• Where to find vinyl upholstery fabric, with the vintage naugahyde look

    vintage-retro-vinylI RECENTLY STUMBLED upon this company, C.F. Stinson, which seems to carry upholstery weight vinyl in about 2000 styles and colors. I am not kidding. For example, this very classic, retro-style “Avant” line, which reminds me of vintage naugahyde, comes in 110 colors alone. Surely one is just right to reupholster your vintage Daystrom or Arvin dinette? In addition, there are many other more ‘decorative’ styles.

    Interestingly, I also seem to get questions from folks renovating their canned hams (trailers) about where to find vinyl or naugahyde. The catch, however, is that this C.F. Stinson supply is all “contract” – that is, sold only to designers, “the trade.” And I fear you may need to order 30 yards or something. To check this out, I suggest you work directly with an upholstery shop. The website is pretty terrific – lots of fun to browse around. There’s also an outlet store with smaller yardages available (contract only).

    vinyl-in-110-colorsIf you’re looking for vinyl and want to try other routes… Well, I have not done any more research on this question, but I think that you can have some luck at very large upholstery stores. Every region seems to have at least one. There’s a really big one an hour from me in Springfield, Mass. Osgoods. Blinding inventory. Be sure to eat protein beforehand or you will pass out from the exhaustion of it all. We also used to have a big Waverly outlet about 45 minutes north. They had GREAT stuff. It went out of business but I think that the chain still exists. If you’re looking for a specific fabric – vinyl, or vinyl in a specific color, best to call first before driving an hour. I’ve generally found the folks who work at these stores very nice and helpful – but alas, quite overworked. So, sometimes, you just gotta get in the car and drive and see what the retro decorating gods want to send you.

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    1. Samantha says:

      I used fabric from C.F. Stinson to upholster my vintage diner booth last year. They were super nice to work with and dealt with me directly (I didn’t have to purchase 30 yards), they shipped quick and the quality of the fabric is fantastic. I got a really cool circle pattern in tones of turquoise and green; I’ll have to post a pic sometime, it turned out really well. I just love your site by the way – I have learned so much here, thanks for all you do!

      • pam kueber says:

        Hi Samantha, and thanks for sharing your experience. Maybe I’m mixing up my research when I say they are only to the trade. So readers: Call ‘em directly! And Samantha – I’d love to post a photo, send it to me at retrorenovation at gmail dot com. Many thanks! Pam

        • Hi Pam,
          I too was looking for the elusive canned ham nauga…
          try decoratorsupplyinc.com. Tasty colors!

    2. Sputnik Sandi says:

      I have a terrific recommendation – Gary’s Upholstery! They carry all sorts of vinyl, including naugahyde (I used Turquoise for my kitchen chairs) at reasonable prices. Here is a link to their site:


    3. Leigh D says:

      Wow! Thank you so much…I reupholster baby strollers from the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s and its been so hard to find the vintage vinyl! I have been searching the internet and local shops for weeks – and here I do my daily check in – and your answer bites me on the nose! Thank you Pam – Your website is GREAT!

    4. I love the Zodiac Naugahyde! I have a partial roll of it after using it for a design project. Reminds me of my beloved banana seat Schwinn.

      Naugahyde is selling their Naugas, if anyone is interested http://www.nauga.com/promoitems_nauga.html

      • pam kueber says:

        Banana seat Schwinns – yes! I had a purple one with purple metallic seat! It was smokin’ hot! Thanks, Gretchen, for bringing back that memory!

    5. I want to re-upholster two child-sized kitchen chairs that were made in the 50′s. The problem is I can’t find vinyl fabric anything close to what’s on them now. I want to stay true to their 50′s look. It’s very thin vinyl and the design is a white background with small olive green lines. The new fabric doesn’t have to look exactly like the old, but I can’t find any patterned vinyl anywhere. Any ideas?

      • thats really funny i just bought a vintage kitchen set formica and the chairs are exactly what you are describing im also looking for the vinyl to repair what is originally on them now if i find something i will definitely let you know

    6. Vivian Kallas says:

      I am looking for naugahyde that has patterns on it. Wild flowers, chrushed velvetlook, etc. Where??

    7. Tim Sherman says:

      1940s dinning room chairs. They are gray and have a pressed in seam every inch. Can you help?

    8. Zane Barlow says:

      We inherited a mish mash diningroom set from friends’ parents… the chairs are wood frame, but have vinyl upholestry, the back square is nailhead trimmed, and the chair seat plain vinyl… its yellow vinyl…. and I’m wondering how old these chairs are, and what would have been the table that goes with them since they are currently paired with a country kitchen table which is obviously not their match. I love the chairs, but would like to find a better table. Anyone seen these before?

    9. Hi! I have several vintage chairs that needed reupholstered, and have kids, so my vinyl had to be sturdy! I found out that marine (boating) vinyl comes in lots of great vintage colors, some patterns, and is reallllly tough! This website has a 5 yd. minimum, but the prices are great. There are other marine vinyl sites too. ~__^ http://greatlakesskipper.com/category-1/14_94_95-boat-upholstery-knit-back.html

    10. elaine simmons says:

      I am looking for yellow vinyl that was commonly seen on chrome dinette sets of the 1950′s. It had what looked like marble chips in it. If anyone knows where I can find it will you please post? Thanks…..I contaced Gary’s but have not heard back yet.

      • Cindy Tubandt says:

        I too am looking for the same vinyl. If you find it, let me know and I will do the same.

        • elaine simmons says:

          Cindy, I called Gary’s on behalf of a relative who wanted the vinyl I was talking about and they did have it. It is called “Cracked Ice”. I never bought any because this relative did not want to spend that much money.

    11. I recently picked up a pair of fifties wire/metal rod ice cream or patio chairs with vinyl seats that I’d like to recover. Found this site,
      but it’s more than I’d need & was hoping to find a boomerang or Sputnik type pattern.

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