Upholstery - materials?

1979-1991 280SE, 300SE, 300SEL, 380SE, 380SEL, 380SEC, 420SE, 420SEL, 420SEC, 500SE, 500SEL, 500SEC, 560SEL, 560SEC
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mw01
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Joined: Sat 30 May, 2015 8:47 pm
Model you own: I own multiple different models
Location: Tallarook, Vic

Upholstery - materials?

Post by mw01 » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 10:13 pm

A question about what to expect in upholstery repairs.

I dropped the rear leather covered seat backs from my 380SEC into a northern suburbs Vic upholsterer for repairs several weeks ago. Repairs involved restitching of seams and replacing a couple of panels, including full recovering of the centre headrest with new material. I picked them up today. A generally good job, good colour match etc. When I got them home and looked underneath I realized the new panels were vinyl, identified by the white fabric backing, not leather. Yes, the colour match and grain match is good, the workmanship is good, but it's not leather. I think back to when I dropped them off, and the material was not discussed. I assumed that leather would be replaced with leather and it went without saying. I haven't fronted the upholsterer yet - I'm interested in general comments as to whether I was just dumb not to realize that - um... let's see 'matching leather is unobtainable' or maybe ' it's an old car we assumed you'd want the cheapest option..' Any thoughts?
1982 380SEC
2002 C320 W203
2010 C250 CGI W204
2003 Alfa Romeo Spider 2000 JTS
1989 W201 190E 2.6 (sold)
Um.. Rodeo .. and ...Xtrail... for the ugly stuff.

Henry Schuman
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Re: Upholstery - materials?

Post by Henry Schuman » Fri 27 Jul, 2018 8:17 am

Well it's a Coin Toss in my book.
The upholstery shop should have asked you what material you wanted and given you price options on the other hand you should have asked for an estimate whereas you would know the material costs .
However IF you are not entering your 380 in a Concours d'Elegance most folks would never know the difference between the Back panels from vinyl,leather or Naugahde PLUS vinyl /MB TEX is much more durable and less costly .
Regards
Don't Squat With Your Spurs On !!!!

mw01
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Joined: Sat 30 May, 2015 8:47 pm
Model you own: I own multiple different models
Location: Tallarook, Vic

Re: Upholstery - materials?

Post by mw01 » Fri 27 Jul, 2018 8:21 am

Thanks Henry, food for thought.
1982 380SEC
2002 C320 W203
2010 C250 CGI W204
2003 Alfa Romeo Spider 2000 JTS
1989 W201 190E 2.6 (sold)
Um.. Rodeo .. and ...Xtrail... for the ugly stuff.

CraigB
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Location: Hawthorndene (Adelaide)

Re: Upholstery - materials?

Post by CraigB » Fri 27 Jul, 2018 11:01 am

I would be pretty disappointed in that and I think an upholsterer should be saying - hey its hard to match that leather, what do you think about this vinyl. Having said that I took a seat for repair where the cloth part from the underside of the back was ripped and i didn't discuss materials, assuming it would be redone the same. Result was they replaced it with vinyl (that squeaks) and the way they have done it and in different colour to the leather too, you can see this strip along the bottom in places. And these things usually happen when you are busy and i never did anything about it but should have at least gone back and showed the guy the result of his work. My dad ran a business for a long time and he usually appreciated people complaining over just taking it and complaining to other (potential customers) instead. But then i think that is 'old school' business and you don't see much of it these days. I say that with empathy though because i think a lot of business is cut so close to the bone that they need to get stuff in and out to get turnover to stay afloat.

A general suggestion - I had a seat with leather ripped on drivers seat where you get in. I knew it would be hard to match leather grain etc so I went to the wrecker and bought a whole passenger seat cheap, unpicked the equivalent panel and the ripped one and got an upholsterer to stitch it back in. Much harder with back seats though and esp on SEC with sloped window, i have a stack of rear seats with top of leater seat trashed but rest good and hard to match that in and make it look good.
Craig Baulderstone
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Astro-Benz777
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Model you own: w126
Region: Victoria
Location: Melbourne

Re: Upholstery - materials?

Post by Astro-Benz777 » Sat 29 Sep, 2018 2:34 pm

Sage advice Craig!
W126's truly were the last real Benz in my opinion! :occasion5:
FORMER FAMILY:
1989 300SE (W126) Midnight Blue, Blue/Grey Interior (Gearhardt)
1982 380SE (W126) Thistle Green, Tan Interior (Sherman)
CURRENT DAILY DRIVE & BELOVED FAMILY MEMBER
1984 280SE (W126) Thistle Green, Tan Interior (Hilda)

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OzBenzHead
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Model you own: w126
Location: Byron Shire, Northern NSW, Australia

Re: Upholstery - materials?

Post by OzBenzHead » Tue 02 Oct, 2018 2:44 pm

After consulting numerous upholsterers, all of whom claimed that the materials were no longer available, I ordered a complete made-up set from GAHH. That cost me just over AU$3K, including delivery from the US and about $500 in AU imports duties. Two weeks from my ordering them, the goods arrived in northern NSW – quick service.

While I was at it, at no extra cost, I had them made up in two tone; the originals in Brazil made for a very dark interior, so I had the lateral inserts done in Palomino. All leather, very good workmanship.

Am now awaiting their fitment, and shall post pics when done.

While I was at it, I also ordered from GAHH some MB-Tex for another, smaller job. Again, the real thing, not expensive.

Note: Every time I've taken an old Benz to an upholsterer I've been met with the same "materials not available" bulldust – or "too hard".

If your Benz is worth doing well, go GAHH for the goods and find an Aussie upholsterer to fit them. Worth the money IMHO.

PS: The Benz leathers can also be bought from GAHH if you want to do your own sewing.
OzBenzHead
Currently owned:
1965 W112 300 SE/C
1983 C126 380 SEC

and formerly:
1955 W180 220a
1965 W111 220 S
1970 W108 280 SE (my first Benz)
1973 W116 280 SE Crayford Estate (previously owned by Rolf Harris)
1980 W116 280 SE
1989 W124 300 E
1992 W201 180 E
1992 W201 190 E 2.0
+ numerous W108 and W116 rolling spares

and prior to my M-B enlightenment:
53 other cars of many nations, but mostly British oil-leakers (including 14 Rovers of the 50s and 60s) cursed by Lucas the Prince of Darkness. First car owned (at age 13): 1953 Fiat. Learned to drive in: 1927 Nash utility paddock-basher & Grey Fergie tractor. Driven distance (logged as at 30 June 2016): 4.6 million km.

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Astro-Benz777
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Posts: 46
Joined: Tue 03 May, 2016 7:40 am
Model you own: w126
Region: Victoria
Location: Melbourne

Re: Upholstery - materials?

Post by Astro-Benz777 » Wed 03 Oct, 2018 7:04 pm

This might be a stupid question but what is GAHH?
W126's truly were the last real Benz in my opinion! :occasion5:
FORMER FAMILY:
1989 300SE (W126) Midnight Blue, Blue/Grey Interior (Gearhardt)
1982 380SE (W126) Thistle Green, Tan Interior (Sherman)
CURRENT DAILY DRIVE & BELOVED FAMILY MEMBER
1984 280SE (W126) Thistle Green, Tan Interior (Hilda)

User avatar
OzBenzHead
300 SLR
Posts: 2044
Joined: Mon 22 Aug, 2005 9:11 am
Model you own: w126
Location: Byron Shire, Northern NSW, Australia

Re: Upholstery - materials?

Post by OzBenzHead » Wed 03 Oct, 2018 7:18 pm

This mob: https://www.gahh.com

They make replacement interiors for the Irvine CA Classic Center.
OzBenzHead
Currently owned:
1965 W112 300 SE/C
1983 C126 380 SEC

and formerly:
1955 W180 220a
1965 W111 220 S
1970 W108 280 SE (my first Benz)
1973 W116 280 SE Crayford Estate (previously owned by Rolf Harris)
1980 W116 280 SE
1989 W124 300 E
1992 W201 180 E
1992 W201 190 E 2.0
+ numerous W108 and W116 rolling spares

and prior to my M-B enlightenment:
53 other cars of many nations, but mostly British oil-leakers (including 14 Rovers of the 50s and 60s) cursed by Lucas the Prince of Darkness. First car owned (at age 13): 1953 Fiat. Learned to drive in: 1927 Nash utility paddock-basher & Grey Fergie tractor. Driven distance (logged as at 30 June 2016): 4.6 million km.

User avatar
Astro-Benz777
C Class
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue 03 May, 2016 7:40 am
Model you own: w126
Region: Victoria
Location: Melbourne

Re: Upholstery - materials?

Post by Astro-Benz777 » Wed 03 Oct, 2018 7:36 pm

OOOOH....AHHHH!

Fantastic bit of info for the memory banks!

Cheers
W126's truly were the last real Benz in my opinion! :occasion5:
FORMER FAMILY:
1989 300SE (W126) Midnight Blue, Blue/Grey Interior (Gearhardt)
1982 380SE (W126) Thistle Green, Tan Interior (Sherman)
CURRENT DAILY DRIVE & BELOVED FAMILY MEMBER
1984 280SE (W126) Thistle Green, Tan Interior (Hilda)

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