The leather seat thread got me to a thinking.
My 19 T has the original brown seats from the Mifflinburg carriage company that made the body.
They look like Naugahyde - a coating on cloth - and are still somewhat OK.
They have a few cracks and seem to be dry but for the most part are whole.
I covered the front seats with an old brown sheet in hopes of not causing damage.
For the historians in our group - they are really original.
Part of me says oil cloth but I think that is more like canvas.
What can be done to protect or preserve them?
Your seat coverings are likely REXINE, aka KERATOL, a tradename for the original leatherette. Rexine was a trade name for "leathercloth."
This product was used in the 1890s under the name of KERATOL as a replacement for leather in camera bellows (I had a 1909 Seroco View wholeplate with this stuff) and for bookbinding. In the 1920s and '30s, under the name of Rexine, it became the de facto covering of choice for portable gramophone cases! HMV in England produced the famous HMV 102 portable from 1930something until 1962 covered in this stuff.
The material itself is a cloth coated in nitrocellulose resin much like celluloid. It is not as unstable as the old "Nitrate" movie film but it is prone to shrinking and cracking. I don't recommend ripping out anything unless it's too far gone but if you wanted new leathercloth, then contact Ratchford's in England, because they have been making the stuff since the Model T Ford era!
Hope this helped. By the bye, a picture of your old Mifflinburg Ford would be nice--one does not simply mention original cars without a picture!
(Unless your camera also incorporated Rexine. In which case we will await--shall we say--developments?)
To protect them -- cover them like you have been doing. To preserve them -- don't sit on them.
Thanks for the info guys...
The seats are in pretty good condition and I don't want to re-cover them. It looks as if I need to find a way to protect the seats.
Charles I hesitate to post pictures of my T because it has been on here numerous times so I've tried to show a couple that show the seats.
The second picture is just after we got he car to our home so it is covered with 45 years of dust
The cushion usually takes more of a beating than the backrest. If your cushions are easily removable, one thing people in your situation do is to make a replacement cushion for regular driving and put the originals in safe storage. If you have some special event where you want to display the originals, it's easy to swap them out.
Walter - Your right!
The front cushion is the only one that comes out easily and it takes the biggest hit from the biggest backside.
It makes sense!