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Old 14-09-2007, 15:11   #1
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Upholstery Question

we are getting ready to redo the saloon cushions. And we have decided to go with the faux leather product. My question is concerning material weight. One fabric says it is 20 oz per yd. the other says it is 7 oz per yd. The 7 oz material is supposedly the better of the two. So what does the weight mean? I know it is the weight of the material, but does it have anything to do with the quality? One is "Dura Touch" by nautolex, the other is "Destiny" by Magilite, (which is the material used by "hinckley" so I assume it to be quality material).
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Old 14-09-2007, 20:52   #2
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Having just completed the entire interior in a faux leather I really can't think of a better product than Ultra Leather "Brisa". It breathes, feels like the best and softest leather and can be cleaned with spray cleaner. These are the things you really want in boat upholstery!

The weight is a poor substitute for the actual material. The weight is after all the weight. Cotton is heavy but maybe the worst choice possible. I would go for the "double rub count". This is how well it will wear. No one needs to care about weight as it means little.

The other approach is to buy something you just like and then add hideously ugly seat covers. Then you can sit on cheap and ugly material but be able to sell the boat with beautiful upholstery for the new owner. It sort of reminds me of a childhood friend whose mother covered all the living room furniture in plastic and never took the plastic off.

Get the best and toughest material you can afford and spend many years enjoying the process of wearing it out! The really good stuff should take 15 years of serious use. This is what life is all about.
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Old 15-09-2007, 05:57   #3
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If we decide to cruise on our 34 (instead of buying something larger) I'm going to do the saloon also. Where are you buying the material? I've bought from Rockford Supply before but nothing in the past couple of years.

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Old 15-09-2007, 06:25   #4
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we are using the Nytek collection manufatured by "Magilite"
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Old 15-09-2007, 14:30   #5
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Ultraleather sources...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
Having just completed the entire interior in a faux leather I really can't think of a better product than Ultra Leather "Brisa".
I notice SailRite Kits has Ultraleather, without the "Brisa" moniker. Do you know if this is the same product?

I, too, need to replace the saloon cushions, and it's working its way up in my todo lists. I'm not sure if this is a job I'll do myself, since I have no experience working with foam, but I am kindof handy with a sewing machine. Is the expense of a pro upholsterer justified?
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Old 15-09-2007, 16:14   #6
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Quote:
Ultraleather, without the "Brisa" moniker.
Ultraleather and Ultrasuede are trademark names. Within each of these two "families of material" there are different groups of products that each come in different colors and or textures. Brisa is the only one that breathes and for us the only group that had the right color we wanted. They all share the durability but there are differences in look and feel. I would get some samples to tell what you like best.

For the foam I think it works best to add a layer of memory foam over a high density foam. The mixture gives a firm seat that gives. It's critical if you expect to sleep on top of it too.

As far as the expense of of using a pro to do the job. It just depends on if you want a great job or not. If you've not done upholstery you might want to learn with cheap fabric. This stuff is on the higher end of the cost range but for quality and durability you'll pay more. Some of the nicer Sunbrella weave patterns run $30 - $40 / yard. This stuff is considerably more. Even using cheap stuff on the back side we used 13 yards with not enough waste to make a pot holder. Foam has gotten very expensive with oil prices up too. You don't have to use a boat Pro as most any furniture Pro can do this work just as well if you can get them to come to the boat and measure. A lot of boat Pros will have the ability to help you design foam cushions from layers to get the right results too. You are going to spend a lot of money on just fabric and foam. The mistakes are very expensive. A Pro probably won't make any but if they do they will be on the hook not you. Done well this could be the last time it ever has to be done. I would predict 18 years of life from liveaboards with the premium materials.

If you wanted to try it just buy some dirt cheap foam and make a square cushion of a specific predetermined size and see how exact you can get. You need a zipper so you can stuff it with the precut foam. After you make a few you may be good enough but don't learn with the real materials. It's not as easy as it may first appear to layout and cut with very little waste.
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Old 15-09-2007, 17:41   #7
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Hours?

Could anyone comment on the number of hours necessary to sew the soft furnishings for a boat?

I can see how it would be better to use a professional on a small job, but I have to do a complete 44' boat and labour rates in Oz are out of sight.
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Old 15-09-2007, 18:05   #8
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we have gotten three bids, labor only, for our saloon, which consists of three seats and backs, all are approx. 5' long and about 20" wide. about 12 yards of material. Two quotes were in the $400-450 range. The third one was $1800.00
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Old 15-09-2007, 22:35   #9
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Estimating times...

Assuming $50 per hour they are working on from 9 to 36 hours, or from 1 to 3 hours per yard...
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Old 16-09-2007, 07:34   #10
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Assuming $50 per hour they are working on from 9 to 36 hours, or from 1 to 3 hours per yard...
or in our case, discounting the 1800. bid, it is about $75.00 per cushion
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Old 29-06-2009, 21:29   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
Having just completed the entire interior in a faux leather I really can't think of a better product than Ultra Leather "Brisa". It breathes, feels like the best and softest leather and can be cleaned with spray cleaner. These are the things you really want in boat upholstery!

The weight is a poor substitute for the actual material. The weight is after all the weight. Cotton is heavy but maybe the worst choice possible. I would go for the "double rub count". This is how well it will wear. No one needs to care about weight as it means little.

The other approach is to buy something you just like and then add hideously ugly seat covers. Then you can sit on cheap and ugly material but be able to sell the boat with beautiful upholstery for the new owner. It sort of reminds me of a childhood friend whose mother covered all the living room furniture in plastic and never took the plastic off.

Get the best and toughest material you can afford and spend many years enjoying the process of wearing it out! The really good stuff should take 15 years of serious use. This is what life is all about.
Paul,
How is the Ultra Leather "Brisa" holding up?
I also noticed there are a couple of different breeds of Brisa. Which one did you use? Any complaints and have you come across a better product?
I'd be very interested.

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Old 30-06-2009, 01:25   #12
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Just had ours done. My mom is an interior designer so got some serious discounts on her usual upholstery guy's labour cost.

$1100 Cdn for labour + foam (super duper 10 year life foam - very costly). This was for a large L shaped settee and a bench seat w/o a back.

Mom's gift to us was the ultrasuede fabric. I am a believer. We had a kid party aboard and the blue tinted icing (that dyed my fingers blue) wiped off with a damp cloth...
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Old 30-06-2009, 04:58   #13
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The Brisa is holding up well. It cleans easily. I'll agree with Evan on the foam. Unless you spend the money for good quality foam it really is unimportant what fabric you use. A poor foam cushion gets worse in a few short years and won't outlast the fabric.

There are a wide variety of "Ultra" products. Note there is only one company for all the Ultra products. Each product has a variety of colors and textures. The Brisa happens to be the only breathable one (at the time we got it). You can do as well wit the others if you make the bottoms of another material. We even did that since it took 14 yards. It would have been higher had we used it for bottoms as well as tops and sides.
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Old 30-06-2009, 17:33   #14
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Should different material be used for a berth?

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Old 30-06-2009, 18:09   #15
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Quote:
Would different material be used for a berth?
You need some beathability in a berths but the same could be said of all cushions. They used to use waterproof bottom material in berths but it just traps the moisture. If the material is waterproof on the surface you'll wake up wet. If the material breaths well it won't condense on the bottom or top. You could expect some moisture to accumulate as you sleep so how it can get out is the key. It's why traditional inner spring mattresses rust quickly on a boat.

The best I've found is 6 inches of quality foam under 2 inches of memory foam with a breathable cover and bottom. It's a slightly firm sleeping mattress but so far no condensation issues. This sits over a varnished wood surface. You'll get condensation on that if there is a problem with venting and we don't.

You use to be able to buy very nice closed cell foam. You can't get it any more as the one plant that made it burned to the ground. The stuff you get now is hard as a rock. The old good closed cell was a full 2 inches thick and that slept well if you had enough material over it. More like the high quality wrestling mats used in college and high school. A little firmer than I would choose today but some years ago I slept well all night. The key is the quality of the foam first as far as sleeping. Cheap foam flattens quickly when you sleep on it in a few years - honest.

If you use expensive material to cover the foam you can still expect to pay more for the foam than the material. Foam prices are through the roof these days and follow the oil market prices close. There really are no cheap deal unless you luck into a close out or some odd situation. You can layer foam to get the feel you want and it is no more expensive to do that. A little memory foam over good firm foam will sit and sleep exceptionally well for a long long time. It can feel as luxurious as anything else.

The custom inner spring boat mattresses are nice too. They use a stainless spring so the rust is not the issue expected using normal mattress springs. That will sleep more as you do on land. They are custom made so they cost a bit more too.

It comes down to how well you sleep. At 30 I could sleep on a pile of bowling balls. Now it's not so easy. The older you get the harder it is to sleep well. Sleeping well matters a whole lot all the time.
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