Re-upholstery for your car's interior.

"New threads for your car."

Why put up with the boring colors and fabrics that manufacturers use to design a car interior.

TorqueCars members have tried just about every interior mod available from a full custom re-upholster to swapping in aftermarket parts or using interiors from performance cars.

Most cars come with black and grey interiors and sometimes navy blue or a slight colored cord finish.

Sometimes, if you are lucky it will have a slight variation in the fabric but from a distance it will still look boring and uninspiring.

Why put up with a boring interior? You are going to spend most of your time looking at it - let your car reflect your individuality.

Whilst a car interior is designed to appeal to a wide selection of motorists and stand up to 20 years use there is much that can be done to spruce up the interior of your car.

New Seats.

Many sports seats are on offer but it is very hard tracking down rear seats to match as most aftermarket seats are universal with an adapter rail to fit the car whereas rear seats have to be a specific size and have precisely cut belt holes and release catches.

Going to the local breakers yard may often yield a complete leather or sporty interior from a sports or executive model of your car.

Using these "new" seats as a base you can get them recovered or completely re-upholstered without having to be without the seats in your car, enabling you to continue to use your car. Then when you have swapped them in you can sell your old seats to someone else.

Re-upholstered seats.

Whilst it is possible to re-upholster your seats yourself, most people prefer to pay an expert as the finish is infinitely better and the overall job often takes a matter of hours rather than a whole week or two.

Be careful to choose a hard wearing fabric. Leather is the material of choice as it repels most stains from liquids, is relatively easy to clean and can be stretched to fit which creates a nice finish. Other fabric choices should include Alcantara, heavy cotton and synthetic fibers.

(Fur often looks nice although that is very much subject to personal taste.)

Ensure that you get a good finish and that the seams are double stitched as they will get a lot of abuse and it would be a real shame if your look is spoiled with some frayed or split seams.

Complete interior makeover including door cards.

Remove the door furniture such as catches, switches and handles.

The door cards are generally pushed on with studs and these often get warped as they are removed so get a set of spare retaining studs and swap out any which have got damaged.

This is also a good time to upgrade the speakers in your car blending them in with the new look.

Sometimes less is more and adding a small colored panel can radically transform your car's look.

Experiment first, take a photo of your car and in Photoshop or another image editing package play around with colors until you feel you have got it right, then ask your friends and family for their opinions.

The new fabric trim can be simply stretched over the door card, holes for the furniture can be added.

Then you can affix the fabric to the door card with a heavy duty carpet tape spread liberally over the backing surface to avoid stretching or use a good quality fabric adhesive.

(When using adhesive make sure it does not ooze through the fabric as this can make the fabric hard and scratchy to the touch - with most fabric glues you need to allow them to dry and form a tacky skin before you add them.)

Ideally you can pull the fabric over the edges and glue down the seam on the reverse of the door car and then rely on the door furniture to prevent sagging but the best result usually comes from using all of these methods to affix the fabric.

Finishing touches

Dash board function, dials, gear knob and hand brake can all be upgraded and made to blend in with the rest of your chosen look.

Some suppliers are starting to offer aftermarket trim parts including stick on trim surrounds in wood, leather, carbon fiber and a wide variety of custom colors and finishes.

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3 Responses to “Re-upholstery for your car from seats to dashboard.”

  1. patrick says:

    This article was very interesting to me. it made me think a lot about what I want to do with my car. I have a 2003 mustang gt, that I would like to to do a complete interior restoration much like the pictures you provided on this article. Is there such a place I could do this?

  2. yaughn says:

    Very nice article. I do wish there was an automotive interior for dummies video set. Im making an entirely custom interior so no patterns to use. I could really use the help!

  3. Dan says:

    Great info. My son has a 2005 Saab 9-3 Linear convertible. He needs his seats re-upholstered. We live in Chapel Hill. Are there already made replacements for these seats produced by any companies you arware of? Thanks so much for your help. His side panels also need some help.

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