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Bringing Old Life to New Leather

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This 1949 Riley Roadster seat for me for some reason produced a mental block. Maybe it was the paradox that I'm usually trying to make old worn leather look better and in this case it's the other way around. It's been an off and on again 6 month thing with it sitting in the corner of my shop when I hit the wall with how to approach it. Then LOTS of other work came pouring in and, well, you know the story. It's near the end of the year now and I'm pushing to empty the factory of as many projects as possible and this seat whispered to me that it wanted to be completed.
As far as what is original, only the back lumbar pleated section was salvageable. Everything else needed replacement with new leather. I just wasn't prepared to go there with fixing the existing leather in the condition it was in. It was a dialogue with the owner who really wanted all original as it is one of only 500 ever made. I assured him it would look old but be much more comfortable than sitting on old cardboard. Many thanks to Chris Lawler of Leather Care Los Angeles for advice from a 40+ year veteran of the trade. You are a wordsmith when coaching others in your craft!


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