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Automotive | UPHOLSTERY

Thank you for visiting LeatherSeats 101.  Here we provide a broad range of information on a wide variety of topics.  Many of these articles are in response to our customer's most common questions or specific product information that we feel is important to inform our customers of.  This particular article is a brief introduction to automotive upholstery and the main product that we provide.  Continue reading below to find out more information...


Leather Upholstery Patterning
Leather Upholstery Sewing
Leather Upholstery Installation

The term upholstery is not used very often in today's digital age and even sounds archaic to many people who have never heard the term before.  What is upholstery?  Upholstery is an ancient craft that has survived centuries and still thrives today in many industries. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the term upholstery as (1) the cloth, leather, etc., that covers a couch, chair, etc. and (2) the process or business of covering pieces of furniture with cloth, leather, etc.  The first definition used the term upholstery to describe the material covering something whereas the second definition is used to describe the craft of covering an item with a specific material.  An upholsterer would be the craftsman that produces and covers an object.  There are many areas of specialization that an upholsterer can spend his time like furniture, marine, or automotive.  Automotive upholstery requires the mastery of a specific knowledge and skill set including the usage of specialized machinery and materials, especially in late model vehicles. Automotive upholstery mainly refers to the recovering, reupholstering, of the seats and trim of a vehicle's interior.  The seats are the most commonly reupholstered part because they see the most damage and use. 

Traditionally, reupholstering a vehicle's seats has been completed by experienced craftsman who must have the vehicle on site for disassembly, patterning, and reinstallation. The upholstery on most automotive applications is attached to the frame and foam of the seat by means of plastic clips, hog-rings, and Velcro.  Once these attachments are released, the factory upholstery will come off the seat frame and foam and is then able to be patterned and reproduced.  However, this reupholstery process can be time consuming for the upholsterer and therefore expensive for the customer.  It also requires at least a few days of downtime for the vehicle. This is where LeatherSeats.com comes in.  LeatherSeats.com specializes in pre-sewn, ready-to-be-installed, automotive leather interior kits, which can typically be installed in a single day.  We pattern the interiors of late model vehicles as they are released so that we can produce custom interiors on demand for our customer base. For example,  the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado received a brand new interior from GM. We then arranged to receive a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado so that we could disassemble and pattern all the cloth pieces in the vehicle. Once the pieces are patterned, we then digitize these patterned pieces into our computer system as well as detailed sew order instructions so that they can be reproduced over and over again. For more information on this process, take a look at our production process page. Our pattern archive goes back mainly to the mid 90s and have many of the vehicle patterns from that date forward.  We do have some patterns that are older than the mid 90s, but these are typically archive patterns which you should contact us directly on for more details and pattern verification.

Our leather interior kits are designed to supply our customers with a kit which replaces all the upholstery on the seating areas. This means that our packages on the website are priced to include all the pre-sewn upholstery covers needed to reupholster all the seats in your vehicle. For example, a GMC Yukon XL with three rows of seating will be priced appropriately on the website to include all the covers for all three rows. There are a few exceptions where we do not have the pattern for the full interior, but these exceptions are few and far between and we will make sure to inform you if the pattern you selected does not have the full interior available.

So this should answer one of our most commonly asked questions... "do you sell the actual seats or just the covers?"  As described previously, we do not sell any of the physical seats. We only sell replacement upholstery which will replace the existing upholstery in your vehicle. The seat frame and foam of your seats will stay in place while the old, stained or ripped covers on your current seats will be removed and our interior package will be installed in it's place.


BRIEF | SYNOPSIS

  • Upholstery can refer to the actual material used to recover an object or to the craft of recovering an object using a material.


  • Automotive upholstery requires specialized knowledge and skills especially when dealing with late model vehicles.


  • Automotive upholstery is generally not cheap and requires an extended down time for your vehicle because of the extensive labor and custom ordered materials required for most jobs.


  • LeatherSeats.com produces pre-sewn leather upholstery kits which can typically be installed in a single day.
  • LeatherSeats.com has patterns for most vehicles from the mid 90s up to current year models and we continue to actively pattern new vehicles and interiors as they are produced.


  • Our interior kits are priced and designed for all the seating upholstery in the vehicle to be replaced.


  • LeatherSeats.com does not sell replacement seats or entire interiors. We make replacement upholstery so your vehicle's current seats can be reupholstered.