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Old 10th March 2020, 03:09   #121
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Default Re: Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)

Disclaimer:
This is going to be a lengthy post and my writings will be usually elaborate. I beg your pardon and hope it will be a good read.


They say "An idle mind is a devil's workshop", faced one such situation, on December 25th 2019.
The day being Christmas, holiday to office and that too exactly mid of the week, I was at leisure. With my family out of town, and me being alone at home, felt bored.

But I had my beloved i10 for company.
What else, to overcome boredom, thought to go on a drive (traffic being less) to JC road (a good 25kms from Whitefield), check out few car stuff and accessories.
Then to meet friends in the evening for snacks, at the famous VV Puram food street.
So was done with the planning for the day.

Now coming to the topic,
While taking out the car from basement parking, felt the steering cover a bit loose and slippery. (Off late the aftermarket hand stitched steering grip had started showing its age)

Note:
The earlier steering grip was done from Imperial leathers, hand stitched without removing steering and without using any glue.
It served well for almost 4 years. But the cover had some inner foam layer, which with age had started to loosen its hold; hence even the outer cover felt loosened.

Anyhow I was on the way to JC road, so thought, why not I get the steering wrapped with new leather, from Devaraj/Karthik leathers at JC road?
Called Nagaraj (Devaraj's brother) immediately to check his availability and to my luck, he told he will be available till 3pm, though it was a Christmas holiday.

Went straight to JC road, parked my car at multi level parking lot. Nagaraj's another brother (forgot his name) came with the tools.
He dismantled the steering, locked the car and we left the parking lot and reached the shop in 5mins.

The choice:
I said him that, I need black leather with black thread stitching, with the best material available.
He immediately chose a black leather, searched for the template and started with the work.
(He also told me that, he will be not be using any foam layer and glue will be used for better hold. I was already aware of it though)
Meanwhile, his brother started with the wrapping of gear knob. (I had removed the knob and taken along)
And both the work were completed in around 1.5 hrs (since they used to get phone calls and other customers every now and then)

I was happy and impressed with the final outcome. Made the settlement and thanked Nagaraj for his good work.
Then me and his brother left to the parking lot, fixed the steering and gear knob and was ready to roll. But, shopped around JC road for a while before leaving.

Total Expense:
Steering grip: 1,200
Gear knob: 200
(Discount: 100)
Parking charges: 100

Note:
Additional charge of 100 rupees is to be paid to parking lot guys, in case, any work is to be done in the car, when car is parked there. (Nagaraj's brother paid this amount)

So here are my observations:
1. I had already been to this place 2-3 times earlier. Hence I knew about the workmanship.
2. The quality of leather is very good (As per Nagaraj its Stanley, but not sure)
3. Stitching, fit and finish is done very well
4. Felt VFM and surely will last for few years
5. Work completed in quick time and with precision
6. Polite and courteous people to deal with
7. Steering and gear knob now feels much better, both to hold and to look at
8. The horn pad felt a bit tight after the fitment, since the gap around the horn pad had reduced, because of the leather grip.
Nagaraj assured it will be fine after a few days of use. After using it for a month, the horn pad has now become around 90% smooth, but still a bit of hardness is there while honking.

Now let the pictures to the talking, before concluding:

The old steering grip removed. You can notice the foam layer inside the cover:
Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-cover1.jpg

The steering dismantled, old grip removed and getting prepped up for a new skin:
Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-cover2.jpg

Nagaraj’s brother getting ready with the material for gear knob:
Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-cover3.jpg

Nagaraj searching for the correct template for i10:
Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-cover4.jpg

New skin getting aligned, by Nagaraj:
(Few more work in progress clicks got deleted from mobile by mistake)
Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-cover5.jpg

Final look of gear knob. Notice the texture of the material and the stitch pattern:
Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-cover6.jpg

Stitch pattern on steering:
Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-cover7.jpg

Before pic of steering, to show how the steering looks without any wrap:(This is an old pic from my gallery, just for reference)
Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-cover8.jpg

Final look of the steering after the wrap:
Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-cover9.jpg

Last edited by DLC5005 : 10th March 2020 at 03:18. Reason: typo
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Old 9th August 2020, 14:03   #122
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Default Re: Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)

It's been over 2 years since I posted on any thread. Long story short, 2018, life changed from being a bachelor to a family man. Real Earth Getz CRDi became a Moroccan Blue Nexon XZ+(D). November 2019, the Nexon became down-payment for an apartment purchase. Yeah, that's right, it did . After some family circus over a short period, some additions and leftovers became a 'Used - Black Camry'.

The Camry had one crap looking steering which felt awful to hold on to. Felt as though I am not connected to the car while driving. Decided to change it, but as luck would have it, the entire world got into the COVID-19 situation, lock-downs, restrictions et al. Had to wait considerably. Now that certain businesses started opening on a regular basis, tried my luck calling Nagaraj and got the confirmation that the shop was indeed open now, albeit on an alternate day basis. He had initially given me an appointment for Monday, the 10th of August 2020 at 7 AM, but called me up late night Saturday to advance it for today, i.e.., Sunday, 9th of August 2020 at 7 AM.., pretty early given the fact that there is a serious parking constraint and at early mornings, the car could be parked right in front of the shop without anyone disturbing. Also, he wanted to visit his native and would be back only on Tuesday. Worked out perfectly for me.

Visited the shop at around 7:30 AM as he also was on the way when I called him up to double-confirm the appointment. He quickly took the measurements and we went inside the shop. The color was decided as light brown. That was the nearest matching color as not all shades of beige were available and whatever was indeed available turned out far too light. The leather was cut and he went to the car to fine-tune the measurements, came back to the shop and started stitching. This process took close to an hour, give or take a few minutes. This was then installed on the steering wheel and this took another 15-20 minutes. By 9:15 AM, the job was done and we were on our way home

Total Expense: 1200. He's kept this constant for some time now. No hikes!


The old, ugly grip:

Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-img_20200808_164625.jpg


Nagaraj working on the stitches:
Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-img_20200809_083924.jpg

Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-img_20200809_084210.jpg


The New Grip:
Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-img_20200809_091412.jpg
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Old 14th August 2020, 16:49   #123
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Default Re: Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)

The factory fitted steering wheel cover is the leather finish one.

I am afraid it would get spoiled with all the sweat and dirt during regular use.

Should I get an additional leather steering cover wrapped on top of it?

Or should I go with the slip-on covers, to accomplish the task?

Appreciate your suggestions.
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Old 15th August 2020, 07:38   #124
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Default Re: Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)

Your original leather will be ruined, since glue is involved. It's not a slip-on. Besides that, it will be too chunky to hold for you and control. Just not worth
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyom View Post
Should I get an additional leather steering cover wrapped on top of it?
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Old 16th August 2020, 17:09   #125
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Default Re: Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyom View Post
The factory fitted steering wheel cover is the leather finish one.

I am afraid it would get spoiled with all the sweat and dirt during regular .
Instead of spending money now on another cover over the factory one, just wait till it wears out and then get the wrap redone.
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Old 18th August 2020, 11:08   #126
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Default Re: Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)

The leather used by Nagaraj is not genuine leather. I think it is art leather. I had got one done 3 years ago and it has become all glossy. Another observation is if i apply leather conditioner, it does not get absorbed into the leather. It stays on the surface only. I do not know if i was short changed. Has anyone else observed this? Leather experts can throw some light on this.
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Old 19th August 2020, 21:30   #127
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Default Re: Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
The leather used by Nagaraj is not genuine leather. I think it is art leather. I had got one done 3 years ago and it has become all glossy. Another observation is if i apply leather conditioner, it does not get absorbed into the leather. It stays on the surface only. I do not know if i was short changed. Has anyone else observed this? Leather experts can throw some light on this.
Genuine leather can get glossy and peel as well, maybe more than synthetic leather, however synthetic leather can never be maintained like the natural one since synthetic leather does not have pores and cannot absorb conditioner (applying conditioner/moisturizer on art leather is of zero use as its basically a plastic hybrid fabric, the best one can do is spray cleaner on it and wipe).

Though I myself avoid natural leather to the maximum, I know real leather if bought from a proper seller/outfitter like Stanley and Karlsson, can last 10 years at a minimum, subject to good maintenance. Most roadside shops promise the world for 1.5-2k rupees with fancy words like Italian/nappa, all trickery, plus I've certainly seen better outfitters than this place, people who use only a single seam in the lower middle to avoid unnecessary bumps.
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Old 19th August 2020, 22:52   #128
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Default Re: Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)

How much do Stanley/Karlsson charge for the steering leather?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
Though I myself avoid natural leather to the maximum, I know real leather if bought from a proper seller/outfitter like Stanley and Karlsson, can last 10 years at a minimum, subject to good maintenance. Most roadside shops promise the world for 1.5-2k rupees with fancy words like Italian/nappa, all trickery
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Old 20th August 2020, 05:49   #129
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Default Re: Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebring View Post
How much do Stanley/Karlsson charge for the steering leather?
Not too sure, there was a BHPian who got the steering done at Karlsson for his Getz, will try to look it up though I don't think price was mentioned.

I myself may end up going to Karlsson, I want to put alcantara (artificial suede) on the wheel and seats, so might be aware of pricing at that time but for leather I'd assume something like Rs.4k-5k including labor for the wheel.
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Old 20th August 2020, 17:05   #130
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Default Re: Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
Genuine leather can get glossy and peel as well, maybe more than synthetic leather, however synthetic leather can never be maintained like the natural one since synthetic leather does not have pores and cannot absorb conditioner (applying conditioner/moisturizer on art leather is of zero use as its basically a plastic hybrid fabric, the best one can do is spray cleaner on it and wipe).

Though I myself avoid natural leather to the maximum, I know real leather if bought from a proper seller/outfitter like Stanley and Karlsson, can last 10 years at a minimum, subject to good maintenance. Most roadside shops promise the world for 1.5-2k rupees with fancy words like Italian/nappa, all trickery, plus I've certainly seen better outfitters than this place, people who use only a single seam in the lower middle to avoid unnecessary bumps.
Exactly my observation. The leather conditioner does not get absorbed into the leather. That is what made me wonder about the genuineness of the leather sold. But @ 1000-1200 rupees, cannot expect genuine leather. However, it must be explicitly mentioned rather than giving an illusion that we are getting pure leather for 1200 bucks!
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Old 22nd August 2020, 17:15   #131
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Default Re: Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)

After 4+ years and 42000 kms of ownership, I finally got my steering grip done by Nagaraj today at JC Road.
Steering in my Zest always felt nice to hold which is why I never bothered about a grip until now. In the last few months, OEM steering started showing its age. Called Devaraj yesterday and he confirmed his/Nagaraj availability today. Scheduled a visit around noon.

Black grip with black stitches. Happy with the quality and workmanship of Nagaraj. Cost Rs.1400. Now, the steering feels even better to hold and grip
It took about one and half hour for the entire work.

Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-1.jpg


Nagaraj asked if I wanted the grip to cover the zones marked in yellow. I got it included. If this part is excluded then cost is Rs.1200.

Leather Upholstery & Steering Grips: Devraj / Karthik Leather Arts (Bangalore)-2.jpg

Edit: Found a place to park only near Coffee Point restaurant (which was closed/shut) on A M Road. Nagaraj came there and did the work. He mentioned that off late people are getting fined if the work is done at BBMP Parking Lot in JC Road.

Last edited by srvm : 22nd August 2020 at 17:19.
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