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What are the Different Types of Auto Upholstery Supplies?

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  • Written By: Keith Koons
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Images By: Terry Morris, Algre, Theilr, Apops
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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The different types of auto upholstery supplies are seat covers, carpets, foot mats, roof linings and soft tops. These can be acquired in a variety of fabrics and materials as per the choice of the owner and are selected at the time of automobile restoration or repair. While vinyl has been the practical option for a long time due to its durability and ease of maintenance, cloth is often preferred when color scheme is a concern. Leather is chosen when style is the first priority, especially in higher-priced vehicles. The fabric type is also governed by factors like wear and tear, cleanliness, safety and availability.

Due to their application, auto upholstery supplies are thick, so the tools meant for handling them need be heavy duty in nature. Different types of sewing equipment, as well as cutting tools in the form of knives, scissors and pattern cutters, are some of the more basic upholstery tools. Once the fabric type has been chosen, it is first cut into the requisite shapes with the help of upholstery knives and incorporated with patterns as specified by the owner. Next, the different pieces are stitched together with the help of heavy-duty industrial sewing machines; after being fitted on the car seats, the seams are stitched with hand awls and needles to keep them in place. The only exceptions are custom upholstery and leather seats, wherein curved hand needles are used to seal the ends and merge the seams.

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Replacing auto upholstery supplies requires a major overhaul, which is why automobile restoration is viewed as a painstakingly difficult task. This job requires a different set of upholstery tools depending on which area of the vehicle is worked on, and these can be acquired either individually or as a kit. The mandatory tools which enable a smooth, professional-grade replacement of upholstery include the remover for undoing the stitches, the tucking tool for tucking the new upholstery tightly behind the panels, and clip pliers for removing panel clips without causing any damage. These tools are not just applicable on car seats, but also for changing the upholstery on the car doors as well. An average auto upholstery supplies company stocks as many as 200 specialized tools for different makes and models.

Auto upholstery supplies could be bought online or in person, and the actual purchase must always be preceded by thorough research as a precaution, since many variations exist for each automobile on the market. The foremost criterion to consider is the reputation of the supplier; checking the feedback and reviews left by previous clientele will help distinguish reputable suppliers from those just getting established. Reading the fine print related to return policy is also recommended, especially while opting for expensive leather seats, so that the item can be returned to the company if it is not approved by the client.

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