uphostery / interior repair

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philcroser
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Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:46 pm

uphostery / interior repair

#1 Post by philcroser » Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:57 pm

Hi all,

My car is in need of some repair work done on the interior / uphosltery. There are a few damaged areas letting the side down and I'd like to get the damage nipped in the bud. This is not something I'm comfortable dealing with myself. Can anyone recommend a good retrimmers / upholstery repair firm to go to for this work?


Thanks

Graham H
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Re: uphostery / interior repair

#2 Post by Graham H » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:22 pm

:welcome In what part of the country do you live

philcroser
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Re: uphostery / interior repair

#3 Post by philcroser » Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:52 pm

Hi Thanks for your response.
I live in bucks so south east / london area.

Sumonerrift
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Re: uphostery / interior repair

#4 Post by Sumonerrift » Mon May 04, 2015 8:01 am

It's what I want to know, and are searching for right now.

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Johnny 216GSi
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Re: uphostery / interior repair

#5 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Tue May 05, 2015 12:23 am

I've done some extensive research in this area and my recommendation is:

Tappers - in Birmingham.

http://www.tappersupholstery.com/

They have a reputation for being the best in the business. You can search the internet and find some good feedback from people who've used them.

I've dealt with them to get some original material for my GSi which we had shipped in from the Netherlands. 22 year old "Chevron" grey cloth - original Rover and identical to what's fitted to my car. It came from West trading (who only deal with upholsterers, not the general public):

http://www.westtrading.nl/

Mine was listed as "Rover 600 herringbone" - but it's the same stuff, as Rover was using it in the 623GSi at the same time as the Rover R8 GSi models. You might find some Rover material to match what you have fitted to your car - but to be honest, a lot of their stock is 25/45/75 now. Be prepared to hunt down materials listed for other cars which may actually be the correct material for your car.

Here's the Rover material they have in stock:

http://www.westtrading.nl/overzicht.asp ... lbekleding

...the Rover 600 in beige looks like it's the GSi chevron design. You can't really see the pattern in the photo they provide in some cases - and even if you can, the photos don't show the actual colours faithfully. I know this from experience - the grey chevron material I ended up buying looked too dark and the chevron pattern looked very harsh in the photo they provided - but the sample I got instantly confirmed it was the correct material. You'd have to ask Tappers to get you a sample. All the other fabrics I reckon are for the newer cars - even stuff labelled 200/400 is for the R3 / HHR by the looks of it.

Most other material suppliers will provide samples free of charge, or for a small fee to cover postage - and you can deal with them directly.

You speak to Adrian at Tappers - the guy who's buying the business from Mr. Tapper is Richard - who you don't get to speak to as he's busy re-trimming the cars...

I was quoted £850 including VAT for a full recover - to include all materials for all seats (seats, squabs, where you sit + rest your back + the bolsters, etc.). About half that is labour, the rest covers the fabric purchase. That should give you some idea of what it might cost to get a panel or two replaced on your seats. They will also pad out seats with extra foam if you've had the seat collapse with old age. They say their results are identical to the original (they'll recreate all the pocket detail, etc. - even down to the pull handle on the rear arm rest on the GSi) - if that's what you're looking for - but with a suitable design they can cover in any style you like.

To be honest, the route I'm looking at now is to find a donor car with the same seat fabric as mine, and just have the covers swapped. I suggest that might be something you should look at too. Whether it's ethical to sacrifice one Rover for another is a completely different matter - I'm looking for something that has had its day, can't realistically be restored but still has some decent seat cloth left that can be salvaged (washed and refitted). You can probably buy an identical car to the one you have, swap some seat covers and make good the repairs and still spend less than having a full recover. Plus, the car you take from can receive your "less than good" covers and be resold, or stripped for spares - which is how you'd make your money back I guess.

You should ask in the other threads under parts wanted, etc. to see if anyone has the covers or seats - Ebay also sometimes has seat cover sets - and scrap yards and vehicle reclaim services also keep full sets of seats which can be had for a good price. You could ask "1234dist" on this forum if he has any, for example.

If you do decide to go for a full recover, I have a list of about 4 or 5 material suppliers that will send samples free of charge and deal with you direct. You'd find some sort of match for the colour scheme your car has (and Tappers have a good selection themselves) - and most likely in nicer, higher quality material. But you probably won't find the actual Rover material any more - I've looked everywhere for mine and the last remaining few metres was at West Trading. I did do some homework and traced the seat cover makers as "Cambros" - Callow and Maddox of Coventry (they went bump when Rover did) - their suppliers were Wardle Storeys - but they don't keep stocks for more than about 12 months - and they said they would have only ever supplied Vinyl-based materials - perhaps for Cabriolet hoods, etc. I never did find the original source of the actual seat material even though I spoke extensively to former employees of Cambros...

Let me know if you need a list of material suppliers.

Finally, I would warn strongly against the services you see advertised where people say they can "invisibly mend" fabric. They ALL use the fibre-infill method, which involves mixing short coloured fibres with glue, sliding a slim "container ring" under the cover (through the damage / tear) and filling up the hole. The results are subject to colour matching errors, texture matching errors, pattern matching errors and the fact the velour fabrics have a nap which changes colour when you brush it - the kind of "felt" infill you get just doesn't replicate this. As a result, the repairs often stick-out like a sore thumb - despite the claims they make.

I've seen some interesting videos on YouTube where they sew around the damaged area in the seat, then "pull" the ends of the sewing tight to close the hole. I'm convinced this does affect a good repair, but only on coarse fabrics where there's no pattern. If you tried that on a patterned fabric as you probably have, it would look dreadful.

Anything else you need to know, reply to this thread and I'll impart some more *wisdom* :blink As you can probably tell, I've done an awful lot of reading and have some reasonable experience of how/where to go.
Last edited by Johnny 216GSi on Tue May 05, 2015 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
Rover 216GSi K reg. Flame Red over Tempest Grey

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crepello
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Re: uphostery / interior repair

#6 Post by crepello » Tue May 05, 2015 10:36 am

That's a very useful and comprehensive post - thanks!

Does the facing material come bonded to the plastic foam layer, or is that on a backing cloth? If it's bonded to the patterned facing cloth, wouldn't its 'self-destruct' clock have been set running at time of manufacture, and therefore be about to crumble to dust now?

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Johnny 216GSi
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Re: uphostery / interior repair

#7 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Tue May 05, 2015 11:21 am

crepello wrote:That's a very useful and comprehensive post - thanks!

Does the facing material come bonded to the plastic foam layer, or is that on a backing cloth? If it's bonded to the patterned facing cloth, wouldn't its 'self-destruct' clock have been set running at time of manufacture, and therefore be about to crumble to dust now?
The grey chevron Rover cloth I managed to source from the Netherlands didn't come with a foam backing, so this might be standard for Rover cloths of the time. And I've had other material suppliers send me samples, some of which come with foam backing and some which don't - some even do two versions of exactly the same cloth - one bonded to foam, the other not.

Adrian at Tappers made a comment about the Rover cloth not having a foam backing. He said they can bond a foam backing to facing material in such cases. This makes me wonder whether, if in cases where the foam backing has perished, Tappers could remove it and bond some new foam to it.

Your comment about foam backing perishing is true. Not sure what "damage" the other posters on this thread are referring to - if its down to the foam backing perishing, Tappers might be able to sort this out. My seats don't really show foam layer damage I don't think - they feel and look very similar to "new" in that respect - there's actually facing material damage on mine.

One of the problems I think I'll face if I have mine re-upholstered is that I only managed to secure just under 3 metres of the grey chevron Rover material. Tappers usually say about 4 metres is needed for the seating and back areas. As such, I'm probably going to have to make a decision about which parts of the seats are recovered. There's then an issue with sunlight-fade on the existing seat covers where I don't have the material replaced. That's why sourcing a second "donor" car might be a better option - the seats will all have faded by the same amount as your own. That's my job for the Summer I think - rolling out the material I have and trying to fit the seat sizes into it to see what I can have made and what I have to live with, or source from a donor car...
Rover 216GSi K reg. Flame Red over Tempest Grey

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