story and photos by derek mccallister

Picture
Maybe I was an Italian shoe cobbler in my previous life, but I just love working with the original skin on the steering that originally came from the factory. Rather than replace the worn leather on a steering wheel, I found a way to renew it. 
Picture
Now, I didn’t use any new leather on this steering wheel, instead I gave it a treatment to moisturize it to bring that old, supple feeling back.  This particular steering wheel was beginning to fade, becoming dry, and starting to “rub” in places. It was also getting that nasty, “sticky leather” feeling that some older wheels get when they are approaching the point of ruination.  As if that’s not enough, there was no thread left on the steering wheel to hold the leather together, it totally disintegrated.  It really was a sad state of affairs.
Picture
So with a brief scuff, a bunch of several different cleaners that I prefer, and some good conditioner, the wheel is now back to where I would like it.  I also re-stitched it with a strong and light chocolate colored thread which I feel goes quite well with the rest of the interior.  The nice thing about this process is that the original leather is preserved for that particular car.  
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
If you don’t care for that “old pair of jeans” feel of a reconditioned steering wheel, I can also do a complete restoration for those who prefer the feel of a brand-spanking new hide to wrap their hands around. Either way, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the results for many years to come. 

Check out some of projects on my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/PerfezioneEuropeanCustoms 
Picture
 


Comments

bronto
01/14/2014 12:43

Where do you get the thread, and what is the pattern for the stitching? I restitched my wheel a couple of years ago. It's OK but not like original. I used leather saddle thread and it's too thick. The stitching pattern I used makes a high seam that's not right.

Reply
01/14/2014 12:58

Saddle thread is incredibly thick. I've found that bonded nylon and kevlar both work quite well. Somewhere in the ballpark of size 46, 69 and 92 is a happy medium depending on the stitching, strength and depth you prefer. I have yet to find any colors besides yellow for Kevlar. Bonded nylon can come in a wide variety of colors and can be found at any reputable textile shop as it is commonly used for stitching and upholstery.

Reply
01/14/2014 13:00

Also, to answer the above as well, the pattern used on the steering wheel above is a cross stitch pattern.

Reply
01/14/2014 18:57

EXCELLENT work D-man!!!

Reply

Your comment will be posted after it is approved.


Leave a Reply