Car Upholstery, Seat Repair & Auto Interiors

Mac's is Seattle's top auto upholstery shop. We're the leader in automotive upholstery, reupholstering car seats, car seat cushions, custom car upholstery & interior auto restoration. We install leather seats, repair luxury leather car seats, replace seat foam and repair seat frames. We also rebuild seats, install adjustable lumbar supports, repair or replace automotive carpets, auto floor mats, seat belts, armrests and panels.

Auto Upholstery Shop, Leather Seat Repair & Seat Foam

Call Mac's Upholstery to upholster car seats, fix a car seat or replace car seat padding. If you need to repair a leather car seat or replace a leather seat, visit our store in Ballard to shop and compare prices.

Auto Upholstery Technicians

interiors seat covers

We excel in all phases of leather auto seat repair and car seat upholstery repair – from fixing a single door panel, to extensive frame work, to car seat foam repair.

Do you have a tear in a leather car seat, cracked leather car seats or need to refurbish leather car seats? Do you have a ripped car seat, dog damage or a cigarette burn? Bring your vehicle to Mac's. We'll explain what needs to be done, then provide a free repair estimate.

Repair Car Upholstery

We've been installing cloth, vinyl and leather auto interiors sinced 1948. We also repair and replace headliners, carpet sets for cars, floor mats, truck seats and car seats. We install faux leather car seat covers, seat heaters and adjustable lumbar supports. The automotive upholstery experts and car seat upholsterers at Mac's are Seattle's interior car design and leather car seat specialists.

Why put up with something that doesn't suit your style when you can reupholster a car seat with better fabrics? Even something as simple as upgrading accent colors and car seat foam replacement can create a fresh look.

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    Damaged Car Arm Rest
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    Replacement Arm Rest
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    Repaired Auto Arm Rest

Repair & Recover Car Arm Rests

An arm rest is the sort of thing you never notice until it rips or breaks. Here's a driver's side arm rest (above) from a 1989 Cadillac Fleetwood. Like the car itself, the arm rest is big enough for Sasquatch. This one looks as though a Sasquatch had been driving it — the arm rest was cracked in places and the vinyl was filthy and torn. We repaired and reupholstered the arm rest so it was good as new.

garrett leather logo

Industry leader Garrett Leather is one of our primary suppliers. Garrett manufactures leather from animals grown at normal rates and allowed to graze on natural grass in spacious, open fields. Under these natural conditions, the integrity of the fiber structure is stronger and intact without any damage caused by unnatural growth rates, barbed wires, or brands. Here's a list of popular styles and colors available from Garrett:

Allura

Smooth Nubuck Leather

  • Nap changes to create an illusion of light and dark areas on each hide
  • Larger cutting yields than suede
  • Ideal for low to moderate traffic areas
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Avion

Durable Aviation Leather

  • Italian leather with consistent grain and durable, anti-bacterial finish
  • All colors are treated during tanning to meet FAA regulations
  • LeatherShield product suitable for high traffic areas
  • Popular for all upholstery applications
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Berkshire

Genuine Leather with Minimal Natural Markings

  • Italian enhanced grain leather
  • LeatherShield product suitable for high traffic areas
  • Reliable durability with anti-bacterial finish
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Cadence

Italian Leather with Pronounced Grain

  • Consistent grain for maximum cutting yields and little waste
  • High value leather for tight budget constraints
  • LeatherShield product suitable for high traffic areas
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Capelli Natural

Natural Hair-On Leather

  • Genuine hair-on cowhide in its truest form, with no additional dyes
  • No two hides are exactly the same
  • Each hide varies in color, texture, and hair length
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Capelli Specialty

Metallic and Laser Cut Hair-On Leather

  • Hair-on hides in rich solid colors and artistic patterns
  • Highlights unconventional techniques such as laser cutting and metallic foiling
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Caressa

Calf Softness with Larger Cutting Yields

  • Well-known for its soft hand and gorgeous satin sheen
  • Light, anti-bacterial finish accentuates the true beauty of full grain Italian leather
  • LeatherShield product suitable for high traffic areas
  • Popular for all upholstery applications
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Chatham

Durable Full Grain Leather

  • Italian full grain leather with a durable yet breathable matte finish
  • LeatherShield product suitable for high traffic areas
  • Popular for all upholstery applications
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Denizen

  • All Denizen designs created in collaboration with WRAPPED
  • Denizen designs are printed on center-cut pieces of Cadence Swan leather
  • Printed area is 50" x 70"
  • Designs are not printed to the edges. Each piece will have a small border
  • Lead time for Denizen is 4 to 6 weeks from receipt of purchase order
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Flight

Smooth Aviation Leather

  • The perfect harmony of full grain comfort with dependable durability
  • Italian leather with natural, smooth grain and elegant matte appearance
  • LeatherShield product suitable for high traffic areas
  • While originally developed for aviation, it is a gorgeous option for any upholstery application
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Kenya

Italian Nubuck Leather with Pronounced Grain

  • Soft nap with light surface protection
  • Some areas will appear darker depending on the direction of the nap
  • Larger cutting yields than traditional suede
  • Ideal for low to moderate traffic areas
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Sierra

Italian Full Grain Leather with Subtle Satin Sheen

  • Irresistable hand that provides extreme comfort
  • Represents leather in its purest form with very little surface protection
  • Nature's signature is evident on every hide, revealing the true beauty of genuine leather
  • Develops a rich patina over time and ages to perfection
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Torino

Pebble Grain with Waterproof Finish

  • Italian leather with a rich hand and welcoming texture
  • Full bodied uniform grain provides consistency and superior cutting yields
  • LeatherShield product suitable for high traffic areas
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Repair & Recover Auto Consoles

You might be surprised at how often automotive consoles need to be repaired. In most cases, the fabric used in the manufacturing process is not very good. If the cover is constantly being opened and closed by young kids with grubby hands and ragged fingernails you're asking for trouble.

center console repairPets are also notorious for damaging car interiors. Puppies seem to think anything wrapped in expensive leather is a chew toy.

Repairing a kid-damaged or dog-damaged console often requires more than replacing the mangled cover. In some cases, the console will need a foam rebuild. Give us a call or email us pics of your damaged console and we'll take it from there.

Replace Car Carpets

Automotive carpeting is pretty durable, but accidents happen. Maybe somebody spills bleach on the carpet or a paint can tips over. Maybe the kids make a mess or the family dog has an accident.

Water can be just as troubling. If your car leaks, the carpet will probably get soaked. At first you may not notice the damage, but you'll eventually get the message thanks to the ripe smell of mold and mildew. In some cases, OEM carpeting can't be removed without damaging the padding. The only choice is to replace the damaged carpet with a set molded for your vehicle or start from scratch with new carpet. Here are some popular colors:


Automotive Carpet Color Chart

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How to Relieve Lower Back Pain When Driving

Compressed seat foam is often responsible for lower back pain. If your back hurts when you drive, you may need a foam rebuild or an inflatable lumbar support.

The problem begins with low quality seat foam. When you purchase a new car, truck or SUV the foam in your seat feels great. It's firm and resilient. Sadly, that feeling -- just like the new car smell -- won't last forever. Many automakers cut costs by using substandard foam for their car seats. It's only a matter of time before the cushion starts to collapse.

Rebuild Seat Padding For Back Pain

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Install Lumbar Support For Back Pain

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You may not notice it at first, especially with all the comfort adjustments now available in most new cars. But over time, a manufacturer's car seat padding compresses. Eventually, a cavity forms (center right) at the back of the seat deck.

A warped seat pad stresses your lower back. It can even nudge your spine out of proper alignment. Back pain often results.

Rebuild Car Seat Foam

If you suffer lower back pain while driving, there are a couple of things we can do. The best option is often a seat rebuild.

Rebuilding your car seat is a straightforward process. After removing the seat and cover, we replace the bad foam with superior quality polyurethane foam. We also reinforce pressure points with sturdy rebond foam and burlap. If the seat frame is damaged we'll fix and reinforce the frame, as well. You may be surprised how good a properly rebuilt seat feels.

Adjustable Lumbar Support

If your seat foam is good and your back still hurts, an inflatable lumber support may be the answer.

lumbar supportOur fully adjustable lumbar support is made from heavy-duty polypropylene, this inflatable support pad is easy to use and much more durable than standard rubber bladders.

The advanced pneumatic lumbar support is designed to encourage an anatomically correct seating posture while driving. Improved posture makes driving safer and more comfortable. When properly adjusted, our lumbar support pillow eases stress on the upper body, lower back and pelvis.

If you need car seat repair, you can save money by installing a lumbar support at the same time. Give us a call or stop by the shop for details.

Wagoneer Interior Rebuild

wagoneerThe Jeep Grand Wagoneer 4X4 is considered by many as the first luxury SUV. It was manufactured between 1963 and 1991, so even the most recent model is 30 years old.

This one was in pretty bad shape when it came to us. The interior was rusted bumper to bumper and the upholstery was shredded.

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    Rust Damage Throughout
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    Rust Repair & New Carpet
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    Damaged Door Panel
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    Restored Door Panel
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    New Interior
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    New Interior

Before repairing anything, we stripped the interior of the Wagoneer down to the floor pan. A little bit of elbow grease and primer got rid of the rust. Then we wrapped the interior with DexDamp sound damping sheets to quiet the ride.

This Wagoneer was manufactured so long ago that replacement parts are scarce. Because parts are hard to find, restoring the flooring and side panels required a lot of custom work. Most of the carpet and side panels are fabricated from scratch. In addition to that, we repaired the seat padding.

As you can see in the bottom two pics, the Wagoneer's interior looked brand new when it left the shop!

Mercedes-Benz Seat Repair

Car seat repair and truck seat repair can be time consuming. If you're wondering why, take a look at this collection of parts from the driver's seat of an older model Mercedes-Benz we recently fixed.

Imagine the time it takes to carefully remove all these pieces: the cushion assembly, cushion cover, seat filler, lower pad, lower seat assembly, retractor, seat cushion, seat cushion pad, bolster cover, actuator assembly, adapter, control assembly, lumbar adjuster, lumbar support, valve assembly, valve assembly inner support, valve assembly outer support, front seat heater, heating element, pad, seat back heater, chassis seat side assembly, seat cover and headrest.

mercedes seat parts

Then, after repairing the seat, we have to put everything back together. And if the car is older than 20 years there's a good chance some of the seat assembly parts are rusted, corroded, missing or somehow compromised. Parts for older models can be difficult to find. If we can't find a replacement part we may be able to fabricate something to take its place. That also takes time.

We live in fast food world where many expect immediate gratification. We could do seat repair a little faster. We'd rather do it right.

Rebuilt Datsun Car Seat

car seat repair car seat repair If you're driving around in a Datsun your car seat probably needs some attention. We say this because the Datsun nameplate was retired in 1986; that makes any Datsun at least 30 years old.

This seat is from a Model 1600 Roadster manufactured in the mid 60s. As you can see, we use different density foams to sculpt the bucket space and firm the back support. The seat cover is custom-crafted from a durable vinyl with the look and feel of leather. At first glance, the rebuilt seat looks exactly like the original. Look closer and you may notice the channels on the seat are horizontal. They were vertical in the original seat; a style change the owner wanted.

Repairing Car Seat Design Flaw

Subaru Outbacks are popular in the Pacific Northwest in large part because they're reliable and ideal for our climate. But, even a great car like an Outback has flaws. Here's an example of two fabric panels on an Outback seat that went bad after a few years on the road.

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    Damaged Subaru Seat Back
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    Damaged Subaru Seat Back
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    Rivet Fastener
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    Reinforced Seam
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    Installing Repaired Seat Back
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    Repaired Seat Back

The flaps are designed to cover the lower portion of the seatback. The final picture (second row right) shows how they're supposed to look. When the car pulled into our shop the flaps were frayed and nearly detached. The damage was most likely caused by passengers rubbing their feet against the panel over an extended period of time.

The rivets holding together the flaps simply weren't strong enough. Once we identified the flaw, the fix was relatively simple. All we had to do was reinforce the flaps with a double line of stitching, and the car was out the door.

Repair Car Armrest

If your headliner has ever detached you know what happens to fabrics with polyurethane foam backing. Heat and time conspire to turn the foam backing into a sticky goo (center image). The hotter the weather, the faster it tends to happen. If you live in Phoenix, good luck -- this arm rest came from a car driven in Arizona for several years. It's deteriorating from the inside out.

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    Armrest Gone Bad
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    Disintegrated Foam
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    New Armrest

Instead of replacing the ruined vinyl with the same crummy fabric, we used an unbacked vinyl with the look and feel of leather. We also added thicker padding to make the armrest softer. With these improvements, the owner could even move back to Phoenix and have a trouble free armrest.

Replacing Cheap Console Vinyl

The fabric used by many car makers to upholster center consoles looks great, but it's not very durable. Even a tiny scratch may cause the paper thin polyurethane to peel or tear. We're not pointing any fingers, but this past week two Acura owners pulled into our shop with the same problem — shredded center consoles.

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    Acura Console Before Repair
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    Torn Car Console
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    Paper Thin Fabric

An Acura dealer would be happy to replace your damaged console with a brand new one. But, why replace a crappy console with the same thing; especially when the dealer charges way too much money for something that shouldn't have failed in the first place. Smart car owners call Mac's Upholstery when their consoles are damaged.

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    Crafting New Cover
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    Precision Stitching
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    Console After Repair

Our technicians will reupholster your console with a better, more durable fabric that looks the same (above). Best of all, it won't cost a small fortune. A car dealer will charge two or three times as much for a product that's not as good. Get a better console and save money by calling Mac's Upholstery.

 

Repair Damaged Car Seat

Let's say you have to overnight a package to Timbuktu. You jump in the car with Muttley, your brand new Boston Terrier puppy. You get to the post office just in time. Muttley stays in the car, you go inside. Big mistake. He's a terrier puppy, for crying out loud. While you're shipping the package, Muttley turns one of the seats into a chew toy.

You might be surprised how often this sort of thing happens.

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    Car Seat Damaged By Dog
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    Replace Damaged Fabric
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    Car Seat Repair

Usually when a dog tears up a seat cover the whole thing has to be replaced. Damage here was limited to one part of the cover, so we were able to remove and replace just that section of fabric. Muttley's owner caught another break because most dogs will rip out the seat foam after destroying the cover. If that happens we're usually able to patch the damaged foam before repairing the seat cover. Not an issue in this case.

Muttley is currently being held in King County Jail on charges of malicious destruction of private property. Since he's a puppy, Muttley is being tried in juvenile court. Just kidding.

Repair VW Cabrio Seat Bolsters

When a driver's body is too wide for a bucket seat, something's gotta give. Usually, it's the side bolsters. That's exactly what happened to this VW Cabrio seat. The polyurethane foam bolsters on the seat deck and seatback splayed, causing the bucket to "pancake".

In a perfect world, we'd retrofit the seat to better fit the driver's body. But, the seat pan is solid steel; widening the seat is not an option. The next best thing is reinforcing the side bolsters.

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    Torn Side Bolster
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    Torn Seatback Bolster
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    Steel Seat Pan
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    Burlap Cover
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    Burlap Cover
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    Restored Car Seat

Because the bolster foam was torn not damaged, we were able to glue it back together. To keep the same thing from happening again we wrap the foam in burlap. Burlap is perfect for this sort of thing. It's thin, but tough as nails. The seat cover was still in good shape, so after repairing the bolsters, we simply reinstalled the original cover.

The seat will still be too narrow for the driver, but thanks to our repairs the bolsters will stay in place.

Bench Seat Repair

Bucket seats have replaced bench seats in the forward compartment of most new cars, but they're still pretty common in back. Since back seats are often empty, they usually last longer than the buckets in front. But, "longer" doesn't mean forever.

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    Bench Seat Before Repair
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    Bench Seat After Repair
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    Replacement Fabric With Foam Backing
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    Damaged Foam Removed
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    Measuring Replacement Foam

When a bench seat goes bad, damage usually starts at the corner — somebody catches a thread while scooting out the door. One torn thread begats another, and then another, and so on. By the time this bench seat arrived in our shop, a small fabric tear had turned into significant foam damage.

We repair this sort of damage the same way a surgeon operates; we only remove the damaged areas. After replacing the bad foam, we top it off with brand new foam-backed fabric. We considered patching just the torn fabric, but a patch would never color-match the original fabric. Recovering the entire bench with new fabric is the only way to go. Turned out great!

Repair A Car Seat

Despite what some car dealers say, it's not necessary to replace an entire seat cover if it's only damaged in one place. In this instance, the seatback is worn, but still serviceable. It's the cushion that needs immediate attention — the vinyl is shredded and spilling foam.

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    Typical Car Seat Damage
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    Rebuild Car Seat

We repaired the cushion using new foam and matching vinyl. The car was back on the road in no time.

It would've saved time and money to repair both the seatback and the cushion at the same time. There are aesthetic advantages as well. Doing the whole thing at once makes for a cleaner looking seat. But, it's nice to know that you always have the option of "car seat triage" — fix what needs to be fixed now, then do the rest later.

Car Seat Foam Rebuild

All car seats eventually go bad; it's just a question of when. In most cases, the fabric deteriorates first, then the foam crumbles. But, if poor quality foam is used in the original manufacturing process, the seat can go flat long before there's any sign of fabric wear. When that happens we remove the seat cover, strip the frame and go to work on the foam.

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    Car Seat Frame
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    Rebuilding The Side Bolster
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    Shaping The Rebond Foam
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    Seat After Foam Rebuild

We start by trimming off the damaged side bolster. Instead of replacing it with the same poor quality foam, we rebuild and reshape the entire bolster with two gauges of sturdy rebond foam. While the seatback was not damaged, the foam was going flat. Steaming is an excellent way to restore polyurethane foam to its original shape, but this stuff is junk. The only thing to do is rebuild the seatback. Might as well save a few dollars and do it now.

The foam rebuild provides us an opportunity to improve lower back support with thicker padding. With the foam work complete, we reinstall and clean the original seat cover. The fabric is still in good shape, so this rebuilt seat will last for years.

Auto Upholstery Repair

When a car seat goes bad, the worst damage is typically found on the "door side" of the seat cushion; it gets the most wear when somebody scoots in or out.

If a car seat is trashed from top to bottom, we repair the entire seat. But, what's the point of recovering an entire seat when only one section of the bottom cushion is bad? This damaged Chevy seat illustrates why it's always better to call Mac's Upholstery before buying an off-the-rack seat cover or contacting a car dealer.

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    Torn Car Seat (before)
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    Seatback Still Good
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    Replacing Damaged Foam
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    Car Foam Repair
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    Auto Upholstery Repair (after)
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    Auto Seat Repair (after)

With damage limited to the driver's side deck, we dismantled this seat and went to work on the cushion. If the owner had called us at the first sign of trouble, we could have salvaged the padding beneath the fabric. Unfortunately, this seat cushion was so shredded we had to replace a large section with Rebond. Rebond is a durable foam manufactured from recycled foam and scraps.

After the car seat foam replacement, we fabricated a new cover using a heavy-duty, low cost fabric we keep in stock. We could have matched the original fabric, but the budget conscious owner was happy with an approximate match. As you can see, the seat repair turned out great. There's a good chance this repair will last longer than the original seat cover.

Muscle Car Seat Covers

2012 dodge challengerThe current generation of Dodge Challenger was introduced in early 2008 as a rival to the updated Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. The 2012 model that pulled into our shop is a faithful rendition of the original 1970 muscle car, but slightly smaller in scale.

The owner loves the car, but he was never crazy about the drab seat covers. It was time for an upgrade to Katzkin leathers. Katzkins are sized to fit a car's year, make and model. In addtion, you can mix and match fabric colors, materials and stitch patterns.

The owner of this Challenger selected a set of stylish two-toned leather seat covers with a complementary stitch pattern. The almost-new seats were still in excellent condition, so there was no need to reshape the foam. But, getting the covers to fit like a glove did require a tweak or two.

  • leather seat covers challenger
    Old & New Seat Covers
  • leather seat covers challenger
    Snap-In System Inadequate
  • leather seat covers challenger
    Zip Ties To Anchor Seat Cover
  • leather seat covers challenger
    Installing Headrest Grommets
  • leather seat covers challenger
    Steaming Wrinkles For Perfect Fit
  • leather seat covers challenger
    New Leather Seat Covers Installed

Dodge uses a standard snap-in system to attach seat covers to seat frames. The snap-ins work fine for Katzkins. But, to achieve a perfect fit we double-anchor the seat covers with zip ties. Then, after embedding the headrest grommets, we steam and heat the Katzkin covers to smooth any residual wrinkles.

Strictly speaking, these addtional installation tweaks are not required, but they do serve an important purpose. They ensure a perfect fit that lasts the life of the seat covers.

Dog Damage

We've seen plenty of dog damage over the years, but this one takes the cake. It's possible that Cujo didn't appreciate being locked inside the car, but we're betting it simply mistook the back seat as a chew toy. A really expensive chew toy. Can you imagine the owner's expression when he saw this?

  • Dog attacks car interior
    Dog Damage
  • dog destroys car interior
    Shredded Seats
  • dog bite marks
    Armrest
  • repaired car seat
    Leather Car Seat Repair
  • repaired car seat
    Repair Car Seat Leather
  • repaired car seat
    Door Panel Repaired

Needless to say, repairing this Audi A4 required more than an OEM seat cover. We had to rebuild sections of the back bench seat, armrest and side panel. Instead of ordering and installing an expensive new cover, we replaced the damaged leather section-by-section. Not only is custom leather car seat repair more environmentally friendly than installing a brand new cover, it's significantly less expensive. In fact, the owner could buy a ton of real chew toys with the money we saved him.

Escape From Ordinary Interiors

Most new cars and SUVs are equipped with factory-installed cloth seat covers. They may be adequate for a while. But, even the most durable synthetic material used to manufacture automotive seats will lose its luster in no time -- especially if you've got kids or dogs.

This Ford Escape is only a couple of years old and already the seats are stained and worn. Instead of installing replacement cloth covers -- yawn -- the owners chose to upgrade to the luxury, comfort and durability of leather seats.

  • Ford Escape
    Car Reupholstering
  • escape old seats
    Old Cloth Seats
  • Katzkin seat covers
    Katzkin Covers
  • Katzkin Set Coveres installed
    Car Seat Upholstery
  • seats removed
    Car Leather Seat Cover
  • Luxury Leather
    Leather For Car Seats

Having a car dealer install car seat upholstery can be expensive. Not only does Mac's charge substantially less, our experienced installers are the best in town. Keep in mind that experienced installers make a big difference; if your leather seat covers are not properly installed they'll wrinkle and warp.

We also offer the wide range of styles and colors available through Katzkin Leather, a leading manufacturer of aftermarket seat covers. Drop by our showroom to check out all the exciting styles and colors available for your vehicle!

A SAAB Story

Almost every car has cosmetic quirks. For example, SAAB owners complain that door and speaker panel inserts manufactured during the eighties and nineties frequently unravel after a few years. Do-it-yourself fixes may last for a while, but the inserts are certain to unravel again unless the job is done properly. Some owners bring us their SAABs strictly to restore the side panel inserts. Others, such as the owner of this model 900 convertible, repair the inserts when they install a new top.

  • saab door panel
    Panel Inserts Unraveling
  • worn speaker panel
    Wrinkled Speaker Inserts
  • saab door panel
    Worn Door Panel
  • Tattered Convertible Top
    Tattered Convertible Top
  • Old Top Removed
    Old Top Removed
  • Attaching New Rear Curtain
    Attaching New Rear Curtain
  • Tattered Convertible Top
    New Convertible Top
  • Old Top Removed
    Ebony Suede Fabric
  • Attaching New Rear Curtain
    New Side & Speaker Inserts

It's easy to match the original fabric used by the manufacturer, but owners often chose a more stylish alternative. In this case, we substitute a rich, ebony suede for the original tan fabric. Some interior surfaces are slightly cupped, which makes attaching the fabric a bit more challenging. Not only are these inserts flat, removing them from the side panel is relatively easy.

Because the reupholstery process is straightforward and because the car is already in the shop for other work, the customer saves money.