Original bowdrill fabric for roof interior front header

I would like to know a source for buying the Orig bow drill fabric I think it was a herringbone pattern. Mercedes Benz fabric seems the closest .any suggestions?

Have you tried OSJI?

They have a generic cloth pattern not the bowdrille herringbone

Try Bill Hirsch.


What year Jag are you working on? Over the years the fabrics changed.


Maybe this place has it


It is a 1961 # 875880

Hi Mark,

No one is making that material anymore. The last I knew of any was about 25-30 years ago when Jag restorer (the late) Reggie Ray here in Pa. had some reproduced for his customer’s cars. I worked in a another Jag shop (and still do) near-by and we would help each other out occasionally. To make cars to show, he would have the material reproduced, have a canvas manufacturer bond the fabric to canvas (as bow drill) to use in the tops and also to make the canvas hood envelope. All of the canvas used in the early E’s had that lining material. At that time to have the material made was very expensive. About $150 or more a yard and a minimum order of 100 yards. Reggie used up all the canvas and bowdrill on his customer’s cars and we did a few at our shop too.

I’m also at the point in a restoration of my outside latch '61 to decide how crazy I want to get on the top and canvas fittings. I will have to hit my home equity credit very hard to do it. At the time, Reggie and also we built Concours show cars but the effort that went into the tops went un-noticed. Except at a Jag show, one judge wanted to take away points because Reggie’s top had a strange liner. After some talk with other judges and finding his top was correct and the others were wrong and should have deductions, they decided to give everyone a pass as they didn’t want to p*ss off the other E owners.

If you decide to use the same bowdrill material for your front bow that is the same as the inner liner of your top, no-one will know the difference.


Gosh Phil I haven’t heard Reggie’s name mentioned in years and I’m sorry to say that we’ve totally lost track of Paulette. It’s interesting to think that in the late 80’s Reggie would do a complete E-Type for 80 grand! As you know Reggie could be abrasive at times but was a good friend and when we, my son and I, were building my 64 and as the headliner material that I received was barely wider then what I needed I wasn’t sure of the best to proceed but a phone call to Reggie revealed the way that he did headliners and it worked out perfect.