Friday, June 5, 2009

Seating Assignment

Some things in life take time - and re-sewing the seat seams on a saddle is one of them. On this saddle, the seat seams on both sides had come undone, the welting had cracked, and the saddle wasn't really useable. I gave the owner the option of patching the seat (a much less involved and less expensive option) or having the seams re-sewn (a much more complex repair that would cost about three times more than a patch). Given the age and condition of the saddle, I recommended a patch, but the owner wanted the seam re-sewn.

Here's the saddle when it came in:




When I say that this is a complicated process, I mean it. You have to completely deconstruct the saddle - almost everything has to be taken off the tree, one piece at a time. Here's what you wind up with:


Looks like a train wreck, I know. Here's what's acutally in the pile.

First, I dropped the panels:


Then, I removed the flaps and gullet cover:


Next I removed the welting between the panels and the cantle:



Then, off came the sweat flaps:

The hardware - falldown staples (dee rings), saddle nails and plates:




And finally, the seat:


Which left me with the tree, and the only thing I didn't have to remove: the billets.




Here are a couple more photos of the damage, which is complicated by the fact that the leather around the seam is compromised by being dry and cracked:





This is going to be a dicey, fiddly piece of work. I've conditioned the leather and have begun re-stitching the seat seams; I have to stitch it tightly enough to bring it all together, but not so tightly as to slice through the rather fragile leather. I'll post on the re-construction of the saddle, as well. It's always an adventure!


7 comments:

theliteraryhorse said...

You are a very VERY brave woman. The deconstruction is enough to make me climb the ledge.

Thank you for putting up photos...I had no idea what a job like this would involve. It does make me want to re-treat all my leather!
Jane

Anonymous said...

This is really interesting. Please post more photos as you repair it. Wow, you are brave, this one looks tough!
-Wynne

Richard said...

Beautiful shots and descriptions. Thank you so much for your willingness to share this journey.

~R

Melissa said...

Always fascinating - thanks for sharing it!

Susan said...

Impressive! Thanks for sharing the details with us!

Anonymous said...

This is really interesting... keep us updated.

Zabina said...

Faschinating.. If you/she had chose to just patch it, exactly what and how would that have been done?

(great blog btw)