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Thread: Upholstery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    39

    Default Upholstery

    Just a quick heads-up for anyone thinking about re-doing the seats, especially the rear bench seat that turns into a bed.

    Turns out there is a big difference between upholstery material that is dyed as compared to material where the pattern is actually woven into the fabric. Went to a fabric store and bought a bunch of expensive canvas to re-cover the seats. It looked very nice when completed! However, after some use the color quickly faded and became dull. Mainly from general use - just sitting, standing, etc. Seems the pattern was just painted, or surface-dyed and doesn't look too good after a while.

    So, when you're choosing a material to re-cover the seats always select something in which the colors and pattern are actually woven into the material.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Hello,

    have you changed the fabric yourself ?
    How long would it take to do it for the rear bench ?
    I am thinking of doing it in my 87 Westy.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    39

    Default

    It's not that hard. The bench seat is the easiest. I just carefully removed the old material, laid it out on the floor and measured-out what I would need. Bought the material and used the old stuff as the pattern to cut the new cloth. Then stretch and staple everything back where it was. Maybe re-paint the visible part of wooden seat back while you're at it. The hard part is the main, rear mattress.

    First of all, it takes a lot of material! The tough problem is the zipper. Where do you find one that long? I bought the longest one I could find which was still about a foot shorter than the original one, (which wasn't in very good shape to re-use). The whole thing had to be hand-sewn. Then, stuffing in all that foam was not easy, but do-able. You'll need an extra pair of hands for that stuffing-in process. When done, it looked great! Some online sites even sell the original upholstery material for mega $$$.

    All this said, an upholstery shop could do the job better and quicker. It's not as expensive as you might think. Got my front seats done for $90.00. God knows they'd do a better job than I could ever do. Did the carpets a few weeks ago. Bought the kit from Sew Fine in Texas. That was a two day job...almost 2 six-packs of beer! But, it looks real nice now. The test is that my wife, who hates my 81 AC Westy, actually agrees to ride in it now!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    7

    Default Upholstery

    Thanks for your reply Johnt55.
    I will probably go for an upholstery shop for the seat, and try to install the carpet kit myself.
    I will start by buying the pack of beer ;-)
    Sew Fine seems to have a lot of choice, and they looks less expensive than GoWesty.

    Thanks for all the tips.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    118

    Default

    If you shop around, its pretty safe to say thet you can find anything cheaper than what Go-Westy sells something for.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    tundra traveller
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I've owned a '77 Westfalia for coming up on three years and I am looking around for options & ideas for re-doing (replacing?) the drivers & passenger front seats - the fabric is holey at best and after riding on essentially springs for the last couple seasons I need to do something about it. The fabric itself is toast and whatever was in the seats for cushioning is long gone.

    As far as I know I have two options - take the seats into an auto upholstery shop and have them re-do it, or order new seats altogether. The first seems like the least costly (especially considering I'm in Canada and shipping Westy parts seems to come from the US). Any input would be greatly appreciated!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    39

    Default Upholstery

    Front seats: Have the pros do it. You can do the others and the carpet yourself.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    La Paz, B.C.S. MX/Boise, ID. US
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Looking for a place that sale and install the rear rocking bench in California. I hope somebody knows a good economic place

    Thanks

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