Leather Retrimming From TopGaiters In The UK

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Leather Retrimming From TopGaiters In The UK

Postby Elanlover » Mon 30.06.2014, 13:51

In this thread, a discussion about a leather dash skin was started. The supplier is an eBay vendor called TopGaiters which is a company I've bought product from in the past and have been very happy with. The same can be said for several other LEC members as well as hundreds of other car owners (just Google TopGaiters and you'll see the countless positive comments about their products). They supply good quality product at very reasonable prices and their M100 inventory, which was limited to gear shift and handbrake gaiters at one time, has expanded dramatically to include door pockets, door card inserts, a dash skin, A pillar wraps, binnacle covers, sun visor wraps, arm rest covers and more (they do not do seats as yet but are planning to do so next year).

At one time, the Lotus retiming department at Hethel was happy to create custom leather retrim products for virtually any part of the car but no longer offers this service. This has meant that those wanting leather pieces have been left to fend for themselves, dealing with whatever custom shop they felt could do a good job. The results have been as varied as the pricing. I think we would all agree that there would be significant benefits in cost, consistency and quality to dealing with one supplier if they can do a good job. I've had some conversations with them and they are open to:

1) creating additional pieces that they have yet to stock
2) doing custom work (outside of their "stock" templates) at additional cost of course
3) group buy discounts albeit there won't be huge savings due to their already low prices

So, the purpose of this topic is twofold - to determine what other pieces we, as an owners group, would like them to make and to identify what pieces we might like to start a group buy on in the hopes we can get better prices. Now, their "stock" inventory consists of black leather with stitching in a variety of colours including red, blue, and yellow although I believe they supply other thread colours as well and possibly almost any other colour. So, if you're looking for something with some stitching to match the colour of your car its likely possible. I don't believe that the colour of stitching would constitute a "custom" order but we'd have to see how exotic a colour people would like. But, any group buys would likely have to be for their stock pieces or for a custom run with high quantities of exactly the same custom piece of course.

With regard to pieces they don't yet make but could this will involve someone in the UK close to their offices (located in New Malden in Southwest London) dropping off said pieces for them to make a template from (in other words a volunteer!). I can think of several pieces they could make but would like people's thoughts on other items as well.

1) top header rail (to match the A pillar wraps)
2) lower door card insert (currently carpet now)
3) lower B post inserts (currently carpet now)
4) rear bulkhead wall (currently carpet now) and possibly the map pocket on the wall as well
5) center console wrap (to match the dash skin)

Personally, I like all these as I'm desperate to break up that '90's look gray colour and the though of sumptuous leather throughout the cabin gives me giggles. But, thoughts on if these pieces make sense or any other pieces you think should be done in leather would be appreciated.

Secondly, are there any pieces we should start a group buy on? I can't guarantee the price will be significantly lower (or even lower at all based on quantities) but its worth a try if you're considering or are in the market now for a piece that they offer. Also, if you think you'd want a custom designed piece state that and describe it since others may like you're idea and a group buy could be born. The pieces that a group buy could be started for now include all the listed items on their web store 9and stated above). No need to make a list now, just reply that you're in the market and if enough folks say so I'll start a specific group buy thread for that piece. Thanks! :burnout:
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Re: Leather Retrimming From TopGaiters In The UK

Postby lotos » Mon 30.06.2014, 15:26

Weird question I'm sure I'll get Image for, but any chance they could do vinyl instead of leather?
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Re: Leather Retrimming From TopGaiters In The UK

Postby Elanlover » Mon 30.06.2014, 16:04

I'll ask if there's enough interest but I think you'd have to go on your own if its only you. I suspect the answer would be no but you never know. If they have the templates its conceivable they could do it in almost any material really - provided they could get it and had the interest in doing it.
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Re: Leather Retrimming From TopGaiters In The UK

Postby lotos » Mon 30.06.2014, 16:08

K, thanks. I figured if they were doing different color stitching, they're obviously making them one-off anyway for us so a dif. material might not be a huge deal.
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Re: Leather Retrimming From TopGaiters In The UK

Postby nicowalker1 » Mon 30.06.2014, 18:31

This might seem daft, but I'm amazed they don't have a pattern for the seats. Surely it would be one of the first things most woulsd want to replace? I cant see the masses wanting to re trim their whole dash...
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Re: Leather Retrimming From TopGaiters In The UK

Postby Elanlover » Mon 30.06.2014, 20:10

lotos wrote:K, thanks. I figured if they were doing different color stitching, they're obviously making them one-off anyway for us so a dif. material might not be a huge deal.


It may very well not be a big deal at all. They only seem to offer leather goods right now. They are all based on the same pattern just with a different thread colour. If they want to do them in another material I'm sure they could. I suspect its all about what they prefer to work in and customer demand. If there's only one person out of all their customers asking for a piece in alcantra or suede then they might do it but it'll be expensive if they have to go buy a bunch of material for one piece. Again, we can always ask.

nicowalker1 wrote:This might seem daft, but I'm amazed they don't have a pattern for the seats. Surely it would be one of the first things most would want to replace? I cant see the masses wanting to re trim their whole dash...


They haven't done any seats for any car as yet but have said they will be looking at adding it to their product line next year. Having reskinned my seats and done the work myself I can tell you its not the same as doing a gear shift gaiter. You have to have some experience making seat skins, know where the hog rings are used, were to stretch, etc. Its a lot more complicated and much harder to install than a door card. Also, you need someone to offer up their seat so they can pull the existing hide of and make a template. Pretty sure no M100 owner has done that for them yet.

And, if they get it right, I WILL be ordering a dash skin :-D
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Re: Leather Retrimming From TopGaiters In The UK

Postby Squirtydog » Wed 02.07.2014, 23:19

Door handle escutcheon covers. I did suggest this to them when I ordered my gaiters but got no response.

Might even offer a seat over the winter if a deal could be met.
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Re: Leather Retrimming From TopGaiters In The UK

Postby dapinky » Sat 05.07.2014, 16:29

Elanlover wrote:They haven't done any seats for any car as yet but have said they will be looking at adding it to their product line next year. Having reskinned my seats and done the work myself I can tell you its not the same as doing a gear shift gaiter. You have to have some experience making seat skins, know where the hog rings are used, were to stretch, etc. Its a lot more complicated and much harder to install than a door card. Also, you need someone to offer up their seat so they can pull the existing hide of and make a template. Pretty sure no M100 owner has done that for them yet.


I agree that recovering the seats is a time-consuming job - but a fairly lengthy helping of patience makes a good job of it (and i used cable ties instead of hog rings - far easier to tension up as you go!).....

....anyway, as a result of doing mine a few years back, I have a set of the original covers which I'd be happy to donate as a template (especially as I now want to do the ones in the blue car :wink: )
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Re: Leather Retrimming From TopGaiters In The UK

Postby nicowalker1 » Sat 05.07.2014, 16:55

dapinky wrote:
Elanlover wrote:They haven't done any seats for any car as yet but have said they will be looking at adding it to their product line next year. Having reskinned my seats and done the work myself I can tell you its not the same as doing a gear shift gaiter. You have to have some experience making seat skins, know where the hog rings are used, were to stretch, etc. Its a lot more complicated and much harder to install than a door card. Also, you need someone to offer up their seat so they can pull the existing hide of and make a template. Pretty sure no M100 owner has done that for them yet.


I agree that recovering the seats is a time-consuming job - but a fairly lengthy helping of patience makes a good job of it (and i used cable ties instead of hog rings - far easier to tension up as you go!).....

....anyway, as a result of doing mine a few years back, I have a set of the original covers which I'd be happy to donate as a template (especially as I now want to do the ones in the blue car :wink: )


Go Dave! Sounds like a good plan
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Re: Leather Retrimming From TopGaiters In The UK

Postby Elanlover » Mon 07.07.2014, 13:53

Waiting on their reply regarding the seat skins. It may be a bit premature as I don't believe they are planning on doing seats until next year but there should be no reason why they wouldn't like the seat skins now one would think. Also, we're looking for donor pieces for: B post carpet, back bulkhead wall carpet (with or without pocket), lower door carpet and top header rail leather (runs at top of windshield between A pillars). There's no reason to think that these pieces would need to be "sacrificed" (not get them back). However, since the B post is a bit complicated being 3 dimensional the ideal scenario would be sending them a B post cap itself and letting them stretch the leather over it to fit.

Can anyone help out there?
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