Leather upholstery replacement

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If you are the owner of a car which has leather upholstery, or you are thinking about replacing your upholstery for leather then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article we will provide you with a step by step guide on how to replace, restore and take care of your leather upholstery.


Why You Should Consider Replacing the Seats in Your Car

There are many reasons why you should look to change the seats in your car. For example, leather seats have a certain style and quality about them which cannot always be achieved from cloth seats. Contrary to popular belief, leather seats offer great value as when it comes to cleaning them, they are easier to maintain as often the surface can just be wiped clean.

If you are looking to beautify your car, truck, SUV or any other automotive vehicle then customization of your upholstery with leather seats would really help to set it apart from other such vehicles and will really help to give your vehicle that personal look.

Another reason to replace your cloth seats with leather is that this type of upgrade will keep the car looking good for longer as when real leather wears, it’s not a negative as leather looks better as it ages.


Different Kinds of Leather Upholstery

As with most things related to the automotive industry, there is plenty of choice. A leather interior is no different as there are many different types of leather to choose from. For example, you can opt for quilted, flat panel, assembled panel, custom, universal or something more bespoke.

The choices are infinite as you are also able to pick the type of stitching that you prefer, the color and the quality as certain hides will cost more than others. When you are deciding on the installation of your leather interior, it is worth checking an installation guide to see if there is a best fit method.


Tools Required for Replacing Upholstery

There are a number of specialist tools that are required when replacing upholstery. Tools such as a fine point bradawl, staple remover, C cramps, tape measure, soft grip pincers, webbing pliers and a hole punch are just some of the specialist tools that an upholsterer will use when replacing car related upholstery.

40mm Silverline Point Square Bradawl
Square, tapered blade made from blued hardened steel, with fine point and beechwood handle
C.S. OSBORNE No- 249 - Canvas Stretching Pliers for Upholstery
. Osborne No- 249 - Canvas Stretching Pliers for Upholstery
Crain 126 Staple Remover
Removes staples quickly and easily


Step-By-Step Instructions for Replacing the Upholstery

To replace your car leather upholstery, you need to be fairly sure that you have the appropriate skills and tools to be able to do it yourself if you want to embark on this project.

However, it is highly advisable that for this type of restoration the replacement needs to be undertaken by a professional, so the install is straightforward and completed to a professional standard. The benefits of this is that they will already know the correct steps to follow whilst you will just be able to enjoy the finished product. If you still feel that you want to complete this as a DIY project, here are some instructions for you to follow:

  1. Make sure that you have the right tools for the job as this will ensure that you are able to finish the work to a high standard.
  2. Locate all the bolts that hold the seats to the car. Remove these bolts but make sure that you note down where each bolt was removed from. If the vehicle has heated or electric seats, make sure that you unplug the wire before you remove the seats. This is often located underneath the seats.
  3. Completely remove the seats from the car.
  4. Once the seats have been removed from the car you will need to start removing the trim. Pay particular attention to how the seat trim was attached to the seat so that you can use a similar method when you need to put it back in again.
  5. Once the upholstery has been removed, it is a good idea to measure it to see how much leather you will require for the reupholster. Some people like to use the old seats as a template for their new seats.
  6. Once you have attached the new leather to the seats, reinstall the seats in the same way as you took them out. Remember to reattach any electric seats or airbag modules too.

Tips on How to Care for Leather Interior

Once you’ve had your leather upholstery installed, you will need to take care of it in order to keep it in its full lustre. Cleaning and protecting the leather is paramount so therefore you could look to purchase a leather cleaning kit which will have a step by step instruction manual provided with it. Some additional tips for you to consider are:

  • Always use a clean non-abrasive cloth.
  • Only use approved leather cleaners.
  • After cleaning has taken place, be sure to use a good quality leather balm to seal the surface of the leather.

Tips for Minor Repair of Leather Upholstery

In the unfortunate event that you tear or damage your leather upholstery, there are certain tips that you can follow to try and repair the damage.

If it is a tear that you need to repair, the area can be patched together and glued. You will then need to use a heavy filler to smooth over the joining line. Once the filler has dried, a colourant needs to be added so that the surface blends together.
If the damage is colour fading, you can add a colourant to bring the leather back to its original colour.


Three of the Most Popular Manufacturers of Car Leather Upholstery

Yarwood, Trasncal and Muirhead are three of the biggest names is car leather upholstery. They offer the finest quality leathers which can be personalised to suit your individual tastes.

So, as you can see from the above, having leather in your vehicle is a great way to customise your vehicle and to give your vehicle a new lease of life, whilst at the same time adding a touch of luxury to your vehicle.

Bestseller No. 1
SHINE ARMOR Car Interior Cleaner for Car Detailing - All Purpose Car Carpet Cleaner, Car Seat Cleaner, Interior Car Cleaner for Upholstery, Car Leather Cleaner, Carpet, Plastic, and More
LATEST NANOTECHNOLOGY - Formulated using the latest nanotechnology, our All Purpose Interior Cleaner effectively cleans and washes away dirt, grime, and dust off all interior car surfaces, including leatherent, trim, pleather, rug, headliner, rubber, carpet, vinyl, flooring, canvas, cloth, plastic, upholstery, fabric seats and stains super fast and better than a mat carpet shampoo! Works great on your boat too!
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Large Leather Repair Patch Adhesive Back First-aid for Upholstery Couch Car Seat Jackets Handbags 12x24 Inches, Pack of 2 (Grey)
Adhesive leather patch help repair scratch, crack and tear of chair, car seat and couch; better alternative to liquid repair kits
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Coconix Brown Leather Repair Kits for Couches - Vinyl & Upholstery Repair Kit for Car Seats, Sofa & Furniture - Liquid Scratch Filler Formula Repairs Couch Tears & Burn Holes
SAVE YOUR EXPENSIVE FURNITURE: The Coconix liquid leather repair kit is here to help repair scratches, tears, cracks, burn holes or rips and make your expensive leather armchair look as good as new!
SaleBestseller No. 4
Leather Repair Kits for Couches and Cars, Gray Leather Repair Patches Super-Thin Vinyl Repair kit 8 PCS
1.Super-Thin Leather Patch: Super thin material gives your DIY leather repair a smooth finish. The edge of the leather patch is uneasy to lift.
Bestseller No. 5
Black Leather and Vinyl Repair Kit - Furniture, Couch, Car Seats, Sofa, Jacket, Purse, Belt, Shoes | Genuine, Italian, Bonded, Bycast, PU, Pleather |No Heat Required | Repair & Restore
LEATHER RESTORATION WITH CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS : One of the best ORIGINAL DIY leather repair kit & vinyl repair kit in the market that will help you touch up, fix, repair your leather & vinyl goods. Cover marks & make your leather like new condition again!
SaleBestseller No. 6
Carfidant Ultimate Car Interior Cleaner - Automotive Interior & Exterior Cleaner All Purpose Cleaner for Car Carpet Upholstery Leather Vinyl Cloth Plastic Seats Trim Engine Mats - Car Cleaning Kit
THE BEST CAR INTERIOR CLEANER - Our Ultimate Cleaner Kit will leave your interior spotless and looking like new! It is all your car interior cleaning needs. You can safely use it to clean leather seats, cloth and fabric seats, carpets and mats, upholstery, dashboards, vinyl, and plastic! Simply spray it on, and wipe off with the included microfiber towel!
Bestseller No. 7
Liquid Leather Repair and Re-Color Kit for All Vinyl & Leather. Restores to New Condition; Car Seats, Boats, Upholstery, Sofas, Chairs, Leather Coats, and More
LIQUID LEATHER, DEVELOPED IN 1980, Is the Original DIY Leather & Vinyl Repair Kit, used by Millions of People with Beautiful Results. We have 50 Years Repair Experience! Out kit is the only one on the market that can change the color of your leather or vinyl. Don't like the color of your leather? Make it any color!

Last update on 2019-11-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dan Hoffman

Dan is a co-founder of Engineswork. He knows everything about internal combustion engines. Ask your questions in comments down below this article - he will be glad to help you anytime.

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