6 Types of Auto Upholstery Fabric You Should Know About


When it comes to automotive upholstery, there are a variety of fabric types to choose from – each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The type of fabric you choose will ultimately depend on your personal preferences and the specific needs of your vehicle. 

There are a few different categories of automotive upholstery fabric, including natural fibers, synthetic fibers, and blended fibers. Natural fibers include leather, wool, and cotton. Synthetic fibers include polyester, nylon, and acrylic. Blended fibers are a combination of two or more different types of fibers. Each type of fabric has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

To help you make an informed decision, here is a list of the most popular types of automotive upholstery fabric: 


One of the most affordable and versatile options on the market, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a synthetic fabric that is highly useful in vehicles. PVC is a highly protective fabric that serves as the primary underbody protection fabric. Due to its high tensile strength and durability, PVC is also used to coat dashboards and door panels, to reduce shock in the event of an accident. Not just this, PVC also has sound-dampening properties and is thus used in carpets and lining to cut down on noise. 

Faux Leather

Synthetic leather or faux leather makes a perfect choice for the look of the leather but has better durability and is more affordable. Used prominently in the seats of automobiles, faux leather comes in various colors and textures. Faux leather gesture all synthetic coverings and are thus, more resistant to stains than real leather. 

Faux leather, also known as vegan leather heats quickly and is thus significantly used only in the interiors of vehicles and not the exteriors. If you are looking for an upholstery fabric that is both durable and stylish, faux leather is the best option. 


Nylon is ranked to be one of the best materials for the automobile industry.  Nylon is a synthetic fabric that is strong and durable. Nylon is also resistant to mildew and fading. It is a common fabric for the interiors of an automobile. Available in a variety of colors and textures, Nylon is an affordable auto-upholstery fabric. Nylon can be woven which imparts it the properties of higher durability and versatility. Moreover, Nylon fibers are stronger but softer than many other materials such as polyester, and have a higher aesthetic appeal. 


Used extensively in the automobile industry, vinyl upholstery is a coated fabric used in various vehicles. Supreme-grade high-quality vinyl is now also incorporated in luxury automobiles such as Mercedes, Porsche, etc. The greatest benefit of vinyl as an upholstery fabric for automobiles is that it’s easy to clean. Vinyl is highly durable and extremely popular in the market. When looking for high-quality durable vinyl, check its thickness. The thicker it is, the more durability.


Polyester is a synthetic fabric that is known for its durability. It is also easy to clean and wrinkle-resistant. China is one of the largest producers of Polyester fabric. Polyester fiber is predominantly used in applications where thermal comfort is a priority. This material also has low moisture absorption property that provides higher dimensional stability under different temperatures. That’s why it’s used in seatbelts. 


Leather is the most luxurious upholstery fabric used in the automotive industry. It has a great aesthetic appeal and high durability, making it one of the best automobile fabrics. Leather for automotive applications is available in a wide range of textures and softness. Leather is more expensive, so it is often used in premium-range luxury cars. 

Final Thoughts

This was a quick introductory guide to the six types of upholstery fabrics used in the automobile industry. These fabrics are used in seat belts, carpet backing, tires, airbags, seats, air filters, and more.