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RichardJGC

Interior retrim recommendations?

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Hi All

As part of my restoration on my 82 Turbo I am looking to get two door cards and one facia retrimmed.

Is their anyone in the UK that comes highly recommended that can do the 'ruched' style well? 

I imagine following retrimming that all the trim will need to be recoloured for a perfect match?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions

Richard

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

Try David Reid at http://cartrim.webs.com/

He redid my carpets in my Excel last year and I'm budgeting on replacing the interior next year(ish).

Very reasonable cost as well, you definitely won't fall off your seat

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51 minutes ago, RichardJGC said:

I will try not fall off my seat when a quote comes back ?

 

It's not cheap at Fulchers! You could always try Allon White too, they have a very good reputation :)

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2 hours ago, Bibs said:

It's not cheap at Fulchers! You could always try Allon White too, they have a very good reputation :)

Personally I'd be slightly cautious about using AW. There was a white esprit for sale earlier this year that I was told AW had just fully retrimmed and the door cards amongst other areas (in my opinion) needed redoing. Apologies if it was your car and to be fair the previous owner might have asked for it to be done like that but take care in describing what you want.    

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Cheers Bazza...important to know who I should be wary of too. I have been in contact with AW and almost got the impression that they had someone they take the trim too. 

I need to be able to speak to the trimmer first hand to make sure I get what I want.

It wasn't my Esprit there but maybe somebody's on here? 

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@RichardJGC - Give David Reid a call. He'll want to see the car before he gives you a quote - and it's a nice drive to just south of Strattons. I had to book my Excel in 8 months ahead.

I've PM'd you

Chris

 

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The white Esprit Bazza refers to could be mine...

It was done by the previous owner at Allon White, and is a slight twist on the original scheme, but looks great and of its time.

The workmanship and materials used are stunning, so I wouldn't have any problem recommending them. See photo below... Richard, I notice you are in Northants, I am too, so would be happy to show you. I'll be at the Earls Barton meet tomorrow if you're about...

By the way, I've just joined, and loving the new Esprit, it's an emotive car and gets a surprising amount of attention, which I hadn't anticipated!

a2f8adae4eea2b3f96c364b3dc9a2595[1].jpg

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I liked that car when it was listed - but the interior is not as it left the factory - so not for the purists.

none the less - it's lovely :wub:

 

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I didn't even realise when I bought it! D'oh, never mind! I am one for keeping things original, but I think I can live with it.

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1 hour ago, jaydubya said:

The white Esprit Bazza refers to could be mine...

It was done by the previous owner at Allon White, and is a slight twist on the original scheme, but looks great and of its time.

The workmanship and materials used are stunning, so I wouldn't have any problem recommending them. See photo below... Richard, I notice you are in Northants, I am too, so would be happy to show you. I'll be at the Earls Barton meet tomorrow if you're about...

By the way, I've just joined, and loving the new Esprit, it's an emotive car and gets a surprising amount of attention, which I hadn't anticipated!

a2f8adae4eea2b3f96c364b3dc9a2595[1].jpg

Hi Jon

I am actually going to the Earls Barton meet, but won't be in my Esprit as thats totally stripped. I will be going with a mate in his 1936 Morris 8!!!

Will look out for you.

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Hi Jon

Yes it was your car that I looked at when it was at Paul Matty's although it wasn't for sale at that point.

Non-original interior but if you like it that's all that counts. Overall the car looked fantastic. :)

 

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The original Turbo Esprit ruched finish is really difficult to do. I used to live near the original Connolly Leather factory in Colliers Wood when I owned my first Esprit and a bloke from Connollys had a look at it and was quite amazed that they had managed to stitch it like that. He said that he had previously been asked by Lotus about that design and told them not to attempt it. I guess it must have been another Chapman "Just f***ing do it" moment.

The owner of the restored Essex, who many people will know, said he had his done by a trimmer and it wasnt right so he had it all done again. He had it done by Lotus, who apparently still know some of the original ladies who did it. But to be honest even his does not look identical to the original. The ruching is not quite right, difficult to explain why not.

I think thats why pretty much everyone who has these retrimmed has them done in flat leather. The trimmers take a look and say "Cant do mate". 

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Andy.....that's a bit worrying. 

There are photos of a retrimmed Esprit Turbo on moorestrim.com which looks pretty close. Wonder who owns that one? It's sounding like it's becoming a lost art.

Thing is I've looked in so many Esprits and those that are ruched all look different to each other to a certain degree. The factory trimmers could probably recognise their own work as each would have their way of doing it.

After seeing my own trim after 25yrs of ownership you get used to all the folds and wrinkles so any retrim work will have its variations.

Have to say I do love the ruched look even if it is a bit 'medallion man' ?. It's of its time...that's for sure.

 

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That one looks pretty good but both of the Turbos I have owned have not really been the same as that. The ruching is more subtle and is selective, not all of the seams are ruched. The sides of the seats are pretty flat but when they curve around towards the back of the seat they are gathered there. They are not bulbous like the seats in the picture on moorestrim. Although of course as you say, they might have come out of the factory different depending on who did them at the time.

These pics are my current one which is original. Dont look at the door speakers which should NOT be there and I wish they werent!

 

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19 hours ago, jaydubya said:

 

By the way, I've just joined, and loving the new Esprit, it's an emotive car and gets a surprising amount of attention, which I hadn't anticipated!

I might just have to call BS on this!! :-)

 

 

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5 hours ago, jcslocum said:

I might just have to call BS on this!! :-)

 

 

Ha ha, yer I guessed it would get a little bit of attention, just not people filming me as I drive down the road kind of attention :lol:

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Allon white did a fabulous job on our elise seats. They have thier own trim shop, and im sure they can do just about whatever you require. Reasonable prices too.

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Back on that ruching again:

I am currently redoing my seats. The leather is in generally great condition but the foam had collapsed in some locations especially in the area where the back meets the squab, on each side.

I removed the leather, which is easy as it just unclips. The leather is backed by 3mm scrim foam which has turned to dust so I had to vac out all of that leaving just the scrim backing nylon cloth. There are some staples which hold the seam to the sides of the rubber webbing but I cut all those off and cable ties will work fine here as there is no tension on them.

I have had the foam repaired by Surrey Car Trimming who have managed to insert new pieces and sculpt to shape. Nice job. 

There is one place where the ruching has failed. I asked him about this and his reply was basically "cant do". So I am looking closely into how they did it. What they have done is stitched it in a special way. Each line of stitch has a red thread which is visible on the top and an extra white very strong thread which runs straight along underneath. The red thread interlinks with the white one but basically the white one is straight. So, after softening up the leather with treatment and go underneath and pull on the white threads, lo and behold, the ruching happens as the leather is gathered together. What I have not quite worked out yet is how to secure the loop of white thread to prevent the whole thing from pulling flat again as soon as its fitted.

I dont know anything about trimming but I am guessing this special stitching method is the reason most trimmers cant do this ruched effect. Perhaps a special machine or skill is needed.

A tip the guy at the trimmers gave me is the use of polyester wadding. As well as covering the entire seat with this I am finding that inserting strips of it between each sewn seam bulks out the leather and it should end up looking exactly as original despite the missing scrim foam which is impossible to replace as it was sewn to the leather. 

DSCN3330.JPG

DSCN3331.JPG

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Hi Andy, could you post up some detailed photos of how the white and red threads interact with each other, it sounds like the ruching is working in the same way that a curtain header tape would gather curtains. I'd be interested to see how it's done.

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Yes it works like a curtain tape.

I had assumed before looking at this that they sewed the leather pre-rutched onto the scrim, leaving the scrim flat. But they havent done that. What they have done is sewn it to the scrim then tensioned the white cords to rutch the leather and the scrim.

The curious thing is the amount of ruching varies along the length of each seam, such that the maximum amount is on the curved part of the seat bolsters, and the least on the flat sides. Its amazingly consistent across all seams on both seats (except my seam which has come undone). This can b seen in the second picture with the variable pitch of the thread.

So how have they prevented the ruching from spreading out along each seam? One clue might be there is a stain on the scrim backing in the ruched area of every seam, as if some liquid has been painted on. I am thinking this is some kind of sealer which they used to bind the threads together.

Whatever the case, I would love to know how this highly skilled method came to be adopted for the Turbo seats and whose idea it was. Was it Guigaro? Its a great feature of these cars. Its one of the many areas of the Esprit where they departed from conventional car design practice.

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Great posts Andy. I will be carrying out the same before too long....including door cards.

Have just removed some damaged leather from a spare door card so i can work out how this ruching was done. Even then..it's not obvious...so all this info helps no end. ?

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Hi Andy, I've just been showing the wife who is a former Clarks and more recently a Mulberry handbag leather machinist. 

She says, this type of stitching is nothing special, it is done on an industrial twin needle machine with a spoolless bottom feed (white cord). The tension of the top thread (Red cotton) is reduced to allow the white cord to be pulled to create the rucks, the rucks can be created at any point along the stitched area by tensioning the white cord, and then once the desired effect has been achieved, sealed into place with a specialist flexible adhesive, (she can find out the name if required). Once the white cord has been pulled to its desired point, the end is folded and glued into position or back stitched to secure it. The adhesive then left to cure.

Yes, she is sat next to me explaining the process....and do I have a clue what she's on about....absolutely not, but I hope it helps. 

 

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