I've kept this case repair post separate to my instrument repair post to keep things less complicated for everyone. I hope that's ok.
As mentioned in my previous post, I inherited a Banjo-Mandolin, which came with this case
The case is still functional - it's chipboard, lined inside and out with cloth. Blue inside and some kind of shellaced black canvas material on the outside. The chipboard sections are both glued and sewn together.
You can see from the photos that some of the stitching is coming away, and a lot of the glue is failing. I peeled back the inner fabric to reveal the original blue underneath, and have bought some new faux fur in a blue to match.
As a printmaker I have some experience making book bindings and covered boxes (though everything I have made has been much smaller than this). I am confident of my ability to reline the case with fabric, but I wonder whether I should add an additional lining, between the chipboard and the cloth? I was thinking thin foam, but there is so little room to move inside the case as it is I don't think that's a viable option. My next thought was to shallac (or glue) gauze over the entire inner surface and then glue the faux fur over the top of that. It wouldn't make much difference if you dropped the case, but would help hold all the seams together through general wear and tear. Has anyone else tried something similar?
Where I do feel uncertain how to proceed is with the recovering or repair of the outer cloth covering. Much of the trimming I will replace wholesale (i.e. the inch or so which runs around the lid and which you can see coming away in the pics), but on the top of the case is a beautiful stamp of my great grandfather's initials. Ideally I would like to keep this while still repairing or replacing the cloth along the hinged edge. I had two thoughts, and wanted to see what others thought.
My first thought was to try to cut back the torn edges, find a similar cloth, cut a piece to cover the exposed chipboard and glue in while feathering the edges of each to make the seam 'invisible'. This idea occured to me because, as a printmaker, I know this is possible with heavy papers. It works because the fibers of the papers are long, and so feathering and gluing essentially re-meshes the fibres to create a single sheet. Has anyone tried this with a fabric case repair before?
My second idea was to recover the back side of the case and extend the cloth over the top, then over lap the old worn fabric of the top, hiding the join under the sewn seam.
Any advice from people who have performed these kinds of repairs before would be greatly appreciated.
All the best,