Lancia Monte Carlo fabric restoration
Back in the summer of 2019, Humphries Weaving were contacted by Curve Media, the production company responsible for the filming of Quest series “Salvage Hunters Classic Cars”. Their requirement was to source a fabric for the interior of a 1970’s Lancia Monte Carlo. The Humphries Weaving team welcomed programme host Drew Pritchard to the mill to explain the process of analysing and weaving reproduction fabric. With permission you can see a clip of the show below and look out for regular repeats on the Quest channel.
The Monte Carlo is a Pininfarina designed mid-engined sports car produced by Lancia in Italy from 1975 to 1981. Its styling is typical of the era with the introduction of the wedge shape. Pininfarina, an Italian design house renowned for designing for iconic car brands such as Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari as well as Lancia and more recently Volvo and Ford.
The attention to detail on this car was well ahead of its time; the interiors were particularly well designed and many factory options were available. The Salvage Hunters restoration project had hit an issue when they discovered that the fabric required was out of production. They had investigated many options but were disappointed to discover that nobody was remanufacturing the particular fabric required.
Humphries Weavings specialisation evolves around recreating historic textiles, mainly for Stately Homes and Royal Palaces, has more recently developed into the production of fabrics for the restoration of a number of classic cars. This part of our business started with the interiors of horse drawn carriages and then early Rolls Royce’s and more recently Mini Coopers, Porsche’s, Alpha Romeo’s and other classic cars.
With this knowledge Curve Media sent us the smallest remnant of fabric, found on the underside of a headrest (hidden from the bleaching action of the sun). It was ascertained that we would be able to recreate the fabric using our stock warps and wefts and so the film crew were despatched.
The crew, including their iconic presenter Drew Pritchard, descended on the Mill in September of 2019 and filming took place over two days.
Though the fabric seemed to be a simple basket or panama weave, this left our design team with a challenge to develop a fabric that was robust enough. A panama weave has the tendency for the weft to slip off the warp so the carful insertion of binder threads and intricate back binding enabled us to weave a loose float-based fabric which was robust enough for use in upholstering these car seats.
The scale, weave and colour of the design was achieved to a commercial tolerance using our well stocked warehouse of yarns. We wove this design on our natural cotton warp with a ruby worsted wool weft and a cotton binding pick in natural.
The program was aired on the 3rd of February this year and it was only then that managed to see the completed car. Unlike the car shown here, the fabric was used for many more areas including the door cards and parts of the dashboard. We hope to be able to show this at a later date. We welcome all classic car projects and are currently working on a number of new fabrics.