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960 Leather help


Part-time Tinkerer
Feb 25, 2015
Austin, TX
Hello all! Wondering if I could get some help with repairing a seat I just picked up from the JY.

Got these for $4 each:

Nice improvement, huh?

Okay, but on this one there are some weird perforations along a seam, and I'm wondering if anyone has some advice to stop the cracks before they get any bigger.





Fullsize images: https://imgur.com/a/uOpuJ

There's also a couple places where the threading is coming out, is there a special type of thread I should use to stitch it back up?

Once I have this seat all back together, I'm going to Leatherique treat it, and the rest of my seats, so hopefully it won't get anywhere near how bad my original seat got...
Leather is skin once it deteriorates it deteriorates.

Since you have the skins off you may be able to put something behind the cuts for strength but otherwise I would just clean them gently w a good cleaner and moisturize w something that has animal fat in it (I use some sort of saddle softener)

They will look super nice then enjoy them while they last, such is life.
I've restored/redyed a few seats a la Leatherique - including repairing some bad cracking using their crack filler.


Theres DIY instructions on the home page for crack filler.

Saddle soap is too aggressive for finished leather. It is intended for cleaning animal perspiration and trail grime from full grain leather. Some also contain silicone or vegetable oils, which will cause the leather fibres in finished leather to break down.
Bah! I just ordered the Rejuvinator and Prestine cleaner - I’ll email them and see if they can add a crack filler to my order. Thanks!!

I guess ultimately I’ll have to pay someone to make me some new seats haha. But yeah, will definitely enjoy these while they last. I’ve been tired of sitting in literal shreds...
As long as I’m here - let me ask one last question. Is this really leather? It seems so incredibly thin - there’s a thin layer of what I’m guessing is leather that’s thinner than piece of paper attached to a thin layer of dense foam, which is attached to a thicker layer of foam. Is that really all the thicker the leather is? This isn’t vinyl is it?

The 960 front seat pan is usually all leather except for the sleeves at the front/rear for the seat frame upholstery rod; the seat backs are leather faced.

Leather will have a suede backside with a gauze-type material stitched to it which allows the leather to 'slide' on the foam. The layers of foam allow the skin to conform to the seat pan foam in a uniform manner when the skin is hog-clipped in place. Vinyl will have a finished (shiny, smooth) or cloth back and similar layers of foam.

Skins are typically about 2-4mm thickness dependent on where the piece of leather was cut from the hide. Species of leather plays a roll somewhat, but all of our Volvos use cow hide. Connoly leather was used up to '90 or so; as for where leather was sourced from thereafter is a mystery.

Cheaper leather is shaved, rolled and patterned before a polymer coating is applied. Better leather isnt shaved or pattered which maintains imperfections and grain, but is polymer coated like the cheaper stuff. Expensive leather like in the 780's is vat dyed, so the colour goes through the skin, where the colour sits on 'top' of the skin in polymer coated skins.
PM sent. I have a much nicer seat you might be interested in. That cushion has extra perforations because it has been repaired. Those are sewing machine needle holes.

Accept nothing else.

Nothing else will even compare, trust me. :nod:

*missed the fact that you were already hip to the trip - sorry. :wave:

Haha thanks! I've been meaning to buy it for a few years now, but could never justify the price - but as long as I'm going to have the seats apart, now's the time since I can get into all the nooks and crannies.

The 960 front seat pan is usually all leather except for the sleeves at the front/rear for the seat frame upholstery rod; the seat backs are leather faced.

Neat, thanks for all the info!

The extra holes are from the original stitching.

That's what I was thinking at first - I guess someone was having a bad day at the plant?

Those are definitely leather seat faces on the 7-9 series seats. The bands and back of the seat cover are vinyl.
^ Just like the leather seats on the 240s.

Good to know! Thanks!

Speaking of Leatherique - does anyone have any tips for heating the car up, besides putting it in the sun? If I wait until the summer I'll get all the heat I want, but right now it's a bit cooler. Would setting up a small radiating space heater in the cargo area or something like that help and be safe for the interior?
^ +1 for summer.

Taking the seats out to treat them the first time is a great way to start using Leatherique.

It may seem excessive, but you'll have a much easier job of initially treating your leather. Maintenace thereafter is simplified once the seat are truly 'rejuvenated'.

I use one of the spare rooms in my house, set up a dropcloth and an oil heater, bring in the seats and have at em with Rejuvenator.

I heat up the Rejuvenator by immersing a full spray bottle in hot water, which seems to help the leather draw it in.

There is no limit on how much Rejuvenator you can apply, its limited to how much the leather fibres pull in. To bring my front seats up to par took about 6 weeks of ongoing treatments, but the results were absolutely worth the time and effort.

The one thing I can stress to first time users is that Leatherique needs time to work. Days, not hours.
I soaked my cardboard 32 year old seats with Rejuvenator for about a month in the Summer covered with garbage bags

But it was worth it.