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Old 04-10-10, 09:09 PM
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Saddle Recover-y

(sorry, I borrowed the subject from a fellow C&Ver's PM )

Since a lot of you seem to think I've done a pretty good job of recovering a saddle, and I had cause to go to Jo-Ann to look at vinyl I decided to look at ALL the vinyl and see which ones I thought, with my small amount of experience, might work for recovering saddles. The vinyl needs to be thin and flexible, the more of both the better. Some vinyls they have are very thick (hard to stretch and shape) and some are very thin (I'd question durability. Also, some of the vinyls have a more fibrous backing rather than the woven that what I used had and I don't think the contact adhesive would adhere real well. I think this backing would end up being a point of failure along the edges after a while.

Why Jo-Ann? 750+ stores in 47 states all with the same inventory. I can mention one of these vinyls and the majority of you (in the US anyway) can go look at them, feel them, and then either use these or have an idea of what to look for in other stores. Without further ado...

Marine Vinyl -

My store had white, beige, tan, grey, walnut, burgundy, red, navy, medium blue, and black. All these colors don't appear on the website. This vinyl has a more traditional slightly glossy finish and is sufficiently stretchy in both directions. The colors are more vibrant than the Whisper vinyl below. $12.99/yd.

Whisper Soft Vinyl -

Only white and black on the website, my store had white (slightly off white), black, burgundy (very slightly red), cinnamon (a mid brown), and cappuccin (a lighter tannish brown). This vinyl is very slightly thinner and very slightly more stretchy than the Marine vinyl. The colors are more muted and the finish the dull as would be leather. If you're looking for something that looks more like leather this is for you. $16.99/yd.

Then there are more specialty vinyls with textures and patterns.

Croc Topaz - No website link. Yeah, crocodile pattern if you'd like to go there, pretty convincing looking but I don;t know what it would feel like on a saddle. $29.99/yd

Tuscany (somethingorother, can't read my Sharpie writing on the back of the sample )
- This is the coolest vinyl I found at Jo-Ann. Supremely stretchy in both directions, moreso than any of the others. A nice darkish nutty brown, kind of like a new football but with a grain that looks something like this:

...but, at $34.99/yd I'd have to want it REALLY bad.

So anyway, take all that for what it's worth. Which ain't much.
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