Any car can benefit from aftermarket automotive leather seats making it look more cozy and classy. Although you can buy a vehicle with an automotive leather interior, these vehicles are more expensive than the identical model with a lower trim level. So it is often cheaper just to buy the aftermarket leather seats. Because of the more expensive interior, vehicles with leather seats frequently have a greater resale value. Leather seats are also popular among customers because of its silky smooth feel, nice aroma, and high level of comfort. We will talk about everything there is to know about automotive leather interior in this article.
What is automotive leather?
Automotive leather interior refers to the leather material used to cover the inside surfaces of a vehicle's passenger compartment. The seats, dashboard, steering wheel, armrests, head restraints, doors, and sometimes even the roof are among these components. The majority of people are unaware that the leather in their shoes, sofas, and automobile seats differs. Although leather is leather a closer examination reveals that the materials used in fashion and upholstery differ significantly from those used in your car. Almost every car on the market today comes with leather seats. But unlike leather bags or coats, automobile leather must be tough enough to withstand stains and fading, as well as the thousands of times your butt gets slid across it.
The thickness of the leather is one of the differences. The majority of car leathers are less than 1.4mm thick, with surface coatings that are less than 50m thick. Automotive leathers are a unique product, meticulously researched and produced to fulfill the most demanding performance, aesthetic, and environmental standards, as well as client requests.
Automotive leather interior offers various advantages that go beyond its cosmetic value. A car with leather upholstery has obvious connotations of elegance and refinement, but in addition to a very pleasing aesthetic impact, genuine leather seats offer greater comfort and breathability, as well as being far more resistant than traditional fabric seats, as they do not easily get damaged or wear out over time.
Here are the benefits of automotive leather interior in detail:
- Elegance and Quality
Why quality? Leather upholstery is regarded for being upmarket and high-quality, resulting in a beautiful interior setting that stands out. Leather upholstery never goes out of style and adds value to the car because of the high-quality material used on the seats. You can spend more time in the automobile and show off its features to your passengers. It's seen as a prestige symbol with a high-end aesthetic that sets it apart from automobiles with cloth upholstery.
- Comfortable Ride
As mentioned earlier, automotive leather interior also offers comfort like no other. Leather upholstery, which is soft to the touch and feels like butter, provides a high level of comfort. When you're planning a long drive or a commute, you'll appreciate the comfort of leather seats that allow you to relax. Leather has a more pleasant and distinct aroma and smell, which distinguishes it from other types of fabrics. Driving in the car can make you feel like you're sitting in a leather recliner at home. Many individuals also love the scent of leather in their car, which is similar to that of a new automobile, as they get in.
- Ease in Cleaning
And as mentioned, you don’t have to worry about keeping things clean. It's vital to clean your car every week or two if you use it frequently to guarantee that it retains its charm over time. Fortunately, as compared to cloth upholstery, leather upholstery is much easier to clean and vacuum. Dirt and spilled food or beverages can be removed in seconds by wiping down the material. You won't have to be concerned about stains, which are frequent on cloth upholstery and can lower the car's value. Cloth seats also absorb more moisture than leather seats, causing their color to fade and odors to develop over time.
Dust and pollen lodge into the fibers of cloth upholstery, causing allergies in many people who spend time in their vehicles. Because leather upholstery is easy to wipe clean each day during the spring and summer seasons, you may breathe easier and prevent sneezing or suffering from sinus strain. Despite the fact that automobiles with leather seats still have cloth flooring, the leather upholstery will allow you to eliminate allergens in the vehicle and have a better ride.
- Increase Resale Value
Owning a car with leather upholstery will increase the resale value of the vehicle and help you to recuperate more of your investment, allowing you to make a larger return. You won't have to worry as much about the automobile depreciating after you acquire it, which means it'll be worth your money and easier to sell in the future because it'll be in higher demand. Leather seats in a car up to five years old can add $370 to its worth, according to Kelley Blue Book.
Is automotive leather different?
As mentioned, automotive leather interiors are different from other leathers. There are different ways of making leathers that result in performance tailored for the purpose. Automotive leather is too firm when compared to leathers used for shoes or jackets.
More and varied performance criteria than are required would be a waste of time and money. Car leather is an unusual example in this regard, since it is one of the leathers that must do a variety of tasks. It does not have a quality that is solely focused on hardness, flexibility, resistance, or touch. It's a combination of all of these characteristics.
The thickness of the leather is one of the differences. Weight reduction in car interiors has been a focus for some time, especially with the rise in electric vehicle mobility. Other mobility sectors are facing the same problem, as reduced weight means less fuel usage. However, the thickness of leather impacts its strength and resistance to injury. The majority of car leathers are less than 1.4mm thick, with surface coatings that are less than 50m thick. The hide is shaved to attain this thickness. The tanner will always quote the thickness as a range because it might vary by as little as 0.1 mm (one-tenth of a millimeter).
Performance criteria are another significant distinction between automotive leather interior and other leather varieties. When it comes to automotive leather, consumers have higher expectations than when it comes to other types of leather. After all, car interiors are susceptible to a lot of wear and tear, as well as extreme temperatures, UV rays, staining, and soiling. Many of these difficulties are already addressed by leather's natural qualities. Coatings enhance the natural features of the materials, and standards continue to develop.
Car seats that are lightfast, rubfast, (chemical) resistant, and flexible can survive daily wear, tear, scuffing, staining, and soiling. Because vehicle interiors can reach temperatures of up to 100°C, it's critical to keep the leather from shrinking or splitting. This is one of the reasons why high-end leather is the favored material for mobility interiors in industries other than automobiles. Aviation seating takes a battering on a daily basis, especially in terms of soiling. Leather merely needs to be wiped down every now and again.
During the finishing stage, leather acquires a variety of extra qualities. It not only determines resistance levels, but also the material's ultimate appearance and feel. Because automotive interiors need excellence, each piece of leather is hand-finished to ensure an even surface and cut. It must also be adaptable, moving with the user but then bouncing back.
Special coloring with dyes and pigments adds a one-of-a-kind charm, sometimes with a matte finish. Because sunlight should not be reflected from the surfaces, this serves both aesthetic and safety purposes. Special coating technologies not only aid achieve this, but they also give the material a distinct feel. Tanners can add certain textures to leather during the dry milling process, which adds to the interior attractiveness.
Car interiors require consistency, so everything is reproducible. The material's texture and even its feel. The way things are handled varies a lot. Waxy, silky, slippery, sticky, or talc-like — or possibly a combination of these – is the ultimate feel.
It's probably no surprise that automobile leather is designed to last a long time. Because the leather is designed to survive use and the most common forms of damage, it requires little particular care. But it's the way the leather has been treated that's most amazing. Any item we come into contact with on a regular basis in an area where we spend hours should be safe.
Water or bio-based treatments are used for the majority of leather treatment, finishing, and aftercare products. If you're wondering why many automobiles no longer have that “new car scent,” it's because interiors are becoming increasingly VOC-free. That is, there are no volatile organic chemicals in the air within the car.
Which leather is best for cars?
Which leathers are most commonly used for automotive leather interior? Chrome-tanned entire cowhides with a pigmented finish are the most popular leathers for vehicle upholstery (corrected grain). This sort of leather offers the ideal balance of appearance, cost, and long-term durability. In other circumstances, more valuable leathers, such as nubuck or full-grain leathers, are utilized, but a greater delicacy of the material must be compensated for.
Nubuck leather is a type of leather that may be used to make a wide range of leather goods. It's a fantastic leather that's usually of good grade. Its quality and attributes are a blend of finer qualities from a variety of leather varieties. It has a more splendid appearance and even better to the touch.
If you're not familiar with nubuck leather, you can use the term suede instead. The appearance and feel of suede and nubuck leather are remarkably similar. They do, however, differ in several ways, such as in terms of durability. Because it comes from the exterior side or outer layer of the leather hide, nubuck is significantly more durable. The side that is normally more durable and stronger. Nubuck is also a high-quality leather since it is made from the top grain layer of the skin. Chrome colored leather and vegetable leather are two more leathers that are similar to nubuck.
But in the end, how you pick the best leather for your car still relies on your particular preferences as well as the car's colors. Dark exteriors may necessitate light upholstery, and vice versa. However, we must consider the upholstery's practicality: light leather seats, for example, are more likely to become soiled and require more upkeep. When hit by the sun's rays, however, those that are too dark might quickly heat up. In less luxurious vehicles, red seats can be obnoxious. Always get full grain leather if you want to be sure you're getting good leather: it's the most attractive and also the most durable over time.
How much does it cost to replace car interior with leather?
The addition of leather seats or upholstery overlays for your current seats costs between $1500 and $2000 if done through an independent auto detailer. Especially if your vehicle is an older or discontinued model.
If your automobile is still a few years old, though, there's a chance the upgrades can be done at the dealership or a licensed shop. The installation of leather seats in this type of location might be substantially less expensive than at a traditional retailer. Furthermore, when it comes to texture and color, there may be a variety of possibilities.
The cost is also determined by the sort of leather you want. Domestically manufactured leather is likely to be the cheapest. The typical price will be greater if it comes from a higher-end merchant, such as one that hand-stitches the upholstery.
The most expensive leather comes from overseas, where it is not only hand-stitched, but also cut and tanned without the use of equipment. The cost of the material is greatly increased in this case due to the craftsmanship and originality of the product.