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The Chevy Bench Seat - Part 23 - Oct 14, 2007

The next step was to glue the fabric to the scrim. All I'm trying to do here is keep the fabric in place on top of the scrim when I sew it. I don't need to permanently bond the two together. A general-purpose adhesive works just fine in this case. Just make sure you use one that won't melt foam rubber. This particular glue is what's known as a "low tack" adhesive, meaning it's not super strong, but will hold things together. I laid some plastic sheeting on the tables I was using, and on the floor beneath me. I didn't feel like cleaning up half the classroom when I was finished spraying glue, and I know Bob was thankful that I thought about that.

With the fabric laid out on the scrim and oriented correctly, I folded the fabric back from one end, all the way to the centerline I had drawn on the fabric when I was laying out the pleats. I then sprayed the glue onto the entire width of the scrim, starting at my fold, and stopping about a foot away. Work in about 12" long sections to keep things like the corners of your fabric from dragging through the wet adhesive. Try to keep things neat here - you really don't want to get glue on the face of your fabric.

With the glue down, I picked up my fabric, and just let it sort of fall onto the wet glue. Be careful not to pull, stretch, or twist your fabric when you're gluing it down - that'll throw your pleat lines off. Keep it taut enough to avoid wrinkles, but not tight enough to stretch the fabric - we're not making a drumhead. Basically, I let the weight of the fabric do all the work and just guided it into place.

Once the fabric has covered the wet glue, I gently smoothed it down into the wet glue, being careful not to stretch the fabric, move it on the surface of the scrim, or erase my layout lines. Work from side to side, parallel to the layout lines. With that section glued down, I folded back the unglued fabric and moved to the next unglued section, repeating the whole procedure until I had both the back and bottom done. With both pieces finished, I cleaned up the area and took about a 15-minute break to let the glue dry a bit before moving to the sewing machine.

Picture 1: This is the general-purpose adhesive we used in class. Bob says 3M 77 adhesive will work for this step too, but it's actually a bit stronger than you need. Remember, we're not making structural panels here, we're just holding things together long enough to make it through the sewing machine without slipping apart.

Picture 2: With my fabric folded back to the centerline, I sprayed the entire width of the scrim (in this case the seat bottom) evenly coating it out to about 12" away from the fold. I know you can barely see it here, but there's just enough wet glue to hold the fabric in place. Spray the glue evenly - don't make any puddles. They'll soak through the fabric. You don't need to saturate the foam either - just a light, even coat is all you need.

Picture 3: Working in about 12" sections and gently smoothing things out as I went, I had all of the fabric completely glued down to the scrim in about 5 minutes per piece. As you can see by the marks that my hand made in the velour, I smoothed things from top to bottom, running my hand parallel to my layout lines. With both the seat back and bottom glued to the scrim, I took about a 15-minute break to let the glue cure a bit, then moved to the sewing machine.
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