What are the Different Types of Car Upholstery Fabric?

Tara Barnett

There are many different types of car upholstery fabrics available, but there are two overwhelmingly popular types. The first is leather upholstery fabric as well as materials that are designed to look or function like leather. On the other hand, there is cloth fabric, which is usually made by tightly weaving fibers together. Some vintage and custom cars use upholstery that is much less durable than either of these types, such as suede or velvet. It is also important to consider the design of the fabric, as different patterns are often more expensive.

Leather is a popular car upholstery fabric.
Leather is a popular car upholstery fabric.

Car interiors, particularly the seats, must be relatively durable in order to sustain years of traffic in and out of the car. Very expensive cars often do not prioritize durability quite as highly, but it is still necessary to use car upholstery fabric that will not wear out just from being sat upon. This is the reason consumers very rarely find delicate fabrics or fabrics that are easily damaged on the interiors of cars.

Many vintage cars have less durable upholstery, such as suede or velvet.
Many vintage cars have less durable upholstery, such as suede or velvet.

Leather and leather replacements are commonly used for car upholstery because they are durable and pleasant to look at. They come in a wide variety of colors, and they are often treated so that they are waterproof, making this option both attractive and highly durable. Animal products such as fur are very rarely used as car seats, but this is possible as well.

Cloth interiors may be made from a wide variety of fibers, and both synthetic and natural options are popular. Nylon, for instance, is highly stain resistant and comes in many colors. The tight weaving common to upholstery fabrics in general is very important to car upholstery fabric because of the need for durability. This weaving style can also be helpful when spills occur because they are easier to clean up.

The actual design woven or printed onto the fabric often says something about the worth of the car. Designer fabric is popular in custom cars and may bear the logo of popular clothing designers or even the car owner's personal insignia. The primary consideration when choosing to reupholster a car is finding an upholstery shop with the talent and experience to make the fabric look good in the car. These shops can not only help investigate different types of car upholstery fabric, but they can make sure that the fabric looks professional when it is installed.

Some cars have cloth upholstery.
Some cars have cloth upholstery.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


Leather is where it is at. I will never buy a ride that does not have leather seats. They look good, they feel good and they are standard if you want to have a classy set of wheels.

Right now I am driving a 93 Cadillac with a beautiful black leather interior. Seriously, it is like a nice leather couch. Who wants to sit on some dusty, ratty looking old cotton when you could ride around in style?

Post your comments
Forgot password?