I'm checking out leather for my '13, and found some great leather, nice and shiney as opposed to that dull stuff a lot of restorers are using. The dealer cautioned me that the leather is not treated for UV protection. I don't believe Henry even knew what UV is, so I don't see why it should concern me. The car will only have the top down when trailering, and on tours. The rest of the time the top will be up, or in the garage, or both.
Who did you get it from?
What is the face weight?
What is the price?
I got mine from Tandy. They call it Euro Upholstery. I know it is not as shiney as you like, but I was able to get it on sale for about $250 per hide.
: ^ )
How many hides does it take to do a touring??
Who did your leather work, Keith ?
Four hides were enough for my touring with plenty left over. If you are real Scotch, you could probably do it in with three and piece together some of the back rests, which I have seen done with original samples.
Under the guidance of the Model T community, I made the patterns myself and found a local guy who had experience in working with leather, and diamond tufting, but he had never diamond tufted leather stuffed with horsehair before. In fact, he had never done a Model T before... But he was excited and enthusiastic about trying to do it.
: ^ )
Larry (& anyone else interested) - Tandy Leather Co. is a very large company in the leather industry and is very well known and respected with outlets all over the country. My Dad was a master leather carver and it's only because of his experience with Tandy that I know them to be a really good and dependable outfit to deal with. You can buy just about any kind of leather or related hardware from them that exists, from whole hides, right down to and including related hardware and leather working tools and equipment. FWIW,.....harold
My Town Car has a cow hide leather roof as well as upholstery. It originally was Elk hide. No chance of getting Elk here in Australia.
Its been nearly 40 years since restoration and it has stood up to the weather perfectly. I use a leather dressing on it about once a year or before taking it out in the rain.
Euro leather reminds me of the comedy years ago where they said the upholstery in a Mercedes was not real leather. It was "Mercedes leather."
Larry -- You might contact Ernie Romero in El Cajon to see where he gets his leather. He uses a lot of it and probably knows of good sources.
What about the fine "Corinthian Leather" that Ricardo Montalban used to promote?
Those seats look grand! and I bet they would give you a nice soft ride.
I don't like the dull satin leather they are using now, and that is what Mels is selling. Keiths car came out fine, but it is still too dull for me. I want it shiney like original. I found a place downtown L.A. that has it. It's called Sav-Mor Leather Co. Very nice people to talk to. They have a web site too. They told me it would be an average of $375 per hide, so I figure for a roadster, two hides should do it.
Nice, Keith - thanks !
Did Ernie do yours, Mike ?
For those of you attending Hershey and needing leather, I found Coast to Coast leather in the choc. field last year. I bought a skin to redo the seat of my hack that had the same texture and shine as the original restoration some 50 plus years ago. It is my understanding that when you deal with him you are dealing with the manufacturer and not some middle man. He had facilities in New Jersey and in North Carolina. I got the whole skin for $80.00.
My Dad used to deal with Sav-Mor Leather back in the early 70's. I had forgotten all about them. He's been gone for 26 years now and that info. kinda' fades until you see the name. Know what I mean?
My Dad was paying somewhere around $80 or more back then. If you can score a full hide of "Top Grain Leather" for that price, I'd say that's a steal.
Top grain leather, in case you didn't know, is the layer that comes off of the top of the hide first. Cow hide can be very thick, and the premium layer is on top.
Lower layers can be pressed with leather grain texture on top and tanned, giving the look of top grain but not the durability. it tends to crack after a short time.
I have posted this before but here it goes again. We purchased five hides to do our 1906 two cylinder Moline. We purchased top grain cowhides which had between 42 and 55 square feet per hide. I covered the top irons and everything that was not painted. Made a tool pouch and everything was top notch. Top boot and top material was from Robert's top shop in Santa Monica, CA. It was the same material used in Mercedes Benz convertibles. The front windshield was roll up and there was a full boot. Lauren Burch did the upholstery and it was top notch. The only error was not binding where the top latching or landau arms protruded through the material. I sewed a whip stitch around each hole so that the material would not tear. I almost forgot, the leather was purchased from a leather shop in San Ysidro, CA right on the Mexican Border. We went to Mexico to buy hides and they told us to go to this place in San Ysidro for a better price.
You have to be very careful in picking the shiny leather-too much shine and the whole job ends up looking like a cheap vinyl bar booth. It can have some shine, but not too much. You can get the duller leather to shine up quiet well using leather polish or moisturizers.
I sent you a private message regarding a source for black leather with an appropriate sheen.
Erik, would you be willing to share the information you have for the black leather with appropriate sheen? I have been looking at a 1913 that would need new leather so I am interested in this thread. Thanks. Joe
My dad did the leather upholstery himself on his 1900 Waverley Electric - diamond tufting and square tufting using horse hair. See photos below. (There's a second seat cushion on the back of the car. The rear passengers sit back-to-back to the driver and front passenger aka "Dos-a-Dos.")
He used "Casino Black" 16100 that he purchased from Goldfield Trim and Upholstery. It is available in half hides and whole hides. It has a definite sheen/shine and is not dull like upholstery used in modern cars.
He tried to purchase the leather directly from the manufacturer but they do not sell retail. Apparently it's available only through upholsterers and dealers.
Erik: Your dad did a fantastic job! I tried it once, and I think with lots of practice I'll be able to do it, especially since I have the original upholstery. I'm still not clear on the auto vs furniture grade leather. Did they have such a thing in 1913? The guy a Sav-Mor told me the furniture grade will fade if left in the sun. I'll go along with that, but the top is only going to be down when trailering, and on tours. The rest of the time it's going to be in the garage. I don't see how it could fade that quickly.