Mark IV sedan upholstery

I have a suede green Mark IV and seem to have found the correct materials at either Martrim in England or BAS in the USA. I am having a problem finding an upholsterer that knows how to put the cord through the headliner for the back window curtain. Also, they do not want to create actual tuck-and-roll for the seats. They would prefer to sew leather over a sponge material. It seems that this would make a more shallow appearance.
Any opinions about real tuck-and-roll vs sewn over spong would be appreciated.
Dennis Trull USA

Hullo Dennis,

For the rear blind, the route of the cord is simple and I can send some pictures. The hardware for it, starting from the front is:

  • Anchor knob, which is a nice ivory coloured plastic;
  • Guide bracket behind the headlining above the driver’s head.
    For the rear you need five chromed eyelets, four in the rear bow and one in the forward bow. The bows are made with tapped holes for this.
    The cord runs freely from the front bracket behind the fabric, through the cavity under the sunroof recess and through a hole in the wooden bow at the end of the sunroof recess. From there it is ‘overland’ through the eyelets. A few pics will fill in details.

For the pleating, the sewn through style is really the cheaper standard done on many later model cars. The roll type is more comfortable and shows quality. The complexity is that the trim cover is stitched in lines but tucked up for each line on the base fabric, so that tubes are created. The trim cover is therefore wider than the base fabric but drawn back line by line to become equal. These tubes then have to be hand packed with wadding to puff them up. If you can go this way, you’ll definitely prefer it. A trimmer might say they can replicate this with foam but unless they do the tucking, the puffiness goes down as much as it goes up.

I hope this helps without confusing.


I think the knob is wooden and the ring should be ivory.


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Yes Peter, I’d read somewhere that the ring was originally ivory but I won’t be chasing one. I’ll check out the knob as it didn’t look like wood but I’ll clean it up and inspect. I was also advised that the blind should match the headlining, not the upholstery. Maybe I should change it but I’m getting less inclined in my health problem years to do anything that is not essential.


Thank you for the replies. I have had several upholsterers say that “no one” does tuck-and-roll any more. You have confirmed my instinct, that I need to persist until I find someone that can compete the job in the original fashion. Regarding the curtain string, I have most of the parts, except the knob toward the front. The pictures were very helpful, especially the exit position of the string at the back of the sunroof section.



A few notes about my photos.

  • ignore the cord loop hanging down, it’s for tying off ribbons when I did a wedding.
  • I had to remake all the interior plywood pieces due to age-related delamination.
    The cant rail continuous strip is secret-fixed to the ply backing strip and I replicated the original tacks system, but some use hook and loop. The anchor knob must screw through into the backing ply, and I suggest not installing it until you’ve run the blind up and down to determine the upper holding position.
  • the exit hole for the cord is there and you should find it easily if you poke around with a clean prod.
  • if the eyelets don’t screw in easily, tap the holes through as it is easy to shear them off.
  • it can take a bit of patience to probe the headlining to locate the holes in the two bows. If the bows have not been installed in the right places, the headlining needs opening up to rethread them. I have seen some set up with the fourth eyelet on the rear bow eliminated but it looks terrible.