Thursday, August 3, 2017

Interior Modernization Project, Part 12. Stitching Length and some Completed Leather Parts

On a visit to my Lexus dealer back in late August last year during this leather interior project, I decided to see how large the stitching was on their cars. In particular, the GS-F. Luckily they have an orange one that hasn't sold for some reason so I climbed in and measured with my new digital micrometer.

So Lexus has a single line of 4mm stitches - this stitching is more visual than functional I bet
Not only did I report these findings to Cesar, I also told him that one of my inspirations for this project was this photo on Speedhunters:

In response, Cesar sent me photos of not just some more parts he had done - the glove box, airbag lid and the ignition key surround - but he also had some samples of 3mm and 4mm stitching.

As before, I'll let the photos do the talking:
First, he creates a mold to fit where the latch is
Using a weight, he uses the mold to stretch the leather to fit the glove box door
That is, he makes sure that the leather wraps into the latch nicely
You can see the outline clearly here
Then it's just a matter of lining it all up, gluing, and using clips, while using the mold to ensure the square hold stays square
Using clips to hold the leather in place as it dries

That is gorgeous!
If you remember from this prior post, the glovebox was one of the first parts Cesar fixed up! I guess he wanted to start with something familiar and which WASN'T easy...

Here is the airbag flap - another part that had to be repaired:
Can't really tell from this photo, but upon closer inspection...
Cesar said he had to special order the metal mold to imprint this.
Close-Up. Very nice. Looks OEM! But that is real leather!
You can see how the leather was stretched over and glued.
Finally, the ignition key surround.
Look closely and you can see yes it's real leather...
Another angle
Again you can see the intricate work here. And how it was folded over and glued.
As I mentioned above, Cesar also asked me which stitch length I preferred - 3mm or 4mm.  He also sent me the following photos to help me decide:
Side by side comparison on the glovebox surround
This is 3mm
And this is 4mm on the right.
But I noticed something - the gap between the stitches looked fairly large. At this rate, I would want the 4mm because the gap is proportionally shorter compared to the 3mm.

Cesar followed up in an email saying that I had "keen eyes" as I had spotted stitching on the "closing sewing" where he had used a 90-14 needle, then on the "oversewing" he had used a 120-19 needle. However, on the actual project, he said he would use a 110-18 needle, and would send me photos later to show the difference.

Here are those photos:
3mm stitching, with 110-18 needle
4mm stitching, with 110-18 needle
Side by side comparison, 3mm on top
As how it would look on the gauge cowl overhang. Here is the 4mm stitch.
And here is how the 3mm stitching would look on the gauge cowl overhang.
Cesar recommended 3mm, but I was not so sure. It's hard to tell from photos of other cars, and nowhere could I find anything about what the OEMs use. I asked around, but in the end I had to make a I went with the 3mm. I hope that this is the right decision....what do you guys think?


Anonymous said...


I think with the closer spacing of the stitches, the 3mm stitch length works better. If you were going with the wider spacing, the 4mm looks better as you had mentioned. Works better proportionally.

I think 3mm and tighter gaps was the right call.

I truly appreciate your fanaticism when it comes to this build. I think few people find a "forever" car that they plan to always keep where time/money is no object. The end goal is perfection in your eyes, whatever time/financial commitment that takes. For me that'll hopefully be a 240z build at some point.

Keep up the updates, I love reading these.

Anonymous said...

i like the 4mm stitching, with 110-18 needle

but dont be too anal, it will look fantastic in the end.

this is going to look amazing, keep the updates coming!

Anonymous said...

more updates please!