Our Favorite Vinyl Automotive Upholstery Fabrics

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When reupholstering your car seats, vinyl is a popular choice. And for good reason! Vinyl is durable, waterproof and easy to clean. But you should think of vinyl as more than just a practical choice. Vinyl fabrics have really come a long way when it comes to design and style. They are now soft, supple and luxurious upholstery fabrics. If you are reupholstering a car, consider using a high-end vinyl fabric.

This classic 1946 Plymouth got a makeover in beautiful Morbern Seabrook and Naugahyde Universal.

High-quality vinyl upholstery fabrics feature beautiful texture and graining that closely resembles real leather. If you love the look of real leather but don't have the budget for it, vinyl is a fantastic substitute. Not only is vinyl much more reasonably priced than leather, but it's also much easier to maintain and keep clean. Loose dirt is easy to vacuum and most spills wipe up effortlessly. Dried-on stains and even pen marks can be removed with simple steps. Vinyl is naturally waterproof, therefore odors from food spills won't soak into the fabric and permeate your car's interior.

Worried about the longevity of vinyl upholstery? Don't! You'll be impressed by how long-lasting these fabrics are. All of our vinyl fabrics are incredibly abrasion resistant and will last for years with proper care and easy maintenance. And best of all, we offer vinyl upholstery fabrics in a range of prices to accommodate every budget. Let's take a look at why vinyl is the smart choice for automotive interiors.

7 Reasons to Use Vinyl for Auto Upholstery:

  • easy to clean
  • highly abrasion resistant
  • highly UV resistant
  • waterproof/water resistant
  • more economical than leather
  • luxurious, "real leather" look and feel
  • low maintenance

How Do I Choose the Right Vinyl for My Vehicle?

Now that you know the reasons why vinyl is a great choice for auto upholstery, let's figure out what type of vinyl you need for your vehicle. Our vinyl options can be sorted into two main categories: look/feel and utility/durability. Whether you're looking for a modern and sporty auto interior or a dependable vinyl for a work vehicle, we have an automotive upholstery vinyl that's right for you and your vehicle.

Are you looking for something that feels like real leather and will add a high-end, expensive look to your car? For applications where you want the best in style and the softness and suppleness of our most luxurious vinyl upholstery fabrics, we recommend EverSoft, Sunbrella® Horizon, Morbern® Bayside and Naugahyde® Nauga Soft. These upholstery fabrics are sure to turn heads in your vehicle without breaking the bank.

Look & Feel Applications:

  • sports cars
  • vintage cars
  • personal vehicles

Do you need something incredibly durable that can withstand the daily rigors of high-traffic use? Do you need an upholstery fabric that's tough enough to endure someone climbing in and out of the vehicle all throughout the day? For vinyl fabrics that hold up to daily wear and tear and last for years, we recommend our construction vinyls: Morbern® Sanibel and Seabrook and Naugahyde® Universal and All American. These outdoor-only vinyl fabrics are high-quality and built to last.

Utility & Durability Applications:

  • semi trucks
  • work vehicles
  • delivery trucks/vans
  • construction vehicles (bulldozers, forklifts, dump trucks, etc.)

This work truck needed new upholstery. We chose Naugahyde Universal and Sunbrella Sling fabric for a super durable combination that can withstand daily wear and tear.

Our Vinyl Brands

Now that you know which type of vinyl you need for your vehicle, let's learn a bit more about each brand and what these vinyl fabrics have to offer.

Sunbrella Horizon: Horizon is a four-way stretch performance vinyl with a look and feel similar to a premium engineered synthetic leather but with the durability of high-quality vinyl. Its knit-backed construction gives it fantastic four-way stretch capabilities that eliminate puddling and allow for easy upholstering. With the performance and dependability that you've come to expect from Sunbrella, you can count on Horizon to deliver the same great qualities to your auto upholstery. Horizon comes in two embossed textures with 30 colors to choose from.

EverSoft: EverSoft has an incredibly supple hand. Its textured appearance gives it the look of real leather at a fraction of the cost. Our selection of EverSoft vinyl fabrics comes in a rich palette of colors that will add luxury and high-end elegance to your auto upholstery. The vinyl has unique four-way stretch properties, which makes it easy to contour and shape during upholstery work, stapling and tacking. It's a true pleasure to work with and is only found at Sailrite.

This classic car upholstery looks stunning in gorgeous EverSoft vinyl in color Tan (#122212) for a luxurious, real-leather look.

Morbern: Three of our favorite Morbern fabrics that are perfect for car upholstery are Bayside, Sanibel and Seabrook. Bayside has a combination of four-way stretch and construction properties, making it the ideal vinyl for high-end upholstery projects. You can pull and staple the vinyl in place as well as add construction stitching when needed. Bayside's slightly textured appearance and matte (shine free) finish add a touch of sophistication and elegance to your auto interior.

Morbern Sanibel and Seabrook are more economical choices that still deliver on style and performance. Sanibel is an entry-level vinyl that is not as UV resistant as the other vinyls. It has a smooth, leatherlike texture, slight sheen, and is offered in a few classic colors and neutral hues that will look great in utility vehicles. A step up from Sanibel, Seabrook features a mix of both subtle neutrals and bright, eye-catching solids that would add a high-luster "wow" factor to your upholstery work. Seabrook is slightly thicker than Sanibel, giving it a bit more durability and longevity. It's great for work vehicles that experience daily wear and tear.

Naugahyde: All three lines of Naugahyde — All American, Universal and Nauga Soft — boast a variety of superior qualities that make them a fantastic choice for automotive upholstery. They are all oil and mildew resistant, static dissipative, sulfide stain resistant and have a UV stable pigmentation that promotes colorfastness. All Naugahyde vinyl fabrics are treated with an environmentally friendly Advanced BeautyGard® protective top coat that provides outstanding durability, scuff and scrape resistance, and abrasion resistance.

So what's the big difference between the three fabrics? Nauga Soft is an indoor-only vinyl with incredible abrasion resistance. It's rated at 1,000,000 double rubs using the Wyzenbeek test. Because of its luxurious feel and attractive leatherlike, textured appearance, it is well suited for sports cars and other high-end auto interiors.

All American has the highest wear rating at 1,500,000 double rubs, and Universal was tested at 250,000 double rubs, which is still an impressive durability rating. These outdoor vinyl fabrics are perfect for construction vehicles, work vehicles, and anywhere you need fabric with superior tear strength and scuff/scrape resistance. With dozens of colors to choose from, you'll have no trouble finding an All American or Universal fabric that you like and that will perform in your vehicle.

Foam Backed Headliner & Vinyl Channeling

To add visual interest and extra cushioning to your auto upholstery, consider using a foam backed headliner or vinyl channeling fabric. Foam backed headliner is not just for boats! The slight cushion the foam gives the vinyl adds softness and padding to corners and smooths out any bumps or imperfections. You can use foam backed headliner vinyl fabric for door paneling, center consoles and pleated seat sections.

Vinyl channeling fabric adds a luxurious, stylish look to car upholstery. It's an easy way to add a unique, dimensional accent to your seats. Our EverSoft® and Morbern® Seabrook Channeling Fabrics are pressed pleated with tucks every 1-1/2 inches. The tucks are filled with polyester fiberfill for a soft, cushioned appearance. Consider incorporating this stylish design element in your next car upholstery project.

We hope this blog has helped you learn about auto upholstery vinyl fabrics and the characteristics to look for when shopping for automotive fabric. Let us know if you have any additional questions. We're always happy to help our customers choose the right products for their DIYs.