Whether you’ve worn out your car’s seats or just looking for a custom fit, Dan Maffett is going to stitch together all you need to know about custom upholstery on MotorWeek’s “Your Drive.”

DAN MAFFETT: Hey guys. If you’ve been following our Maxton project, you can tell it’s coming along pretty well. One thing we haven’t done yet is the seats. The interior is the last piece of this puzzle. This is what’s left of our driver’s seat, and you can see we’ve got some problems. But, we got a guy that can fix it. Josh from Classic Canvas. Thanks for having us, man. Have you seen this kind of seat before?

JOSH LITTLETON: Yep, common all the time with the race car guys. Seats always last, so take this, get rid of this, make a new one out of black vinyl, make it look a lot better.

DAN MAFFETT: Oh, that’s awesome man. Well, let’s get into it and see how it works.

JOSH LITTLETON: Let’s get going.

DAN MAFFETT: So, you do this outer skin first and then you lay the seat cushion in and just make sure everything fits?

JOSH LITTLETON: So, then that’s this piece, just drops in to finish everything else. And you want it kind of snug because it just drops in there. And then it’ll attach in the back and then it’ll attach in the front.

DAN MAFFETT: So, you just clip out the hog rings so you can stretch it a little further, and then reinstall them.

JOSH LITTLETON: Yep. You have to remove those first ones are almost temporary to kind of locate the cover, and then as you get things finalized, you can go back and make those little micro adjustments.

JOSH LITTLETON: So basically, just the match marks here, making your alignment marks so you know where your pieces fit together, basically. So, we’re going to draw out where the, where we want it, because the old stuff wasn’t useable. And then by laying this out, we tack glue this in like it would be and we’ll go around and transfer all those marks to your top piece, and then the same thing on the sides. Everything gets transferred over.

DAN MAFFETT: So that is literally a map, so when you’re stitching it back together, even though they’re two convex and concave surfaces, the registration stays true.

JOSH LITTLETON: Give you those marks and that way you know where you need to be.

DAN MAFFETT: Now you’re laminating these two materials together. That’s just gluing them with adhesive and mating the two surfaces.

JOSH LITTLETON: Yep, so that way they’ll stay together, they won’t shift and create a wrinkle between the material and the foam, which is almost impossible to get out, and then we’re actually, we use a really low temp, cheap glue. We actually don’t want it to hold once the cover is installed, so the steam will break this bond and then they’ll actually, if there is a wrinkle, you can work it out later, where if you use the same glue that we would use normally, you wouldn’t be able to get it back apart.

So, we typically do across the inserts first, and then— and work, kind of work center out basically, as best as you can.

DAN MAFFETT: Is there a name for the style of stitch that you’re running across that?

JOSH LITTLETON: It would be like a standard pleat just sewn through, versus maybe like the tuck and roll which would have a blind stitch. You’d just see the fold in the material, but you wouldn’t see the stitch on top.

Then basically, we’re just going to glue, glue these folds down and cut up into about here. We’re going to split it— split it right about there, and then this will be the lip that goes over the front of the seat.

DAN MAFFETT: So, I don’t know about you, I kind of like the old one better!


DAN MAFFETT: I like to see my seat foam, make sure it’s still good.

JOSH LITTLETON: Make sure it’s still good, you can inspect your seat there, absolutely!

DAN MAFFETT: I mean, I’m not going to fit in these, but man, they look incredible.

JOSH LITTLETON: No, but they’ll be ready to go for whoever can, so, absolutely.

DAN MAFFETT: Well, Josh, I appreciate it very much man.

JOSH LITTLETON: Yup, thank you, thank you, I appreciate it.

DAN MAFFETT: Let you wrap up this other one. Guys if you have any questions or comments, hit us up right here, at MotorWeek.