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Old 23-02-2015, 21:26   #1
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UltraLeather or no?

I know this has been discussed here before but well it's a forum and we need something to talk about, and since we're about to reupholster the settees in our mail salon I figure it was worth another shot.

We found a nice local shop that does good work for a fair price. They don't specialize in boats and I'm sure do very little work for boat interiors. That being said when I spoke with the owner today he didn't have a very high opinion of the durability/quality of ultraleather.

Now the cushions we'll be recovering are 15 years old and covered in old 90's style fabric and other than being ugly as sin and started to tear have held up pretty well given their age and any marine vinyl will likely be better. That being said ultra isn't cheap and if we pay for it, we want to be sure it's worth the price.

I'm most interested in hearing from folks who have personal experience either owning or crewing on boats that have it. Thoughts? Would you do it again or opt for something else...and if so why?

We want something that will look nice, feel nice and be durable for the long haul.

Thanks in advance,
EB
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Old 23-02-2015, 21:30   #2
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Re: UltraLeather or no?

What experience does your local shop have with Ultraleather? I would think none as it is perfect for use on a boat.

We have Ultrasuede which is even better we think but as always the catch is an even higher price tag. It lasted 20 years.
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Old 24-02-2015, 09:52   #3
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Re: UltraLeather or no?

Ultrasuede and ultraleather are both extremely durable ("200,000 double rubs" on the abrasion resistance test). The European Ultrasuede Alcantera is used in many luxury car seats. Virtually all high end boat builders use them because the material looks so good and is so tolerant of boat life (UV, sunscreen, salt water, sand, etc)

I had also always used ultrasuede because I found early ultraleather sticky in warm weather and a little shiny. But my newest boat uses a new Ultraleather called "Brisas Distressed" that breathes and has no shine. I actually prefer the feel on my bare legs to utrasuede.

My biggest problem with Ultasuede was that -- while it is very stain resistant -- I managed to stain it (all it took was a 1/2 bottle of red wine and a crew too drunk to clean it up ). Every imaginable effort at cleaning made the stain almost invisible but not quite. Before switching to ultraleather cushions, I let red wine soak on a piece overnight. A damp rag with hand soap easily and completely removed it the next morning.

I would be cautious using a shop without boat cushion experience. A settee cushion is not very much like a sofa cushion. And almost any cushion looks good at first. It's after a year of use that they start to look shabby.
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Old 24-02-2015, 18:19   #4
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Re: UltraLeather or no?

Thanks Folks,

Carl, I'm confused. What's the big difference between Settee cushions and a sofa? What are the things you'd look for in someone doing similar work? The shop we've been talking to does plenty of boat work but due to location I don't think they do much large boat or dare I say it...yacht work

Anyway, I'm curious what your concerns would be.

Thanks,
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Old 24-02-2015, 19:20   #5
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Re: UltraLeather or no?

I just got thru recovering my saloon cushions with ultraleather. I did everything. It was easy to sew. Feels great. Expensive. My guess is that it cost me about 1000 with me doing all the labor
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Old 24-02-2015, 20:19   #6
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Re: UltraLeather or no?

Your guy might be fine it's just that his experience with sofa's won't be very applicable. Make sure that if you aren't happy with the results, he will keep working with you until you are satisfied even if it becomes a "money loser" for him.

Unlike a sofa, boat settee's have no springs underneath, usually have thinner cushions (4"-6"), have quite firm cushions that you don't "sink" into, should not feel like sleeping on a sofa, normally have piping, rarely have rectangular or uniform size cushions, and are constantly being pulled up to reach lockers.

I know that the cushion shop I use says the hardest trick is to get the fabric on large cushions (like for a berth) to not get baggy or wrinkle and for the edge piping to be straight.

Here's a video from Sailrite on making cockpit cushions. Presumably this is similar but simpler than settee cushions.

http://www.sailrite.com/How-to-Make-...Cushions-Video
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Old 25-02-2015, 20:59   #7
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Re: UltraLeather or no?

I replaced my cushions about 4 yrs ago with Ultrasuede. My kids have not been able to destroy or damage it. At the same time I had the dining room chairs in my home recovered with Ultraleather. They still look like new. I simply chose the suede for the boat as I did not want them uncomfortable in heat. Both have been great products.
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