The car seats are lined, since the car leaves the factory gate, with a material added on them. Usually, in the old days, materials on car seats were either cloth, which is a textile material, or leather for more expensive car brands.
But for some time now, as the demands have diversified, a new material that covers the car’s seats appeared, namely Alcantara which is a material similar to suede-like leather.
In this article, we will talk about the three common types of car upholstery, cloth, alcantara, and leather
Cloth car seats
The first type of material used for the upholstery of car seats, cloth is the standard equipment today for the upholstery of car seats that leave the factory for the first time, if the future owner has not opted for another type of upholstery.
Cloth is made of textile material and is not only the most common material on the car but also the cheapest.
The advantages of cloth upholstery
Being the cheapest material available, you do not have to pay extra as in the case of leather or Alcantara when buying a new car.
Although cheap, the quality of the material is very good, durable over time and can be easily cleaned and is resistant to mechanical wear.
Other advantages of cloth would be that in winter, it does not cool down very much, and in summer it does not heat up too much as in the case of leather.
Disadvantages of cloth seats
The disadvantages of cloth are not many. A first disadvantage compared to leather and Alcantara would be that it simply looks common, losing on the aesthetic side against the other two competitors.
That’s why you won’t see cloth on premium or more expensive cars.
Another disadvantage of cloth upholstery will be only if you or someone else smokes in the car and the lit cigarette ash falls on the seat, then a hole will form quite quickly, which is not so easy in the case of the other two materials
The types of leather used in car seats are natural leather and organic leather. There is also another material used widely, the eco-friendly leather upholstery is being used on many car seats even if they are luxury or not. Because eco-friendly leather is more affordable, car manufacturers adopted this type of leather for their premium cars, but more respectable brands use natural leather only.
Eco-friendly leather can also provide various colors that natural leather is not able to provide. But is also less reliable that natural leather being made from chemicals.
There is also a combination of those two, some cars have natural leather in the front seats and back, and eco-friendly leather on the sides, dor faces, or dashboard.
The advantages of leather car seats
The most important advantage – it just looks great. It can be of different colors, especially if the seats have eco-friendly leather, different textures, and so on. Now, the more expensive cars have perforated leather, nowadays customization of leather car seats is diverse. Also, it has a nice feel on touch.
Another advantage is that leather has an average price, which is between cloth and Alcantara. Also to the advantages, we will add that leather upholstery is very easy to clean. Also, leather is impermeable, being very good if various liquid substances that are difficult to clean for the cloth fall on the leather seat, they can be wiped off instantly.
The disadvantages of leather seats
A disadvantage of leather seats would be that they are not as durable as cloth ones and you need to pay more attention to maintaining the leather on them with different substances.
The sun is somewhat an enemy of leather, because, over time, it will no longer be able to cope with the sun’s rays and will crack if leather is not properly maintained.
Another disadvantage of leather is the fact that it heats up very much when the car is left in the sun at high temperatures and you will not be able to sit on the hot seat immediately. On the other hand, leather cools a lot at low temperatures in winter.
But solutions have also been created for the two leather problems related to temperature by equipping cars with features like heated seats, respectively with cooling in seats.
You also have the option to replace the worn leather with a new one. There are specialized car workshops that do this kind of operation.
Alcantara car seats
Alcantara is also a textile upholstery, yes, you read that right. Alcantara is a registered trademark, which few people know about this material. It was invented by an Italian named … Alcantara. 🙂
Many also confuse the material on the Alcantara with the suede leather because it looks very much like it. But the Alcantara is made of textile material, a textile material with a full surface of bristles, specially designed for cars.
The advantages of Alcantara upholstery
The main advantage of Alcantara upholstery is that it simply looks awesome! Since the 1970s when it started to be put on car seats, until now, all the interiors looks just great. You have a variety of options for alcantara regarding the color, but when you opt to have your car cabin with alcantara, the look and feel changes drasticaly.
Another advantage is that the material is very resistant in time to wear. Another advantage is that it is extremely easy to clean and it is resistant to many liquids. Some put this material on steering wheels.
The disadvantages of Alcantara upholstery
The big disadvantage would be the price. It costs more than leather, it is mainly put on expensive cars. Another disadvantage is that, over time, Alcantara upholstery will worn out. Of course, Alcantara can be restored, either by replacing the damaged area or by replacing it on the entire seat
Another disadvantage is that it cannot be repaired, or it is complicated to repair. For example, comparing cloth and Alcantara, if there is a cut in the cloth textile material, it can be sewn and masked so that it cannot be seen, but in Alcantara this is impossible, that’s why the best solution is to replace it.
In conclusion, each material has advantages and disadvantages. If we think about it practically, the cloth is victorious.
It doesn’t look as good as the other two, but it has the most advantages. Not everyone buys their car or chooses the equipment depending on the practical aspect. Sometimes we make choices just because we like something, although it might do us more harm than good.
There is also a combination of leather and Alcantara. The Alcantara is placed in the middle of the seat, and the leather is placed on the sides of the seat.
This combination was made primarily to solve the eternal heating and cooling problem of the leather. But other features appeared that solved that problem. After that, the combination of leather and Alcantara just looked good.
What material would you choose for your car?