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I am wondering if we have any professional upholstery people here at steves I am 38 and would like a career change so some quick questions
1. whats the best training available
2. where do you get it
 

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Hello,

Your post caught my attn. and I think it is important to all. This is a though worker trade to get in to. I have done some of my own work but found the skill level it takes is like nothing else except paint. At 38 yrs. old I would say get to know some local guys, working for free, on your off hrs. keep your regular job and with an open mind consider even if they pay you something consider it a gift of knowledge. and if you want to pursue this as a career which I believe anything is possible. The benefits of friends I have known paid off tremendously. Again you have to have to learn the trade be committed to work on any car.not just NOVAS and repeating this is a very lucrative Business. With total COMMITMENT....

Ross
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Ross, there isn't any local people doing it. and like you said I wouldn't just work on NOVAS. I Believe I can learn to do anything, I just need some guidance as to wee to get the information on learning.
 

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I don't know how your funds are, but in the early seventies. I picked up an old Sewing Machine found scrap material and just went for it, Like you said learning is what it's all about. check out your local craigslist or thrift shops for something that will sew Leather, Naugahyde and go for it on your own, go to the library. learn, learn,learn it will pay off. You do seem committed GO for it.

Ross
 

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great advice, we'll see how it goes, I have a 3 car garagethat should be making me some money:yes:
 

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i am just getting started in this myself, took a local class from an upholsterer last year (class was ok, should have focused much more on sewing) anyway I am just finishing up my first interior (my car of course) I would agree with everything said previously, takes time to build skills but practice an learning from others (if they will share, many wont as this is their bread and butter) that can be disappointing but I understand it. Also be aware that this is not necessarily hard work but it is tedious (i say that after just spending the last couple days/evenings after work sewing up my two bucket seats in leather... http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2621883400102723277OnQesd?vhost=rides

whew, glad they are done

one thing you wont want to overlook is the design process, that and sewing are what i seem to be spending lots of time on right now. I have a full time career in computers but would like to get good enough at this to at least be able to make some extra cash.

look into your local area community colleges and see if they offer a summer class. there are also a couple good books out (i'll see if i can dig em up and post em ) that will guide ya along. if you are looking for a machine the older (japanese made - not chinese/taiwanese) consews are good. if you go big and buy a Pfaff, just remember that parts cost $$$ (ask me how i know). if you buy a machine used (craigslist etc) make sure whoever sells it sews some stuff in your presence and carefully check out the stitches (make sure it is not skipping stitches etc - if so could be a timing or hook issue) you will find trips to the repair shop costly so if you can buy used even from a sewing machine shop you may be better off. The guys at industrial sewing systems in Janesville Wisconsin are honest and great at what they do.

If I can be of any help let me know, also on the hotrodders bulletin board there is an awesome upholstery guy that is very helpful and he has some 30+ years experience. Great guy his name is Dan.

Best Wishes
 

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Thank you for your input, I will take all i can get, after 12 active duty years in the military I know the only stupid question is the one not asked, and if you honestly asking a question someone will guide you to an answer. the books would be a great help if you find them.Your seats look really nice by the way
 

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Basic skills

Can be had by just jumping and taking apart seats and trying to duplicate them Or other interior parts for that matter.

Having said that, I did part time work for about a year as an upholstery shop gofer/clean-up guy. I did delivery and teardown of furniture and fabric searching of inventory along with cleanup.

At that time my wife did the sewing of the material and I did the major part of the fabric installation on seats. I guess it all depends on how far you want to carry it? Do a few of your own and offer to do others. if you are personable and do good work, word will get out! Just like any business, you need to get started and if you like it, you will do fine.
 

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here are the books i mentioned earlier ( Pulled from alan horvaths site ) - i would agree with his comments regarding the books..

Custom Auto Interiors - by Don Taylor & Ron Mangus
If you want to know the procedure for making your own door panels or specialty interior panels, this book will rock your socks off with all the how-to stuff! From planning your interior, to making patterns, armrests, headliners, carpets, building your own seats and more! This is one book you'll keep reading!

Automotive Upholstery Handbook - by Don Taylor
This one covers all the basics involved ... from tools of the trade, to learning to sew ... and shows how to make and install bench seat covers, bucket seats, vinyl tops, Sim-con tops, Landau tops, Convertible tops, headliners, door panels and carpets, and a whole lot more. I like the book above most, but this one is worth having for the explanation of tools and basic sewing skills.
 

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We have a few interior guys here. Shannon (Hot Rod) has done a couple of cars for members of the site. He is in Alexander City, ALA (256) 329-9543. He might be able to give you some insight on getting started.

Here is Shannons user profile​




Tommy :)
 
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