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General Upholstery Questions and Comments => General Discussion => Topic started by: jojo on October 31, 2013, 04:12:36 PM

Title: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: jojo on October 31, 2013, 04:12:36 PM
(http://s6.postimg.org/uyyfqd6kd/V_29_E7.jpg) (http://postimg.org/image/uyyfqd6kd/)

Bar Stools, 10 of 'em. The customer wants them covered in vinyl. I'm using Enduratex Independence vinyl. The back is so full and almost round. The fabric gets stapled to the bottom. It's even worse than a Seadoo seat! So I figure I can't do it with one piece of vinyl (I tried, with heat and pulling, etc.), so it will have to be seamed. Where would you put the seams and how many would you put in? I want to divide it into three pieces. Would that look wrong?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: bobbin on October 31, 2013, 05:04:16 PM
Jojo. , have NO business saying anything.  BUT, my gut tells me that dividing the arc into thirds "makes sense".

I'd probably pattern the pcs, and I'd note the location where seams should be. 

I  have a couple of capt's. chairs to quote.  Your help will be welcomed, Jojo!
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: JuneC on October 31, 2013, 06:08:50 PM
I'd put vertical seams at 2  o'clock and 10 o'clock.  It would take some serious stretch and heat to do it in one piece and then the vinyl would have a short life. 

June
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: MinUph on October 31, 2013, 06:09:12 PM
jojo,
  There is a vinyl that will conform to this if you want to use it. One is called Rapper the other is Allsport. These products stretch 4 way and should conform to the back and seat nicely. Other that those you will probably need to section the back. As you guessed 3 sections should wor. A center and two sides. Use the stretch of the vinyl to help. Vinyl generally stretches one way more than the other. Normally width wise but feel it for yourself on the roll. I would top stitch these seams for strength and to make them lay better. Your still going to have a tough time of it but it can be done. Heat will be needed.
  The seat looks like you can do it in one piece. Stretch the corners first not the straight sides. Get the stretch out in the corners and then work normally. Getting back to the back and the stretch part. Make the stretch side to side to allow you to pull up and down and not have the stretch to deal with.
 Good luck.
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: sofadoc on October 31, 2013, 06:40:08 PM
I want to divide it into three pieces. Would that look wrong?
It might even snazz it up a bit. Topseam the 2 divisions like Paul says.

I'm not familiar with Enduratex Independence, so I don't know how cantankerous it is. Some vinyls only stretch a little in one direction, and almost none in the other.

I have done those in one piece before. But like June says, it took so much heat, it probably shortened the life of the vinyl.   
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: baileyuph on October 31, 2013, 07:33:52 PM
I would build a prototype and settle on the number of seams that are required to avoid a lot heat and stretch. 

I wouldn't rule out a shoulder seam (one that joins the outside back to the three piece inside back. 

Also, I might put a seam seams at the very front (each side) to avoid wrapping. 

Seams add detail, avoids over stretching which will definitely last longer.

Doyle
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: Lo on October 31, 2013, 08:15:54 PM
The back has a strong curve ... similar to corner booth seats (the 'U' shaped ones). The center pattern for the 'U' shaped seat reminded me of a baseball diamond ... seemed like such an odd shape but fit seamlessly when blended with the right and left. Maybe someone has patterns that could be modified for yours? I do not believe I saved any from restaurant work this spring ... now watch, I'll come across a set  ;)
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: jojo on November 01, 2013, 09:44:57 PM
Thanks for the replies, guys. So I decided to do the vertical seams at 2 and 10, and then another horizontal seam along the top part. I sewed up a test cover with scrap, and the problem is when I fold the fabric to the underside to staple it at the center. It creates a lot of wrinkles. I'm thinking of sewing yet another seam along the bottom the exact shape of the curve so that I don't have to pull any fabric to the underside at the inside center.
Do you think this will work?
This is a nightmare; I've done a Seadoo seat before, and it was a breeze compared to this. No amount of heat or stretchy vinyl can make this work! Or if it is possible, it would take a whole day to do one seat back.  :(
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: Lo on November 02, 2013, 06:49:19 AM
Not sure if this will help as your vertical seams may already have this pattern shape ... if not I am attempting a first picture post and have drawn out the shapes I mentioned in my earlier post. (http://i1312.photobucket.com/albums/t522/recover3/P1010056_zpsc2b28ff8.jpg) (http://s1312.photobucket.com/user/recover3/media/P1010056_zpsc2b28ff8.jpg.html)

Very rough sketch so no finger-wagging at my 2nd grade pic :-)
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: baileyuph on November 02, 2013, 08:07:20 AM
The seams at 10 and 2, try not sewing them all the way down but just far enought that they enter the curve and back sew but leave an extra selvage in the seam so you can lap at the very bottom.  This will allow you another adjustment.  If that doesn't quite get you where you want to be and there is too much fullness, consider a smaller taper in the seam.

Which way you running the stretch, side to side?

Don't give up, once you get a pattern that works, speed will be fast for the rest.

I suppose you plan to lap at the very front, turn under at both edges of a side?
Doyle
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: jojo on November 02, 2013, 09:14:35 AM
Lo, that is exactly it! I thought of it while obsessing over it in bed last night; even dreamed about it. I ran out to the shop first thing to test it, and I can get away with about 2 inches of fabric at the bottom of the v without it wrinkling when folded under.
Doyle, sadly this vinyl has hardly any stretch. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I'm looking forward to moving this one out of the shop and out of my life.
Bobbin, take note; this is the only way to cover a giant puffy horseshoe.
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: JuneC on November 02, 2013, 09:36:53 AM
One thing I've done on particularly horrific shapes (when they're small enough) is to make a template out of blue painter's tape.  I did a dash for a car like this and it worked out really well.  Just get 1" or 1.5" low-adhesion tape and cover the whole dang thing with tape, using lots and crosshatching so it's not delicate when removed.  Draw lines where you want your seams, keeping in mind that you want flat patterns when you take it off, remove the tape template and cut apart your template pieces.  The tape won't be perfectly flat but you can get really close.

June
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: jojo on November 02, 2013, 11:17:08 AM
Thanks June,
I may have to go this route. Just tried the taper thing, and it can't be done in just 3 pieces.  The center piece lays beautifully, but you have to divide the sides into 3 pieces also, and I'm afraid it will look stupid.
Sigh, it's the job that never ends.
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: bobbin on November 02, 2013, 12:10:42 PM
Lo's diagram really "illustrates" how strange looking the shapes can be when you're trying to come up with something that has to fit around curves!

I really like June's suggestion of using the painter's tape.  Very clever!

Go for it JoJo.  And take pictures and good notes so you'll remember how you did it when the next set of curves bar stools comes into your shop.  ;)
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: jojo on November 03, 2013, 10:00:12 AM
Yeah, so I'm still in the experimental phase here. I'm back to trying to get it covered with one piece of vinyl. My findings so far are that you can't start in the center. So I've tried stapling it at the outside of both sides so the the vinyl is stretched in the middle. Then when I try to turn the center to the bottom portion, I can tell it has potential to be nice and smooth around that inside curve, but when I make relief cuts, they spread further than I want them to and you can see some of the foam bulging out around the bottom. Why can't I do this??
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: gene on November 03, 2013, 11:40:27 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cFdPBpa3Xk

Here's a link that I have bookmarked under vinyl. It may have some helpful tips if you use a 360 degree stretch vinyl like MinUp mentioned.

I've also mentioned on here before about a video I saw where they were putting vinyl covers on auto seats and the final step was to air heat the vinyl to cause it to shrink and form a very tight fit. I don't know anything about this shrinking vinyl but it's out there somewhere.

Thanks for the info on using painter's tape, June. I will definitely put that in my possibles.

gene
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: baileyuph on November 03, 2013, 06:18:06 PM
Do you guys have a reference that explains the paints tape method.

My understanding has to be wrong which is:

1. cover the object with painters tape, the tape is applied in small pieces (width of 1inch or 1 1/2 inch tape and cover the entire piece.

2.  Then draw lines on the tape where you want your pattern lines to be.  Obviously, then you cut the tape along the lines. 

3.  That represents a pattern that will fit the object?  Am I correct so far?

Here is my consternation; if I take the cut tape as a pattern (which was a myriad or several widths of tape, how do you expect cutting your vinyl to that shape to fit?  The tape fits because it was a number of smaller pieces of tape.  How does that suggest using it as a pattern on a different medium would fit? 

4.  What am I missing, that would be equal to drawing lines on the form where you want seams and pinning the vinyl to the deliniated form and tracing or transferring the chalked lines to the medium, vinyl in this case.  The vinyl will not fit.

Help me out, I don't get it.

Doyle
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: JuneC on November 03, 2013, 10:23:46 PM
You could use plastic, paper, whatever for a pattern to cover the piece - much like Peppy uses brown paper - then cut it into pattern pieces.  If the shape is rounded, your pattern will never be flat - unless you cut it into a zillion pieces, but you can get close.  Like all patterns, it's a guide.  It will get you much closer to the actual fit than just guessing as to the shape/size.  It's certainly not foolproof, but is a valuable aid - at least to me - for complex shapes.  Try it sometime. 

You could pin the actual vinyl to the marked-up foam, but I've never had good luck with that.  There's always that one spot that the vinyl won't fit, or stretch enough, or it wrinkles, etc.

June
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: gene on November 03, 2013, 10:33:03 PM
In case this hasn't been mentioned, don't forget to add for the seam allowance. (Spoken from experience in making my first bolster pillows.)

gene
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: Rich on November 04, 2013, 07:25:34 AM
Comment on Gene's video; Maybe it's because I do this quite frequently, but I apply the glue to the entire piece and the entire back of the vinyl, allow it to dry to the touch, then attach it to the edges and then heat the center to press it into the center. That way I minimize the chance of ending up with excess to form a wrinkle. Ideally, it's best for long term adherance, to not lift the vinyl and reapply.
On the curved back, I think I see the lines in the fabric going in an "X" pattern. Using vinyl (Allsport would give the best advantage) positioned at a 45 degree angle to the back might give enough stretch to form it in one piece. I recover a lot of curved pieces called body rests on dental assistant stools and sometimes they are in one piece. On these, I always put a slight pull at each end and staple in place first, then heat and pull the vinyl into the center.
Rich
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: baileyuph on November 04, 2013, 09:07:19 AM
The blue tape method; thanks for the clarification, the application can have significant advantages (depending on requirements and pattern requirements.  I also like the method of using "see through" medium for pattening - clear mediums.

It seems that one should consider all their options and figure out which works for the task at hand.

Back to the subject object - given little stretch, it will have to be patterned with as many seams as required.  Done symmetrically, it will look fine and avoid using excessive heat and undue stretching.

JoJo is probably close with the 10 and 2 seams and seam around the outside back.  I would go to 8, 10, 2, and 4 o'clock locations and make it work or/also
look at sewing a stretcher from side to side, at the lower front bottom, cut to the arc of the piece for help. If that is a positive result, then just do it.  That could raise the chance of the 10 and 2 seam idea of working (eliminating the 8 and 4 seam in the face idea).

This thing can be done with seams, but one must take advantage of the limited stretch given in the medium.

The idea of a seam up and over and down the front of each arm front is looking more like a requirement.  That won't be bad to accomplish, if the foam is real firm - the easier.

Good accurate symmetric patterning, and sewing will pull this thing through.  Seam allowance is important, slightly narrow reduces bulk at the seams.  If one used clear vinyl as the patterning medium it could make it easier to trace the lines accurately.

I have seen welders piece together a myriad of metal pieces to form complex shapes, this problem isn't that extreme.  It can be done.

Neat stitching and seams located with symmetry will look just fine.  One related aspect to this issue is how much give in the foam?  That will play out in the process of patterning.

The project is starting to sound like fun!  Go for it!

Doyle
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: jojo on November 04, 2013, 02:13:58 PM
Thank you Doyle, this is just what I needed to hear. Almost gave up, but now it's back to the drawing board.
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: bobbin on November 04, 2013, 03:52:51 PM
I've never been really "comfortable" working with vinyls.  I'm fine with pretty straightforward cushion work, but anything that's really contoured makes me nervous.  At my old job I was given things like that and the estimate on the work order always made me feel that I was playing "beat the clock" (not good for creative thinking).  And I always felt pressured to make the "new" work look exactly the same as the original (with no training and few tools).  Jojo's project reminded me of that when I read the different "takes" on how to approach it.  I would be more comfortable with more pcs. (a top, bottom, "fronts" (3pcs) and maybe a back, but not knowing how the bar stools are constructed would dictate what can be done and can't.  I don't think I have the guts to go  for the glue thing, a little too "final" for this weenie (at least right now).

I've really enjoyed the discussion of a vinyl's relative stretch.  I had no idea vinyls from different manufacturers had such different stretch properties.  I use the crosshatched pattern material a lot.  But for things that will require pulling/tugging for good fit, I like clear plastic ("vapor barrier" stuff) because it "gives". 

As for patterning a very contoured shape; I "get that" mostly because of extensive garment work and training in tailoring/alterations.  Bodies are shaped, contoured, and NOT symmetrical, so in tailoring it's all about letting the shape of the form dictate the shape of pc. required to cover it.  More pcs. often means better fit; careful scrutiny of a sport coat or a bias cut evening gown demonstrates that clearly.   

 
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: Mojo on November 05, 2013, 08:37:35 AM
It takes some skill to work with vinyl and I do not have it. I have done boat interiors, golf karts, etc and the jobs came out " just OK and passable" but then I never spent alot of time learning all the tricks and idiosyncrasies of the different vinyls. I did a fair bit of work with Allsport and find that vinyl amazing with its 4 way bias.

I always marvel at June and Mike's boat interior work. No puckers, no creases and always looking like it came out of a factory. June must like this work as she is now focused on boat interiors I believe and has left the canvas work pretty much behind her.

Actually I am always amazed at all the work produced by the members here. We have some awesome masters of this trade on here.

Vinyl work is like alot of other parts of our trade. There is a learning curve.

Chris
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: jojo on November 05, 2013, 04:04:41 PM
Geez Chris, you just had to say "vinyl" and "curve" in the same sentence! Update: I did the backs in five pieces: an inverted triangle center, then two pieces on either side of that. It's weird because you can get the individual pattern pieces to lay nicely on the foam, but once they're sewn together it takes a lot of time and patience to get it stapled right. Anyway, lesson learned for next time. Oh, and of course I way underquoted. Par for the course.
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: bobbin on November 05, 2013, 05:47:34 PM
OK, so you under estimated the time required.  Who among us hasn't done that? ::)  More importantly, did you take a lot of pictures, jot down some good notes on what worked and what didn't?  You KNOW there will be another job requiring those skills! and jobs like that always seem to land in your lap as the painful memory of the last one has faded...

(it only took me about 10 yrs. to begin using the notebook system.  Now, I also use the digital camera to provide an added "visual aid"... still working on fine-tuning the filing system, though). 

Oh, and congrats! bet you're glad to see that one in the rearview mirror. 
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: Highvelocity on November 11, 2013, 02:58:40 PM
I'm just curious, maybe this was answered, but why couldn't you cut the material in the horseshoe shape you need.?  I mean, I know you would have a very hard time taking a straight cut and conforming it.

  Ed
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: baileyuph on November 12, 2013, 08:18:18 AM
There is a practical answer and a theoretical answer.

The material from a roll is a set of x-y and z coordinates with all z values equallying zero.

Then a little thought, your curvilinear form also has a set of x-y and z coordinates that any point on the shape can be referenced with respect to an origin.  Problem in fitting the two x-y and z coordinates together, or super imposing one set of corridinate over the other set of coordinates is impossible without unlimited stretch that the vinyl, in this case does not provide.

The practical test is to take a piece of material represented by a plane where z coordinates are zero (f;at that is) and it will readily be obvious that the two surfaces like the subject discussion presents will not come close to fitting.  Try it!  Also try it with your suggested shape.

This issue can get more theoretically involved, look up the mathematics of dealing with forms and transforming a three dimensional set of coordinates into a plane (where all z values are equal to zero).  Further a statistical analysis of the fit can be made. against the delta (differences in location of x-y values) that will mathematicall compute those differences which lead to wrinkles in an upholsters procedures.  The deltas, give enough stretch or undue stretch, that is in vinyls used on ATV seats. for example, can be minimized - stretched out.  Paul referenced this material in his post.

Simple but still gives understanding is; try what you suggested using vinyl that is typical -offers limited stretch in only one direction.

Seams, sometimes a lot of them are required in most of what we upholsters do.

Doyle
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: jojo on November 12, 2013, 11:01:33 AM
Doyle, that is what worked - pieces. And even then it took lots of heat and patience. At some point, though, I wished I were a math genius, because I was convinced that there had to be some sort of formula.
I will post a pic later today.
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: baileyuph on November 12, 2013, 08:13:09 PM
JoJo, I sensed you could and would do this project, you are a natural skilled person.

Abilities that are exceeded only by your modesty.

This project carried major challenge because it only had limited stretch. 

Congratulations - admirable performance!

 
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: gene on November 12, 2013, 10:00:43 PM
Thanks for the explanation, DB. I had never thought of looking at it from the x,y, and z axises.

I run into this issue mostly on barrel back chairs. There are some that you just have to have some stretch in the fabric to make it work. I use 3 panels sewn together, but I have done 5 with a microfiber fabric that had no stretch and a very steep back that came out for the lower lumbar then swept back in under that.

gene
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: Highvelocity on November 13, 2013, 09:50:46 AM
Doyle,
     Thank you for that explanation.  I do understand what you are saying.  I just had to think about it some more and think back to my college physics classes. The idea is you don't have the stretch to create the outer arc length while maintaining inside arc length/create bunching.  It's one of those things you learned a long time ago but some how flush...lol

  This was a good subject, it's a great reminder of things to consider when pricing or taking on a job. 

  Ed
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: baileyuph on November 13, 2013, 07:57:45 PM
Ed,

So right you are on bidding work, particuarly marine seating.  Stretch needed on some of the issues encountered in that work can be unbelievable.  One has to do everything right, the bidding, the vinyl selection, and tantamount to it all the execution - issues like running the stretch, placement of seams, use of sew foam, and more.

If it all was easy, everyone would be doing it. Thanks for your comments.

Doyle
Title: Re: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??
Post by: bobbin on November 18, 2013, 08:21:24 PM
Jojo, I thought of you today!  I looked at a salon, nav. station, V berth on a big sailboat this afternoon.  The salon had 2 captain's chairs in addition to the dinette area.  They weren't too big, but both were barrel back and the top of the backs sloped down to the arms.  Done in 3 pcs. (I looked!) in a nice vinyl.  I told the guy I was "out" on the chairs... I'm no upholsterer.  But man! didn't I wish Sofa., Kody, Gene, DB, et al were closer.