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Need some ideas

Started by bobbin, August 03, 2014, 01:30:07 pm

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I did a nice job in Ultra Leather earlier this year.  Buttoned the backs and it looked great.  Dum de dum, dum... .  Received a call that the seats wrinkle and they want them to be buttoned, as well.

I am nervous that buttoning will cause tearing of the vinyl if one of the buttons snags on a cargo pocket... etc.  I have not seen the "wrinkling", so am unsure about the cause (cover is too loose? didn't seem that way to me, but...).

I'm toying with adding a layer of batting or maybe sew foam to add some loft and take up any slack in the vinyl (if that's an issue) and allow the buttons to really settle down into the foam (4").  I'm not experienced with sew foam, so any thoughts you guys could offer would be much appreciated. 

(looking for closure on this one!)


Don't over work it bobbin. Put the buttons in as they asked. If there pulled in decent but not too deep they should not catch on clothing.
Minichillo's Upholstery


I've worked quite a bit with UltraLeather on Formula boat interiors.  It does stretch and wrinkle.  For a while, Formula was using it for hull liner and headliner as well as seats.  It's backed with 100% rayon.  Rayon just happens to be more absorbent than 100% cotton.  The tiniest bit of humidity causes it to expand and the surface stretches.  It does retract eventually, but wrinkles are a given with this stuff.  Even with buttons in the seats it's quite likely to leave a depression where people sit.  That's the tradeoff for the amazing hand and feel of this stuff.  I just used it on the interior seating for our own boat.  I love and will live with the appearance after you get off the sofa.  I paired it with Novasuede.

All of this seating was backed with 1/4" sew foam.  Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about it ripping.  It's really tough stuff, but like you said, I'd recess the buttons to be certain they don't get snagged easily.  I prefer knee bolsters with internal pulls (listings) to avoid mid-seat stretch.  They're a pain on loose, soft-bottomed cushions, but not impossible.

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

     W. C. Fields


Since your cushions are 4" thick, there's a good chance that you won't need any extra foam or batting to get a sufficient recess.

I'm with Paul. They want buttons........just give 'em buttons.

While we're talking about buttons made from ultraleather. Did you have any trouble pressing them? Sometimes, the "medium" dies will pinch the outer rim of vinyl or leather. I only recently acquired a set of "heavy" button dies for pressing vinyl/leather buttons.

I don't know how I ever got by without them.
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban


Thanks for the input, you guys.  I've not seen the wrinkles and will make my decision about adding a scooch more loft until I do.  I agree that Ultra Leather has a lovely hand and it was easy to work with.  I will, however, caution people about the likelihood of wrinkling in seating when faced with it again!

Sofa., I didn't have any trouble with the buttons.  I used the #36 cutter and die and I used the nylon backers instead of the metal ones. 

I recall that there was considerably more stretch in one direction than the other (can't remember which way now), and this falls into line with something Paul mentioned in JoJo's thread on the Cap't. chair she was doing (and I now understand why using listings would help, too!).  I was very careful not to pull the goods as I was applying the welting and the boxings.  But this leads into the thing that's spooking me a bit about the "wrinkles".  I wonder now if I ought to have undercut the top pcs. a bit more than I normally do.  I followed my basic "recipe" for sizing and my patterns looked fine when placed atop the finished, stuffed cushions and the cushions fit in behind the coamings nicely. 
1.)  would undercutting have addressed the tendency of the UL to stretch and bag out of shape?
2.)  would adding some batting or sew foam to the tops of the cushions help address that tendency?

As usual, June, your work is just beautiful.  Always an inspiration and I particularly like the two different materials used in concert; really adds a pleasant accent and breaks up a large expanse of one color. 


OK, collected 3 of the cushions (dinette) on Monday.  Started them yesterday.  I did what I call the "pluck test".  Plucked the top of the cushion to see how much "bag" there was... about 1" too much UL.  I removed the foam and steamed it out.  Put the pattern (which I saved!) atop it and the overcut was my standard 1/2" all around.  The cushions fit in the designated area (behind coaming) nicely, so the foam size was fine, the problem seems to be too much stretch in the UL back to front. 

I disassembled the top and removed the back welting.  I cut the top pc. down by 1/2" on the back edge (hidden under the back cushions), but in an arc.  Nothing at the starting pt., grading in to 1/2" pretty quickly and continuing that for the best part of the back of the cushion, and faring down to nothing on the opposite side.  I reapplied the welting.  I shaved a scant 1/2" off the boxing, and remarried the cushion.  Put the pattern on the finished, restuffed cushion and it looks good (but everything looks good on the bench) and it's lots tighter.  I'm going to do the same thing to the aft and fwd. cushions and then button them. 

Damn the torpedos! full steam ahead!

Notes to self:  UL stretches more in one direction than the other.  And it stretches a lot!  Don't be afraid to undercut the stuff, it has enough stretch to "take it".  And cut the boxing narrower than usual when working with this stuff...