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!


Anonymous 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!

Anonymous said...

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

Richard said...

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


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)