I'm replacing the 17-22 rectangular shaped bows I had previously used on my 15, with the correct oval irons with new wood. I've got the wooden ends cut, whittled, and in the irons. I've got the one year old Cartouche top removed (except where it's fastened to the rear tack strip with the band behind the rear seat). While looking around locally for the black twill with UV protection to cover the wooden portion of the bows, I encountered an old upholstery guy who told me that he thought the old wooden bows on cars were wrapped with about an 8 inch wide piece of twill like the stripes on a candy cane, or the paper on an old tire and only tacked at each end. I've never heard of that! As I thought back, I don't remember paying any attention to the wrapping of the bows on any of the open cars I remember. I've previously just tacked the cloth to the top of the entire wooden bow then wrapped it around the bow a couple of times and tacked it on top of the bow and it's done. I've never tried, or even thought about wrapping one like applying an ace bandage to an ankle! I'D LIKE SOME INPUT from some of you guys who have seen unmolested cars--I've got to get them wrapped so I can get on with trying to put the top back together.
The fabric is wrapped on the bias so it can go around the curves without puckering.
The front bow is wrapped with leatherette, also on the bias.
It is not wrapped like a candy cane.
Here is a definition of bias so you know what I'm talking about:
a line diagonal to the grain of a fabric; especially : a line at a 45 degree angle to the selvage often utilized in the cutting of garments for smoother fit
bow drill is a loosely woven fabric that lets you wrap it around the curves of the oak bows. Get it at a top shop.
If I understand you correctly, I should lay out my fabric, then cut from top right to lower left (45 degree angle across the grain) to create my pieces aprox 66x8 then attach it like I did before. That will make the grain (warp) of the cloth be at a 45 degree angle to the grain of the wood and the edge of the cloth will still be out of sight on the top of the bows, and not exposed like it would be if "candy caned" around the bow. Correct?
That's correct - the material is cut at 45 degrees to the weave.
If you are cutting the bow drill yourself, you end up wasting a lot of fabric.
However, I believe if you contact Elizabeth at Classtique she will sell you pre-cut cloth and leatherette bow drill.
(I was at her shop in Ham Lake, MN just last week - she did some sewing for my dad for a Waverley Electric he is restoring.)
Also - it may be worth your while to look at other posts regarding bow drill:
Thanks to Eric and Frank. I don't remember the term "bow drill". I think I've got it now. Thanks again
The Ford drawing for the front bow covering specifies that it is to be made from "dust hood scrap", so leatherette is correct as Eric says. Here's how Ford did it: (very crude sketch from Ford drawing)
A handwritten note calls for the material to be "white back international rubbed cloth, 28 oz."
I also have the drawing for the rear bow covering. It is made the same way but from "jet black bow cloth" which is the bow drill that has been mentioned. It is also cut from material that is 50" wide, and the strip to be cut is exactly the same shape and laid out the same way, but the "short side" is 68" long rather than 64". The 5-1/2" width is the same. The material is not tacked to the bow, however; it's sewn together the full length with a "pucker stitch" like this:
Hope this helps.
The front bow is the same material as the top material, which can be bought from Langs, or Macs. I buy my bowdrill from a local upholstery supply. It doesn't hurt to use some 3M #77 adhesive too. I totally agree on cutting the material on the bias. I've seen a lot of cars done by professionals, where the front bow is wrapped in three separate pieces. Shows how much they know!