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Problem - upholstery rippled edge

Mark Newton  Member

Hi all, I'm making a foam cushioned suede padding for a box.

1/4" ply backing, spray adhesive to ply and 1/2" foam, bond them together, trim the edge of the foam to match the edge of the ply. Spray adhesive to foam and bond the suede to it.

Here's where it gets tricky. I now need to tension the suede and wrap it over each edge and bond/staple it to the back of the board.

The problem I'm having is that the suede seams to stretch unevenly, creating a rippled edge however I try. I'm using canvass pliers also and still getting the same problem.

Surely there's a technique I'm missing.

Any takers?

8/25/14       #2: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...

Website: http://robinsonscustomwoodworking

While not claiming to be aprofessional upholstier I've done a bit over the years and never glued the fabric/ suede to the foam.
I believe this is going to be a problem pulling from both sides is going to give you the results your getting.
I start in the center on both long sides, then work to the end on one then the other, flip do the other side the same, then the ends, allowing a bit of room between the staples to pull things even after I tacked things temporarly in place.
You should be able to find a video on youtube on this I would hope

8/25/14       #3: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...
D Brown

I would not glue the fabric as it may stop you from pulling it even to smooth it out .
To ease the fabric especially around corners make some cuts underneath this will allow the fabric to relax and lay smoother .

8/26/14       #4: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...
David R Sochar Member

I have worked leather wet and it allows it to stretch and shrink to go around corners and such.

I do not know about suede, supposedly it is not supposed to get wet? Don't cows stand out in the rain?

I use Ultrasuede whenever anyone suggests suede. More colors, more available and easy to work with.

8/26/14       #5: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...
Mark Newton  Member

Hi David, thanks for the Ultrasuede tip. Where can I buy Ultrasuede from?

Turns out, green suede from Joanne's fabric is a nightmare to work with if you need to stretch and fix it into place. Their black or red suede doesn't ripple at all. Go figure. I just made a magicians close up pad with a black suede pad and it turned out fine.

8/26/14       #6: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...

Half inch is very thin. We use 1" and never glue the fabric ever.

8/26/14       #7: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...
Mark Newton  Member

This is what I'm making. FYI

View higher quality, full size image (3264 X 2448)

8/26/14       #8: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...
David R Sochar Member

Mark - Google it. I bought it from Hancock's Fabrics - a better fabric chain store with dressmaking supplies, etc. JoAnn's is the bottom feeder, my opinion. Nothing like having 20 or more colors to choose from.

Ultrasuede is fabric and is a bit fragile, as well as expensive. I would think it less costly than real suede, though. I use it for lining fine boxes. Years ago, I framed pictures professionally and we used it for matting and lining shadow boxes. A magician's pad would be fine. If I recall, it responds well to the steam from an iron, but does not like to be ironed.

8/26/14       #9: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...
rich c.

It's still not going to be easy even if you don't glue on the suede. It's going to take a very even tension. You might try to sand over the edge of the foam to get a more even looking radius.

8/28/14       #10: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...
Loren Woirhaye

Are you not using a muslin layer under the top upholstery layer?

That's the first thing to consider. It really smooths out the substrate, so to speak.

8/28/14       #11: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...
Loren Woirhaye

Also, you really need to use fabric rated for upholstery use to get good tension in upholstery applications. Any old ultra-suede will not do. You really need something with a robust weave to pull under tension. Go to an upholstery supplies dealer if in question. Just because a Fabric bought at Joanne's can be used to make cushions does not make it tensionable.

8/28/14       #12: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...
D Brown

Put a layer of Dacron batting on top of the foam enough to go around the edges , this will be much more forgiving and look better .

8/28/14       #13: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...
Mark Newton  Member

Heres an example of the problem...

View higher quality, full size image (3264 X 2448)

8/30/14       #14: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...

Why not hire an upholsterer? The ones I've worked with earn their money and do a great job. They might also have the fabric in stock you could just buy it from them.

The only fabric I've seen glued to the backer is for yacht headliners and it is typically a leather like product over very thin foam. Both spray glued.

8/30/14       #15: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...
Mark Newton  Member

The thing is... Magicians need a particular feel and texture so their magic tricks work. It's all about how cards, cups, coins etc move and bounce on the pad. The suede isn't allowed to pinch if you grip it so it needs to be glued to the foam.

9/1/14       #16: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...
Loren Woirhaye

I suggest gluing the top fabric, which is obviously problematic, to a layer of canvas. Canvas varies of course, but in general it stretches predominantly on the bias, and predictably. Other tough backings would serve as well - vinyl, leather, etc. If you have something on hand that might serve, give it a try. I hate working with spray adhesive but I think it's the most straightforward way to bond two fabrics together. I bought some very tough velveteen type stuff from my local upholstery shop not long ago at $17/yd I think. It's not ultrasuede, but it has a nice feel and it can take a lot of tension without distortion.

10/3/14       #17: Problem - upholstery rippled edge ...
Mark Newton  Member

Solution found. It's called INTERFACING. They sell it at Jo-Anne's fabric stores. It's used to bind to fabric to stabilize it. So no more stretching = no more ripple.

So I stuck the foam to the back board. Sprayed glue onto the foam and laid it onto the interfacing fabric. I stretched the interfacing over and round the edge and stapled it. NO RIPPLING because interfacing fabric doesn't stretch.

I sprayed the interfacing layer with spray glue and had the most easy and enjoyable time wrapping the suede. Neatest job yet.

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