I reupholstered a old beat up saddle to compliment a custom low maintenance chocolate themed bike i made. the top has segments similar to a chocolate bar and purple stitching to match the brand colour. i also wanted high water resistance to match the low maintenance idea.
Step 1: Materials and Tools Used
- silk thread for embroidery
- glue that dries flexible
- heavy sewing needle
- small drill bit
- exterior gloss paint
- allen key and screwdriver
- cotton type cloth, from a shopping bag
- sand paper ,belt sander optional
- sharp craft knife
- zip tie
- paint brush
Step 2: Doner Saddle
quite comfortable but looks terrible, its good idea to do this kind of thing to a saddle that was half decent when new, iv tried redoing cheap saddles and its really disappointing when the rails snap off something id put a fair bit of effort into shaping and covering in suede.
Step 3: Remove Screws
some saddles have a plastic trim covering the edges underneath, the big section of this one loops around the rails, removing the rails is almost as difficult as putting them back, bending the plastic out the way and holding it with a zip tie is much easier
Step 4: Pry and Pull Out Staples
Step 5: Remove Crusty Cover
Step 6: Shape Mishaped Foam
with sandpaper on a flat surface moving the saddle around was making some progress, a belt sander makes really fast progress.
Step 7: Cut Grooves
cut choco theme grooves , i tried at first with a large soldering iron but the foam would not melt.
Step 8: Drill Holes
my holes are between 10 and 15 mm apart, i made adjustments to make threading a needle through possible without getting trapped by the rails and their mounting points.
Step 9: Glue on Cloth and Discreet Stitch
plenty of glue rubbed into the foam. (some glues dissolve foam , make a test if not sure) then the cotton is stretched over and folded round the edges, press the cloth into the grooves of the seat. then adjust the edges so there are no creases, work quickly so the glue stays tacky . add discreet stitches on nose and concave edges to avoid baggyness.
Step 10: Paint It Thrice
exterior gloss paint works well and resists weather. the first coat should be scrubbed into the cloth with the brush. extra layers added just as the previous becomes less wet and more tacky, the cloth and paint bond to become a composite material. complete drying takes some time.
i used this technique on a workshop arm rest and it lasted well.
i heard that this technique was first used in Victorian or Edwardian kitchens as a floor coating
Step 11: Start Stitching
as soon as the paint is touch dry you should start, too wet and it will be messy, too dry and it will be difficult to find the holes and push the needle through..
i did mine in about 5 sections of thread, the thread gets a little grubby going through nearly wet paint. as soon as it starts to look nasty cut a new piece join it and carry on.
using three loops makes it look strong and it also covers the discreet stitching done in an earlier step.
think i got through about 10m of thread for this.
Step 12: Replace the Screws and Trim
give it at least a couple of days in a warm room before trying it out in your favourite white trousers .
will add a picture of it on the bike soon.
thanks for reading ,i hope you enjoyed it, feel free to comment and vote..