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Leather Interior from Victoria British

Started by indianal, February 09, 2009, 12:00:09 PM

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Am wondering about member's experience with the leather interior kits from Victoria British. I had a bunch of restoration work done on my '72 MGB back a few years ago (included body panels as well as new interior) that included the leather kit mentioned above. Although it has been several years, the car has been driven very minimally) less than 500 miles per year) and therefore sat in very little. The issue I have is with the dye (biscuit color) coming off the seat cushions. A year ago last fall, I was cleaning the passenger seat with some soap and water and an area about the size of a dime became white. It turns out the dye came off. After inspection, it looks like the dye is not actually impregnated into the leather but just a surface coat. I should have complained back then but didn't. I ended up having a professional leather repair guy redye that area. Fortunately, he did a great job with the match. When I went to store the car this past fall, I noticed (without any cleaning) that some small white spots are appearing on the driver's side cushion. Now it appears the dye is coming off on this seat. Has anyone else experienced this? I have since learned that some suppliers actually spray the dye on. I wonder if this is the case here.  Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.


I have really only heard about this happening with the very cheap aftermarket suppliers and some other problems with the vinyl being too thin, ripping easily on installation even on vinyl side-and-back/leather facsia upholstery.  V-B had dropped selling a budget vinyl seat upholstery kit a while ago, and, having seen a few, I suspect it was for that reason. 

At this point, V-B might still be agreeable to looking at and/or helping you with the problem, especially if they've had a few compaints.  Like most of the components sold by the various catalogs, leather seats are done by contractors and there are many out there bidding the business.  A bad batch or supplier order can always occur and it could ruin the catalog's and supplier's reputations if not properly addressed.  I would expect most suppliers of premium components to test the dyes for colorfastness and wear characteristics themselves, but this can get very expensive.

If no help is forthcoming and you want to save your seats, you may want to have them professionally refinished.  This too can be expensive, but will be less costly than replacement, especially if they do the repairs with the covers on the frames. 

Another alternative is that SEM and Duplicolor make speialty spray finishes for upholstery that I have used on both vinyl and leather that holds up very well to wear, if done correctly.  The key, like all paint, is preparation.  I tended to clean everything with laquer thinner first, often removing the original finish immediately prior to painting and then did this on a warm day in the most dust-free enviroment I could find.  The results were pretty good and it worked better on leather than vinyl because of the porousity of the hides.   

I hope that helps you.  Good luck and keep us posted on what happens.

Art Isaacs
AMGBA Tech Staff


Thanks for your response and advice, Art. I am planning on taking this up with VB. Hopefully, they will help me out. Will let you know the outcome. Allan

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