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MG TD TF 1500 - Upholstery kits TF
My wife wants to buy me an interior trim kit for the TF for my birthday.
I have been waiting for a Moss "Upholstery Sale" for months. Maybe they don't do that any longer. The new catalog came today....15% off regular prices.
I'd like to hear from those of you who have bought interior kits recently. What do you think of Moss quality? How much better is the Abingdon product for the extra money? What about that outfit in British Columbia?
|I believe that the annual Moss upholstery sale is April. |
|Don't get me started Tom. If you want a quality job that looks original, buy the fiberboard & vinyl & do it yourself. Shape the board to fit your car precisely, cover it & then add the hidem. It should be 1/2" in from the edge. The only difficult bit is having the hidem made in the correct 1/2" width. Segal Motor Trimmers in England will make it for you using your vinyl. Ask for Alicia Parker. I've never yet seen a Moss kit that looks any good. The issues are just too numerous to mention. Cheers|
Peter TD 5801
|Everyone has an opinion of which is good and which is bad and rightly so. I have a Moss leather kit in mine and it came out very well, I get a lot of compliments on it and the rest of the car. |
Tom, just think about how many Moss kits are out there in these cars, must be a reason other than cost, none of them are cheap. I did my own thing on my car, bought the interior from Moss, did the paint color and upholstery and top color to my liking, no one else. Black top, interior and fenders, which some don't like, but my car and my 40Gs! LOL! If your not going concurs, do your own thing. PJ
|Fair enough PJ but if you're going to do it why not do it right? Tom was asking about quality. For me that has to include originality. Far too many issues with the Moss kits for my liking especially when you consider the cost. It's cheaper & you get a much better result if you DIY. Cheers|
Peter TD 5801
|I did a lot of research on the interior kits when I bought the one for my TD. Besides Peter's issue with the hidem, which didn't strike me as a deal-killer, and a fellow that had a weak piece of leather on a seat (that Moss replaced), I couldn't find anyone that had installed the Moss interior that was unhappy with it. If you read Peter's posts you'll note that he is very anti-Moss, so take his comments in that light accordingly.|
There are certainly other suppliers out there and kits that could be higher quality. I got a quote from one fellow in England that is the premier guy for prewar MGs. IIRC, it was about $5k with shipping and a year or more wait. I'm sure it would have been spectacular, but I just couldn't justify the expense. There were a couple of other places in between in cost that also had some good feedback. I think I've still got a comparative spreadsheet at work that has a list with prices and comments if you are interested.
I haven't installed my interior, yet, but I expect to start in the next few weeks, so I don't have personal experience with the Moss. The stuff looks good in the boxes, though. I bought it during the upholstery sale last year and, again IIRC, the cost was at least several hundred dollars less than than anyone else. And, as someone else points out, the sale is yet to happen this year-- you'll have to wait another month. I have no doubt they will repeat it.
|I've got to agree with Peter,,, I put a Moss "Leather" kit in our TD, and it's not lasting,, I think their kits are made from BONDED LEATHER,, not the quality stuff,, (Google Bonder leather) Ask Moss first before you purchase. I don't have a picture on this PC, but the seats are showing wear, and the underlying material that the so called "Leather" was bonded to is showing through,,|
|BTW, you can get a further discount from Moss' sale prices by purchasing through Lbcarco.com.|
|I bought the Moss kit several years ago and the quality seemed very high to me.I am very happy with the quality of the leather and the vinyl..definitely was not "bonded leather" and the hidem was the correct size and the plywood door cards were shaped exactly like the original that they replaced .Maybe they have changed dramaticly over the years, but I have only read of a few unhappy customers on this board.|
|Thanks so far. |
Has anyone bought a kit made by Buckingham Classic sold on ebay through the Sports and Classic online store?
Regarding the issue of possible "bonded leather", I plan to phone Moss next week and ask questions about details like that.
Steve W, how many years of use do you have on your seats?
They started to show wear in two years,, Yes I thought they were made of good leather, but when the backing fabric started to show through, it was very evident that they were made from bonding leather mush to a backing mesh type material, and embosing a leather grain into it.
I'll post pics when I get to my other pc.
|I used Moss vinyl for the interior, and I thought it was fine. I had to make some minor curve modifications, but that is kind of to be expected with these cars. I chose vinyl for longevity and ease of maintenance. However I went to a good auto upholsterer for the seats, and let him order the best leather he could get.|
By the way, I used brass brads in the hidem after making a mess with staples.
|I recently resurrected a TF that I installed a Moss kit back in the late 80s and it has healed up nicely. My 2006 or so TD Moss kit is also in great shape. I had to peel back the door and kick panel covering and custom fit/trim a bit, but the result is really nice. The leather on mine at that time was really nice and thick leather. I like to hear what they say about 'Bonded Leather"- as that is totally not leather at all. As far as making an interior kit yourself, that would be like me trying to do brain surgery, my own tax return, etc. George|
|I just went to the Moss site,, they sell their leather by the yard,,, advertised as the same as used in their kits,, the picture shows the mesh type backing material that I am referring to,, If it was real leather, why would there have to be any backing material??|
|Here is another company to try that is supposed to be very high quality.|
No personal experience but others have told me they were good, at least a few years ago.
I believe the picture is of the bulk Vinyl they sell, not the Bulk leather.
The page states:
"Leather Is tanned and vat-dyed to our specifications to ensure originality and long wearing durability."
That is not the process foe Bonded leather.
|Chris and others,|
We have two T's here in Rockburn with the Heritage kits - a TC and a TD. Both are mind-boggling lovely!
However, expect to pat RR prices. A TC kit fetches about $4,200.
But hey, why not take advantage of the very strong US dollar. Knock off abt 35% from this Canadian price. Heritage are located in North Vancouver BC.
Another alternative: A member of the Montreal MG Car Club, bought two skins at about $90 each and got the local upholsterer to do the job. Came out beautifully. Total investment came out to be around $700.
|Abingdon spares lists kits for just under $2000. |
They state "Made in England using Connelly hides."
I have a TD so some of my comments may not be applicable.
I purchased a Moss kit, when it was on sale. About $500 to $600 as I remember. I had the seats professionally installed. The installer did not say it was bonded. The only issue he had was the area under the bench back that goes over the drive shaft hump. Here the vinyl ripped.
The only issues I have with the kit are the Hidem size and the way the bench back of the seats are attached. I feel there should be Hidem there. My old seats had it there. It may or may not have been original however.
I have no reason to believe the leather is not real leather.
|OK, I had to check the Moss kit I have on the shelf. There is no way the leather surfaces are bonded leather. Steve, I don't know what you are looking at, but there are a number of vinyl pieces (as per original) that are mesh backed. See pic. The piece on the right is the back side of one of the leather pieces and the one on the left is the back side of one of the vinyl pieces.|
Note that Moss sells a less expensive all-vinyl version of their kit.
|For me one of the most unattractive things about the Moss kits, apart from the non original colour range, is the need to reshape the panels. This means the gap between the prefixed hidem, (which Moss made in 5/8" not the original 1/2") & the edge, can & does vary markedly. Rather than having a constant 1/2" between the panel edge & the 1/2" hidem as per the original design, in some installations I've seen this gap vary from 1/2" down to almost nothing! In others the panel is too short in places. NOT a good look. The devil is always in the detail. Making these panels yourself guarantees a perfect fit & a very pleasing uniformity. It's really no more difficult & much more satisfying than having to peel back & reshape a Moss panel, then curse at the ugly gap. It's not anything like brain surgery and it's shed loads cheaper! I really, really hate paying for someone else to stuff it up! I also intend to do what Gord's mate did. Buy the leather & have the seats made professionally. While I'm at it I'll get him to stitch the door cards exactly as they were originally, (based on a complete set of original trim). I'll make the cards myself beforehand, ensuring that they fit exactly. BTW David I'll continue to bag anyone, not just Moss, who knowingly sells non original, ill fitting, poor quality or substandard parts. :-) Cheers|
Peter TD 5801
NTG (www.mgbits.com) has a nice set for 990 pounds.
I have seen it and it is nice.
Of course you have to add shipment from England to the States.
|Erik van Hardeveld|
|I fitted a black Moss vinyl seat and door card/trim kit 38 years ago and they look as good today as the day I installed them. I wanted vinyl for long term durability and I think I got my money's worth. The car is a well kept driver not a concours entry.|
|They guy in the UK that does a lot of prewar MGs is William Collingburn.|
When I got a quote from him last year it was about $2000 for seat covers and panels for a TD. That didn't include shipping to the US. He indicated it would be at least a year wait.
He has a great reputation for quality work, but I've never seen one of his kits installed.
FWIW, I paid about $1,000 from Moss for seat covers and panels with the annual sale prices and Lbcarco discount.
|More like two years. I fitted a Collingburn kit in my TF and had them cover the seats. It still needed some trimming to fit.|
|OK,, here are a few pics,,, |
Driver seat showing "areas of Concern"
|A close up showing wear and backing material showing through,, and where seams are opening.
|This is where the seams are showing the backing material
|a close up showing how thin the "leather" is
|The stuff I was sold by MOSS isn't real|
|It may be made from split leather. They slice down the centre and use the facing material for high quality items and the back is glued to vinyl or some other plastics facing material. It looks like leather, but only the back is. Of course, the seller may not be aware.|
|Steve, I can't see from the pictures the mesh backing you are talking about. Are you sure you aren't seeing through to the cushioned material under the leather (white backing material in my picture)?|
Regardless, I agree that is not acceptable wear for upholstery after two years of the occasional use that we would see with our MGs and I can understand your disappointment. Have you contacted Moss to express your displeasure? If so, their response might tell us all something.
|Steve, I think you are correct-it does look fake. Here is a left over hunk that I trimmed off of my Moss leather kit- no mesh backing.|
Do you have your original invoice for the kit? Maybe they sent a vinyl seat kit by mistake??
|Today I spoke to a sales rep from Moss. States they use genuine quality leather hides. No bonded leather product. He could not tell me when the annual interior sale is. |
I also spoke to one of the owners at Classic and Sports in Stamford Conn. Their interior brand is Buckingham Classic. They buy Italian hides, make the interiors to order in house. They no longer attach the hidem, so owners can place it "where they want it". He feels that their leather and vinyl and superior to Moss in all ways. The price is good also.
The Collingburn and Heritage products may be very good, but are too expensive for my budget.
Both are mailing me leather swatches. I am leaning toward the Buckingham Classic.
|Sounds like a good decision Tom. One of the other things to check is the setback of the door card from the lock up & around to the hinge stile. In the pics below you'll notice the difference. I believe the unfitted door card is from Moss. It has no provision for the piping to finish flush with the top of the door. The bespoke fitted panel, although a little rough generally, is the correct shape. Cheers|
Peter TD 5801
|Pic 2. Here the card is cut back to allow the piping to finish flush with the door edge. Worth noting however that the top piping should finish at the top left corner of the card & not continue down to the hinge.
To see my articles on recovering TF seats with a Moss kit: http://www.ttalk.info/mgtfSeatRecovering.html
and on forming the kick panels: http://www.ttalk.info/TDKickPanels.htm
If you want an updated higher resolution copy of either one send your e-mail address.
There is different qualities of leather even from the same hide. The leather from the cow's belly is not very good. It can be identified because looks more wrinkled and is is softer than leather from the back. It looks, feels and wears like split leather.
When you order from any supplier specify that you will not accept belly leather. Belly leather can be used but only in low wear areas of the seats - not on the "rolls", the part you sit or lean back on.
The problem of an upholstery shop making hidem from your supplied material is finding the correct thin material; I have yet to find a supplier.
Godspeed in Safety Fast
|Y' want Hidem Trim?|
Just Google 'Hidem Trim' ... lottsa choice. Seems to be abt $2.50 / yard.
|Supplier of suitable vinyl here is Daleys Upholstery supplies in Sydney. I could find no one in Australia who has the equipment with the necessary double foot needed to make the 1/2" hidem, which is why I sent a 100 mm strip x 6 metres in length of my vinyl to Salford in England. See my post above John. I got 12 metres back which is more than I needed. Problem with buying just the 1/2" hidem Gord is then locating a perfect colour matched vinyl. Cheers|
Peter TD 5801
|Before I chose Collingburn for my interior I obtained samples from most of the UK suppliers. I wanted to compare the colour and quality with the original red interior (three layers of covers over the seats!). Collingburn and NTG were accurate on colour and grain. The others were way out on both - one of them was clearly offering modern Ambla material in colours that were nowhere near correct. I went with tan, but am confident that the supplier went to the same trouble to get it right.|
|I received leather and vinyl samples in the mail this week from both Moss and Buckingham Classic. the Buckingham leather is clearly thicker and more substantial than the Moss leather. My TF is green and I want some shade of "tan" interior, which I currently have. One of BC's "tans" is a perfect match for the leather in my Jaguar S type. I love that color and it looks great against BRG. |
Their darker "tan" pretty much matches the color of the Moss top, side curtains and tonneau. I think that would be too much of the same "tan" color. I will go with the Jaguar "bisque" lighter tan.
That is, if my wife is still on for the birthday gift.
|Dave Hill, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom could you please email me on Rod at mgcarco dot com|
This thread was discussed between 27/02/2016 and 02/04/2017
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