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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I took some measurements (with little extra to account for the folds under the seams) of 1984 US built Mk1 Rabbit Gti seats along with a bunch of pictures so that we can get an idea of how much material is needed to reupholster the front seats. Maybe someone with experience can chime in on how much overage will be needed and how much waste if any to expect.

OEM Material Summary: Front Seats you need 4 yards fabric, 2 yards vinyl. Rear is additional 2 yards fabric (thanks for confirming Eric!)

Seat back and bottom can be separated. Bottom bolsters can be unbolted for repair or replacement (junkyard scavenger tip- passenger seat bolsters can be harvested and used on the driver seat!)

Original Gti seat

The NOS original fabric is 54" wide (plus about 1" of edge seam on each side). 9" solid, 9" stripe, 18" solid, 9" stripe and then 9" solid.







Pieces I'm measuring from junkyard harvest
Bottom cushion and bolster


Top cushion is sewn in pretty extensively (note the extra material where I cut- seat was bent up so I took what was usable)
r

Bolster (I'm assuming measurements are same on each side)- this material is from a 1984 marked C&A 095 84


Bolster inside fabric- widest part is about 11"


Bolster fabric longest appox. 21"


Vinyl bolster outside length- we'll call it 30"


Vinyl Bolster height is about ?"
---need pic again---

Seat bottom
Fabric length is about 26 1/2"


Fabric width is about 17"


Vinyl @ front edge- approx 15" wide


Vinyl @ Front edge approx 4"


bottom Vinyl @ rear edge is approx. 15" w x 5" l



Vinyl bottom sides are ea. approx. 22" x 7"



Seat Back
Center approx 19"



Top center cushion width approx 16"


Top of seat section width approx. 19" x 10”L (vertical grain)


Widest part of upper bolsters (notice each side piece had part of the stripes on it) approx 8 1/2" & the height bolster at the longest is approx 26"


Vinyl Back height approx 24"


Back Vinyl width- approx 20 1/2"


Vinyl side height- approx 21"


Side upper bolster Width- approx 7"


Headrest


Front height-approx. 9"
Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18 Show Content


Back height approx 10 1/2"

Back width- approx 12"

Top section side width 4 1/2"

Top Length- about 24 1/2"


Notes:
In the past I have seen lower bolsters with some stripe material and as noted above the upper side bolsters have stripe material hidden on the inside.

There are likely some strategic cuts that need to take place in order to use the material most efficiently. Someone with a CAD mind might be able to do this and create a template?
Hope this is helpful to others as we see more folks restoring seats with NOS material when found. I'm still hunting!:beer:
Hoffa
 

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When I’ve seen upholsterers at work, they’re going to use your existing seat covers, as the templates. All seams will be carefully taken apart and they’ll use chalk(?) to mark folds, seams etc.

These scavenged panels will be laid out on your material of choice, marked out, then cut out. Seems it’s the best way to minimize waste.

Wish I didn’t miss out on the blue....

-Todd
 

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I've reupholstered seats before and it's best to use the old pieces as templates as ToddA1 mentioned. You can measure as carefully as you can but you always end up short. Especially since you're needing to follow the design of the fabric.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks I’m totally with you on how should be done!:thumbup: I’m trying to get to an estimate in advance how much material is needed to redo 2 front seats comfortably without tearing apart what I have any further so someone can buy the appropriate amount to bring to an upholsterer for the job. Is it 2, 3 or 4 yards...working on the math now.
Hoffa
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
OK if I did this all correct I come up with approx. 3.5 yards of the fabric to do a pair of front seats including the bolsters and headrests and being super efficient. To be safe then 4 yards. That’s more than I was expecting because of all the vertical grain straight blue in the bolsters and 2 wide top sections.

Vinyl total is x yards... anybody know what size the original (or aftermarket) vinyl comes in? Is it 54" like the fabric?
Piping total is xx”
Hoffa
 

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I'm currently having new front and rear seat covers made for my Gti project. My path may be a little different than others but feel free to use this as a benchmark for your project. Since the factory original red/blue stripped fabric is difficult to find, I chose to use a black tweed fabric for the bolsters and seat backs, and modern VW Mk6 plaid for the seat inserts only (front seats only). I took the seats to my upholsterer and he told me to buy 8 yards of the black tweed (54 inch wide bolt), and 1 meter of the plaid front seat insert fabric (60 inch wide bolt). I personally think 8 yards is of the black tweed is excessive but I took the advice of the professional that's been doing upholstery work for 40 years. The cost of the black tweed was $15/yard and the plaid insert fabric cost was $85/meter.

In order to reduce the labor cost, the upholsterer agreed to allow me to remove the seat covers myself. I delivered them to him to use as templates and to build/sew the new covers. I'm going to recover and hog ring the covers to the seat structure myself. I estimate labor to cost me around $400 for the front and rear seats. I'll post photos, actual fabric usage and final costs when the seats are complete.
 

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The seat above is what you end up with using the lower rear seat cloth, and is a lot better than a ripped up seat but has sme incorrect stitching that betrays the source.

I have a spare front lower cushion that uses the upper cloth from the rear seat. It still has the small wedges stitched out near the front of the bolster, but it doesn't have the transverse stitch line like the one above. The effect is a bit closer to OEM, so if you can get the upper section of a rear seat, I think that's better.
 

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Here is the start of a bolster. The double white line is the seam allowance, the inside line being the stitch line of the original pattern and where this will also be sewn.


Here is the cloth half. Upper double line is same as above, bottom double line is folded over the hog ring wire
 

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MK 1 Blue and Red Fabric

Just got the invoice for my order, SMS is making it now and I couldn't be happier.

350 S. Redwood St. Canby, OR 97013 US (503) 263-3535

In case you are one of the people that has also been begging for it for 2 years. Also a huge thanks to the gentleman that had a 1 inch strip from the last bolt of OEM in existence that SMS used to recreate it (you know who you are).

Regards,

John
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow please share with pics when you get it in. Did they charge you $110 or $120/yd?
Hoffa

Just got the invoice for my order, SMS is making it now and I couldn't be happier.

350 S. Redwood St. Canby, OR 97013 US (503) 263-3535

In case you are one of the people that has also been begging for it for 2 years. Also a huge thanks to the gentleman that had a 1 inch strip from the last bolt of OEM in existence that SMS used to recreate it (you know who you are).

Regards,

John
 

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Huh? I have the last two yards of the original VW fabric that SMS had. Got it after Derek Spratt nearly used it all up. Some folks on this thread knew about that too. Not sure why I'm writing this only to say SMS knows I'm their last buyer and I would have gladly sent it back if that meant there'd be more for all of us. Ce la vie. Glad to see you guys will be able to move on with your projects. Maybe that'll motivate me to finally get my seats done!
 
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