a little cheater for ya... use double sided tape like this Miami Corp: distributor of trim products to the auto, marine and upholstery trades..
Apply it to the selvage edge to hold both pieces together. This works really good if you are making waterproof seams with canvas.
The attached photo is a seat I did for a 59 Ford Galaxy. Its the first seat I had reupholstered in almost 16 yrs.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:37 PM
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The good news about leather is that it stretches like crazy. The bad news about leather is that it stretches like crazy.

Yes, leather can and will stretch while being sewed. I glue all the parts of leather seat covers to sew foam, especially the perimeter pieces. I have some sew foam that is only 1/8" thick which is what I use for the perimeter pieces ( the parts below the top of the seat cover). Doing this makes the parts much easier to sew together, and makes fabulous looking seat covers. This also prevents the perimeter pieces from stretching when you're installing the covers on the seat frames, and pads the seat frame so the leather doesn't rub against the metal.

This seat is a black leather Cadillac seat that was done that way.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:09 AM
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I made a new panel and stapled everything together and made sure all was aligned correctly. Got a bit tired and let it sit over night. Started again today and so far, so good. God knows I must have used 100 staples but it got the job done so far.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:12 PM
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one thing I have learned with leather, is if its close just a little loose. COOK that stuff lol, noticed putting on aftermarket covers some fit like a glove and some are like a loose tooth... I got a IR heat lamp and i put under there for 30-40 mins and it tightens up great.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:35 PM
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Where are you getting 1/8" sew foam/scrim? I haven't seen it with any of my suppliers.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:43 PM
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I have a supplier who had 1/8" sew foam ( which was basically really good headliner material with a really good backing) on special for two months. I bought all I could afford which will last me until I retire, which may be tomorrow if I keep getting questioned about everything I post. When you are dedicated to your profession, like I am, it's not a question of money, it's a question of how can I do the best job I can do.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodnar720 View Post
one thing I have learned with leather, is if its close just a little loose. COOK that stuff lol, noticed putting on aftermarket covers some fit like a glove and some are like a loose tooth... I got a IR heat lamp and i put under there for 30-40 mins and it tightens up great.
What does that mean? If you are talking about "cooking" leather as heating it, you are out of your mind. The last thing you do to good leather is heat it in any way. Notice I said "good" leather. If you pay $75.00 for a hide, you can do anything you want to it, because it's garbage anyway.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes View Post
I have a supplier who had 1/8" sew foam ( which was basically really good headliner material with a really good backing) on special for two months. I bought all I could afford which will last me until I retire, which may be tomorrow if I keep getting questioned about everything I post. When you are dedicated to your profession, like I am, it's not a question of money, it's a question of how can I do the best job I can do.
Thank you for the tip! I had always written off using headliner material as scrim thinking it was 1/4"-ish.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:48 AM
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Cooking Leather

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes View Post
What does that mean? If you are talking about "cooking" leather as heating it, you are out of your mind. The last thing you do to good leather is heat it in any way. Notice I said "good" leather. If you pay $75.00 for a hide, you can do anything you want to it, because it's garbage anyway.

No Dan, I was referring to a aftermarket leather kit installation, which regardless of your beliefs would apply to their application because its a low dry heat. As, the leather is going to get the same effect when you slap the car outside on a nice hot sunny day. This process just speeds it up a bit.

one a nice expensive hide, if it was saggy.. to me patterns are wrong hence why if I have a nice big job, I will make the cover out of vinyl first to test fitment of patterns

I do agree with you on the headliner as scrim! same effect and many people whine on prices of materials!
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