Upholstery is usually defined as the material that is used to cover furniture. But what does upholstery refer to in a car?
The seats and other upholstery in your car keeps you comfortable during any length of journey. It also ensures that there is some cushioning in case of an accident.
We take a look at what is considered to be upholstery in a car, and what materials are typically used to cover your car’s upholstery.
What Is The Upholstery In Your Car?
The term upholstery can be used in many ways. We often describe the upholstery in our car, SUV or truck as the seats.
However, automotive upholsters do not only refer to the seats when they talk about upholstery.
The upholstery in your car covers the entire interior of your vehicle. This includes the seats, floors, ceiling, doors, dashboard and the center console.
Car upholstery is any area that is covered with fabric which protects you from touching the bare metal surface of the car chassis.
Types Of Car Upholstery
Let’s take a look at the different areas where your car is covered in fabric.
The most commonly covered upholstery in a car is the floor. This is usually covered with a hard-wearing carpet, and it is protected with car mats.
You can find the same type of carpeting also in the trunk of your vehicle.
Floor carpet in a car is made with heavy-duty, low-pile material which can withstand heavy wear. However, it will not last forever and needs regularly cleaning and maintenance.
You should also make sure that the carpet is covered with car mats. This helps to extend the carpet’s lifespan significantly.
Whether your car has only 2, 4 or 5 doors. They are always covered with a mix of different upholstery fabric, which can be hard plastic, cloth, faux or real leather.
This does not only protect your doors from any knocks or scratches, but it also cushions you if you bump into the door.
It’s important to treat the fabric of your car’s doors with care.
Although these fabrics are usually hard-wearing, they get a lot of use and it is recommended to treat them accordingly for additional durability and protection.
Similar to the car doors, all seats are covered either in faux leather, cloth, real leather or a combination of these materials.
Seats get a significant amount of use. We slide in and out of seats, we sweat during the hot summer and we drop a range of different objects on the seats.
Car seat upholstery does not only have to be tough so that it doesn’t tear but it also needs to be breathable.
The fabric needs to allow moisture to escape in order to avoid any mildew or mold buildup.
Try to protect your car seats as much as possible with seat covers. In addition, you should also regularly clean your car seats and check for any damage.
The average dashboard of a car is covered in real leather or faux leather. Although cloth used to be very popular for dashboards in the past, it is not as durable as leather.
The dashboard has to be resistant to fading as the sun is almost always on the dashboard.
In order to keep your dashboard in a good condition, just clean it regularly and try to keep it out of the sun as much as possible.
While the interior car roof may not appear to be upholstered, it is covered in a different combination of cloth and felt.
Some ceilings are also covered in fake or real leather. Ceilings need to be particularly durable as they can sag and tear over time.
Materials Used For Car Upholstery
There are a range of different materials and fabrics used for car upholstery.
Nylon used to be a very popular material for car upholstery. However, it is prone to tearing easily, so today is used only in combination with other materials, such as polyester or leather.
Polyester is the most commonly used material for car upholstery. It is soft and flexible enough to make it comfortable.
Additionally, polyester can be woven in different ways, so that it is breathable and extremely durable.
You can find polyester in most car seats and seat belt webbing.
Leather is the most hard-wearing material used in car upholstery. You can find either real leather or faux leather in a car. Real leather is often used in luxury cars.
It provides additional comfort, while being easy to clean and stain-resistant. Leather also adds a touch of luxury to a car’s interior.
Designed to resemble real leather, faux leather offers significantly more strength to real leather.
It is ideal for car upholstery as it is easy to clean, and available in a range of different color options.
Sometimes you will find that some parts of your car’s interior are covered in vinyl fabric. It is a popular blending material with polyester for car seats.
This makes the upholstery extra sturdy and durable.
Can You Re-Upholster Your Car?
Yes, it is possible to reupholster your SUV, car or truck. This is an ideal solution for improving the look of your car’s interior.
The interior upholstery does have to withstand a lot of wear and tear over time. This means that some parts of your car may wear out sooner than others.
Particularly the car seats, floors and doors are prone to damage, and may require reupholstering.
Parts such as the center console and the ceiling do not get worn so quickly, which means they do not need reupholstering during a car’s lifetime, typically.
The upholstery of a car is so much more than just your car seat. Car upholstery also covers the car’s floor, ceiling, doors and center console.
Wherever you can find fabric, such as vinyl, leather or polyester, in your car, this is referred to as car upholstery.