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Old 08-08-2004, 08:55 PM   #1
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Smile Curtains and Cushions

We have a 71 Safari. We need to replace all the drapes and cushion in our AS. Does anyone know of vendors who are able to supply drapes and cushions to match the original design. We found one vendor in Florida who makes drapes and we are awaiting information from him. We would like to be able to contact different vendors for estimates.

Thanks, Marge & Larry
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Old 08-08-2004, 09:25 PM   #2
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If your not very lucky in finding a place to sell it to you. You might try having something cusome made from an automotive upholstry shop.
There is nothing close where I live and I decided to try a custom upholstry shop and they are able to do everything I want including repairing an awning fabric. The place near me does do custom interiors on the big busses for the stars. They had Richard Petty's bus in there the last time I was there and I took a tour, free of charge.........................
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Old 08-08-2004, 11:27 PM   #3
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draperies & cushions are REALLY SIMPLE. you could figure out how to sew them yourselves if you wanted, but if not, just about any drycleaner/alterations shop or even sewing store could hook you up.
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Old 08-12-2004, 03:16 AM   #4
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Curtains and Cushions

Greetings Marge & Larry!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry71
We have a 71 Safari. We need to replace all the drapes and cushion in our AS. Does anyone know of vendors who are able to supply drapes and cushions to match the original design. We found one vendor in Florida who makes drapes and we are awaiting information from him. We would like to be able to contact different vendors for estimates.

Thanks, Marge & Larry
Fowler Interiors is another source for Interior appointments on Airstream and Argosy travel trailers. The Fowlers have refurbished the interiors of both my Overlander and Minuet. On the Overlander this included painting the interior walls and ceilings, refinishing the cabinetry, installing new Congoleum floor coverings, new draperies, new cushions and upholstery, new material in all screens, replacing damaged portion of one cabinet, and rebuilding dinette table with new oak top. For the Minuet this included painting the interior front dome, cleaning the vinyl wall coverings, replacing the tambours in the upper cabinets, installing Armstrong laminate floor covering, new draperies, new cushions and upholstery, and replicating the original Credenza table in oak. I have been absolutely thrilled with the quality of the work that the Fowlers have done on my coaches.

You can contact the Fowlers as follows:

Fowler Interiors
596 State Route 1949
Symsonia, KY 42082-9231

(270) 851-3257

fowlerinteriors@hcis.net

Good luck with your interior project!

Kevin
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:05 AM   #5
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Dear John,

Having just finished the drapes on my trailer and finished with half of my cushions, I will agree that it mostly isn't hard sewing (although the cushions aren't exactly easy, if you do zippers and piping), but there's a whole lot of it (and it's very tedious). So, if you go to a shop, don't be surprised if it's expensive--you're paying for a lot of labor hours.

The other thing you need to consider is that different models/years have different curtain carrier systems. This becomes very convoluted. When I ran into difficulty finding snaps to fit my curtain system, I came very close to ripping the whole old system down and installing a modern curtain system. Now, after hand sewing all of those cursed snaps, I wonder why I didn't do that.

Practically any local shop can do this kind of work, so long as you acquaint them with the hardware system. I think there are some places that cater to airstreams, but I'm not sure if that will ensure that they are familiar with "retro" hardware--or if they are more expensive. Here are the things to look for in my book:

Curtains: Should be fully lined, pinch pleated. Your hardware may not allow pleater tape (use with special hooks, much less sewing), so check into this. Otherwise, a strip of stiffened piece of canvas (ie, buckram) must be sewn in to hold the pleats. Nowdays, the lining should be made of "blackout" or "thermal" lining material--a special fabric coated with a rubbery substance that protect the curtain fabric from disintegrating in the sun. If you get this done custom, the sewer may get this for you, or you may have to shop for all your own supplies.

Cushions: Some old cushions were stapled to plywood, which was bad, since they could never be removed for cleaning. Good cushions will include full length zippers, welting (the round little tubes of fabric on the edges of cushions) and should be slightly overstuffed (this means wrapping the foam with a layer of upholsterers batting). BTW, if you are willing to pay more, you can also get overstuffing batting that's mold resistant. Finally, you will want to treat what ever you get with DWR water resisting before use.

I hope this helps when you shop. Be warned--this stuff ends up getting very expensive. For an idea of materials cost, this is about what I spent to outfit two gauchos and 5 sets of curtains:

Cushions
Foam (custom cut): $450
Batting (mold resistant, on sale): $70
Cording for welting: $10
Thread: $15 (I've gone through many rolls on this!)
DWR: $40
Zippers (sale): $60
Cushion Fabric (2.88/yard clearance rack, exceptionally cheap): $40
Velcro for armrests: $10

Curtains
Lining fabric: $140
Curtain fabric: $120
Buckram header strip: $20
Snap tape: $60
Thread: $10 (a little cheaper, since I used bulk rolls of white for the lining)

Now I probably spent a little more (probably @$40) on things I didn't need. Like buying the wrong lining material when I ran short (bring a sample with you to the shop and compare its translucency before cutting), etc. Still, the results are quite fantastic.

Mary
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:50 AM   #6
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Thanks for the inspiration and info

Wow!! Mary, You are ambitious.
These details that you gave here will be very useful when I start my renovations. I prefer to do things myself too....but no free time these days
I feel compelled to begin with the window coverings...The original drapes in my "78 Argosy have been long gone; and what is there is not very appealing and totally ineffective against the elements.
And...since I will be living in the trailer for awhile I should start taking window measurments...Then find the resources for the fabric, etc...that you have mentioned...I didn't notice any snaps, but there are top and bottom runners that require some sort of hooks to be sewn along the edges of the drapes...I seem to recall reading that they can be purchased at Camping World...

Is there such a thing as a "Sunset" do-it-yourself guide to renovating and redecorating venerable old AS ?

Kate
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Old 08-12-2004, 11:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailerbunny
Is there such a thing as a "Sunset" do-it-yourself guide to renovating and redecorating venerable old AS ?

Kate
I have found this forum to be one of the best DIY guides possible. Custom answers from those who know your specific pain. Doesn't get much better than that.

Any you still get to DYI.
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Old 08-12-2004, 03:05 PM   #8
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Tin Can Luv

Tony, the QUIET half of Tin Can Luv, here on the forum, does upholstery.

I just bought some vintage material on Ebay and am going to contact him about side window curtains.
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Old 08-13-2004, 09:17 AM   #9
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I would definitely suggest that if you aren't fond of spending hours in front of a sewing machine, hire someone to do it. As I said, it's difficult at times and very laborious work. If you find that the bottom line seems large, take into consideration that there is a whole lot of stuff that goes into good soft goods as well as labor. I thought I struck gold when I got that super inexpensive fabric. And I did--except everything else--the zippers, the thread, etc.--still added up.

You'll probably run through some hit and miss efforts getting the hardware matched up. I found a set of snaps on vinyl at Camper World that worked, so then I took that to every fabric and trailer store I could find until I found snaps mounted on nylon that worked (oddly, standard sized awning snaps didn't work). Since your trailer is much newer, you probably won't have nearly as much trouble.

Good luck,

Mary
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Old 12-30-2004, 02:38 PM   #10
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Updating a former thread about renovating curtains: I just went out to the AS and found we had developed a front left side window leak (just resealed that, we hope) that left a jagged brown water stain about 8 to 10 inches up from the bottom of the drape on that window. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how that happened. Anyway, when I decided to remove the curtain to try stain removal, I discovered how complicated A/S can be. How do you remove a curtain???? First of all, I can see I need to get a little beige plastic end cap off the metal runner the curtains hang from, but how do you remove it? break it off?? Then what? Seems simple, but I cannot figure it out. Thanks for tips from those of you who have removed/replaced curtains in your trailers. Our A/S is a '94 so I don't know if I dare send the curtain to a cleaners, or if not, what cleaner to use that will remove a brown water/age stain but not disintegrate the fabric. I am having nightmares of one ruined curtain in the front of our trailer, sort of like one missing tooth in a smile. Or, egad, having to replace all the curtains just because of one ruined one. Help!!!! Please
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Old 12-30-2004, 03:46 PM   #11
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I'd get the curtains made if you aren't a pro if you want an original style. They are very hard to do well and not look like you did them yourself. If you have top and bottom tracks getting the lenght right will drive you over the edge. The cushions are much easier. We had the curtains made for the Caravel and they look great. Not cheap but the craftsmanship was top notch. James Ambruso in Florida.

The cushion foam for the sofa and dinette wasr 298 wrapped from Florida Foam and Upholstery Supplies. Good quality and cheaper even with shipping. Should have used medium instead of medium firm for seats and soft for the backs.
Good Luck.
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Old 12-30-2004, 04:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by maxandgeorgia
First of all, I can see I need to get a little beige plastic end cap off the metal runner the curtains hang from, but how do you remove it? break it off?? Then what? Seems simple, but I cannot figure it out.
I replaced all the curtains in my '87 Sovereign. If your plastic end caps are the same as mine they're installed with a color matched rivet. Simply drill the rivet out and the cap should slide out. When your ready to put it back on just insert another rivet. Joe
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Old 12-30-2004, 06:06 PM   #13
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Joe, you are taking me where I"ve dreaded to go--rivet land! I've read a thousand posts about everyone drilling out and inserting rivets, but I don't have a clue as to how or what to do. I suppose I need a particular tool? Particular rivets? Now comes the number one dumb a## question to round out 2004: please explain what these rivets are and how they are different from a screw. Okay. I've done it. Now EVERYONE on the forum knows what a total ignoramus I am. But, I need to know. Thanks for initiating this too-old-to-be-such-a-dummy!
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Old 01-01-2005, 05:55 AM   #14
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Max and Georgia -

Here is a link to the folks that make pop rivets:

http://www.emhart.com/products/pop.html

Now look at the picture at the top of the page at the one marked "set". What you want to do is get a 1/8" drill bit and slowly start drilling right into the center of the rivet - from the top as shown in the picture. It should cause the top to separate from the shaft and the rivet should drop out of the hole.

If you can't get to the "top" of the rivet, you can also snip off the end of the shaft (on the "bottom" in the picture) with a set of diagaonal cutters and remove it that way.

That being said, chances are 50/50 that the plastic thing will break. They get brittle with age. On a few of my curtain tracks, the plastic things broke and I just inserted a small screw in the track to keep the curtains from coming off the end. No one will notice.

As far as cleaning them, in my ignorance I threw mine in the washer with some Tide and a scoop of Oxy Clean and then dried them on the lowest dryer setting - they came out perfect. Maybe you are supposed to dry clean them - but mine didn't have any instructions on them so I washed them.
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