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Old 03-07-2004, 02:04 PM   #1
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Dye worn cushions?

OK, I'll admit up front that I make Eboneezer Scrooge look like a spendthrift, but the cushions in my Caravel are showing definite signs of wear. Rather than selling the farm to pay for pro reupholstery, I'm wondering if they could just be dyed? They are in good shape other than the wear and there are no rips or tears. Maybe just dying them would make them respectable for another 30 years?
There are eight of them and I don't have access to Fort Knox.

Rog
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Old 03-07-2004, 03:01 PM   #2
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Dye worn cushions?

Greetings Rog!

Quote:
Maybe just dying them would make them respectable for another 30 years?
This is something that may be worth a try, but there are two possible issues that come to mind. First, if the upholstery (or the thread used in making the covers) is the least bit dry-rotted the moisture involved (as well as chemicals) in most dying processes may shorten the remaining life of the dry-rotted material - - I know that when attempting to dye the drapes in my '64 Overlander back in 1995, all but one pair came out of the process in tatters (the material just basically disintegrated). The other issue with the cushions would be the foam used in their construction - - I suspect that exposure to the chemical in the dyes as well as the water may accellerate any decomposition that likely has already begun - - this process was quite well underway with both my Overlander (new foam in 2002) and Minuet (new foam in 2003) - - in both cases the foam was turning to crumbly dust (the Overlander was fare worse than the Minuet). For the cost involved, the dying process might be worth a try if you are confident that the foam in the cushions and fabric in the upholstery is free of rot.

An altertnative might be custom-made slip-covers which I suspect would be in a cost-range between that of reupholstery and dying processes.

Good luck with your restoration/refurbishment!

Kevin
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Old 03-07-2004, 03:31 PM   #3
5 rivets, 1 loose screw
 
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1966 20' Globetrotter
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Thank you for your input Kevin. Good advice as usual.
I really don't suspect any dry rot, just normal wear over 33 years.
I might try the dye on one of the small side cushions in the dinette.
My goal is to keep everything original and aesthetically pleasant, while not squandering money needlesly.

Rog
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Old 03-07-2004, 04:17 PM   #4
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fabric spray

You might try an auto parts store for spray colors to color upholstory.....inexpensive and easy....worth a look..lol..jem
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Old 03-07-2004, 04:43 PM   #5
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Ty Zduke

The fabric has a flowery pattern and I would like to find a dye or spray that will blend in without covering that pattern.
Maybe some watered down Rit?

Rog
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Old 03-07-2004, 06:50 PM   #6
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Another issue you may have to deal with is shrinkage. Once you wet them down they most likely will shrink. We thought we could wash our nylon upholstery (which shouldn't shrink) then use it for patterns because it was in good shape, just faded & really dirty...NOPE they shrank and disintegrated.

Cushions

Unless you go with the "spray paint" method zduke suggested, I'm afraid you'd run into the same issues. BTW, our upholstery was 38 years old at the time...different than yours, I know the flowery type you're talking about, but I think the issues will still be the same.

Shari
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Old 03-07-2004, 07:03 PM   #7
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TY for your info Shari

And great job on your cushions. May I be so bold as to ask you what the reupholstery cost?
Thanks,
Rog
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Old 03-07-2004, 07:24 PM   #8
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No problem Roger...

Being that I am an Interior Designer...I am exposed to a lot of expensive fabrics...this one happened to be one on the upper end! The fabric I purchased at my cost which was $69 per yard, other suitable heavy-duty fabrics can run about $9-15 per yard. That being said, for the Gaucho it was $380 for the fabric (yikes!!! I have expensive taste) and $434 for the labor and new foam. The dinette was a separate project & cost a bit more, because there are more pieces.

I don't regret the money spent we love it and it's worn very well in the two years (approx. 70 nights) we've spent with it.

Shari
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Old 03-08-2004, 12:10 AM   #9
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Upholstery and Drapes

If you can sew any at all. Do it for you self. Even if you have to buy a new machine it will pay for it self after this one job.

I bargain shopped for my material. It cost me $100.00 cdn for my drapes. Appose to the quotes I found on this fourm for about $600.00 us.

It cost me $200.00 cdn for my upholstery. That was zippers piping, etc. Appose to some rediculious quotes I got around town. My orginial airstream upholstery. is was not orginial with the airstream. The pervious owner had them replaced about 12 years ago. They are in mint condition. I just like the floweral print. I will put them away. May consider selling them. The before pictures of the upholstery can be seen in my photo album

This is what my new upholstery and drapes look like. remember all self made. The complete trailer cost me $300.00 cdn. for all the windows and the fwd dinnette and the rear sofa.
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Old 03-08-2004, 12:28 AM   #10
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very nice photo Herritt

You just gotta love those tradewinds. I owned a '73 but it was a bit long for my needs so I sold it to buy the Caravel.
I wish I could sew but it's just not what guys normally do, although Rosey Greer (former LA Rams player) used needlepoint as a hobby.
My stepdaughter has a fancy sewing machine with all the bells and whistles. Hmm, maybe I should cozy up to her.
Thanks for the idea.

Rog
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Old 03-08-2004, 06:28 AM   #11
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Roger,

Since you are in Michigan I will offer some free advice. Wait until the Airstream store for international opens in Lansing. They sell off the rolls of fabric for discontinued interiors at 4-5 bucks a yard. I helped some folks measure for redoing their dinette and they purchased 20 yards of this really nice tapestry fabric for 4 bucks a yard. The did not need that much bit it was all the right colors and the price could not be beat.
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Old 03-08-2004, 06:41 AM   #12
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Tried to Dye

Disintergrated to the point I had to shovel the remnants out of the washing machine.

Smily
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Old 03-08-2004, 07:04 AM   #13
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Re: AS store in Lansing

That's great news Brett, first I've heard of it. Are we talking a full service Airstream store? Do you know when they plan to open?
The PO left some matching fabric in the trailer but not nearly enough for all 8 cushions.

Rog
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Old 03-08-2004, 07:33 AM   #14
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Hi Rog;

Did I see you say sewing is just not a guy thing

Did you know that the first sewers on earth were men! - they sewed the clothes to go on their women But not before they fashioned something for themselves out of wolleymamouth to keep warm.

Come up a bit further in our evolution and the best sewers where the saddle makers of the wild west- hmmmm Men too...

Go for it Rog - if you know your way around a big ol'e engine surely you could tackle a little 1/32 HP with a heck of a lot of torq sewing machine with a precision gas peddle .

Seriously - my Hubbie did not know how to do a stitch in his life - but his goalie equipment needed a bit of help one day - too smelly for my help - no way!!! - so he doned the needle. I then showed him how to use the sewing machine - and he just presses that "gas peddle" and all the holes are quickly sewn up in his long joins.

Okay so I have to thread the machine for him - no big deal. He is than better than I with a staple gun when it comes to upholstering so we work well as a team.

I'm getting all my cushions deep steam cleaned today - keep your fingers crossed - so we will see if they hold up to that. - Really want to get the mold out- So we will see if we will be going all new

Tyr your hand at a small cushion first Rog - see how you do -you just might surprise yourself.

SPK
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