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 Seattle, Leather Seat Repair & Seat Foam

  • repair damaged car seat
  • new car seat cover

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 shop in Ballard.

Auto Upholstery Technicians

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 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.

  • auto interiors
  • seat covers
  • car seat heaters

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. Just recently, we replaced the accent fabric inside a Cadillac with a durable, stylish blue plaid (below). As you can see, the new plaid complements the interior much better than the original brown.

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    Original Car Seat Cover (before)
  • leather accent original cadillac seat
    Brown Upholstery Accent (before)
  • custom cadillac seat cover
    Car Reupholstering (after)
  • custom cadillac door panel insert
    Cloth Door Panel Insert (after)

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 from a 1989 Cadillac Fleetwood. Like the car itself, the arm rest is big enough for a medium-sized 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.

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    Damaged Car Arm Rest
  • arm rest replacement
    Replacement Arm Rest
  • repaired arm rest
    Repaired Auto Arm Rest

The Cadillac owner brought his car to the right place. We repair, reupholster and replace arm rests in cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. In most cases, all it takes is a layer of new fabric. Give us a call or email a picture and we'll give you some options.

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

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    Repair Car Center Console
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    Vinyl Console
  • center console repairLeather Console

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 go from there.

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
  • damaged seat back
    Reinforced Seam
  • damaged seat back
    Installing Repaired Seat Back
  • damaged seat back
    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
  • automotive arm rest repair
    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.

  • acura center console repair
    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.

Before & After Seat Repair


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
  • torn cabrio seat bolsters
    Burlap Cover
  • torn cabrio seat bolsters
    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
  • bench seat after repair
    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!

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. One of the nice things about Katzkin seat covers – they're 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.

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    Old & New Seat Covers
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    Snap-In System Inadequate
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    Zip Ties To Anchor Seat Cover
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    Installing Headrest Grommets
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    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.

Hollywood Movie Car Refit

Ready for a rapid-fire round of Hollywood trivia?

  • What Seattle upholstery shop helped restore the sports car featured in the 1954 Tony Curtis Film "Johnny Dark"?
  • What "Gilligan's Island" actor appeared in "Johnny Dark"?
  • How many degrees of separation between that "Gilligan's Island" actor and Kevin Bacon?

The answer to the first question is pretty obvious or we wouldn't be asking it. The Gilligan's Island actor was Russell Johnson AKA The Professor. As for the final question, one of Russell Johnson's co-stars in "Johnny Dark" was Piper Laurie. Laurie was in "The Crossing Guard" with Jack Nicholson who also starred in "A Few Good Men" with — ta-dah — Kevin Bacon.

Anyway, back to the sports car. It's a 1952 Woodhill Wildfire, famous for being the first production prototype manufactured with a fiberglass body. We sometimes forget how exotic fiberglass was when this car was built; the idea of manufacturing a car body from sheets of thin glass fibers seemed crazy.

There are some interesting articles on the Web about the Woodhill Wildfire. You'll see kit car versions of the Wildfire every now and then, but there's only one prototype still on the road. The owner, a local car collector, brought it to Mac's for some finish work.

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    Wildfire Seat Before Dye
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    Wildfire Interior Stripped
  • woodhill Wildfire
    Wildfire Interior Before New Upholstry
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    Wildfire Seat After Dye
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    Wildfire Custom Carpet Installed
  • woodhill Wildfire
    Wildfire With New Upholstery

The historic car pulled into our shop with a fresh coat of paint. It looked showroom new, except for the crummy upholstery. Careful to protect the new finish, we removed the seats and stripped the car down to its fiberglass floor pan. While the original seats and cushions were being dyed black, we repaired the interior and fabricated new carpeting for the cabin and trunk.

Originally, the owner wanted to go with standard loop carpeting, the sort of material found in many of today's cars. We recommended carpeting similar to the stuff used when the Wildfire was manufactured. GM still makes period-specific automotive flooring for restoration projects, so we used that style of carpet along with an accent fabric matching the new paint. Our technicians finished the edges using a rolled binding technique.

After a touch-up here and there, we installed the seats and the old Wildfire was out the door.

Bonus trivia points if you get this question right; how many degrees of separation between Mac's Upholstery and Tony Curtis? Just one — a 1952 Woodhill Wildfire.

Repair A Car Seat

damaged car seat damaged 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.

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.

  • Car Seat Frame
    Car Seat Frame
  • Car Seat Frame
    Rebuilding The Side Bolster
  • Car Seat Frame
    Shaping The Rebond Foam
  • Car Seat Frame
    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)
  • torn car seat
    Seatback Still Good
  • torn car seat
    Replacing Damaged Foam
  • torn car seat
    Car Foam Repair
  • torn car seat
    Auto Upholstery Repair (after)
  • torn car seat
    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.

What's Under The Seat

factory Seat Heater factory Seat Heater
Seat Heaters Complicate Repairs
Sometimes a simple seat repair isn't so simple -- case in point, a car seat with a seat heater.

Some vehicles have factory-installed seat heaters. They're either attached to the seat foam, or as in this case, sewn into the cover itself. In order to repair a damaged seat cover, we often have to remove then reinstall a seat heater. This adds another layer of complexity and cost to what would seem to be a relatively straight forward repair.

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?

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    Dog Damage
  • dog destroys car interior
    Shredded Seats
  • dog bite marks
  • repaired car seat
    Leather Car Seat Repair
  • repaired car seat
    Repair Car Seat Leather
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    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
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    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, the leading manufacturer of aftermarket seat covers. Click here 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.

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    Panel Inserts Unraveling
  • worn speaker panel
    Wrinkled Speaker Inserts
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    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.

Rebranding An SUV

Over the years, Isuzu has cut manufacturing and marketing deals with a number of carmakers including Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Honda and General Motors. So, when a customer purchased new seat covers for his Chevrolet Tahoe, he figured it would be fun to rebrand it as an Isuzu. Especially since Isuzu has all but disappeared from the North American market.

  • izusu logo
  • izusu logo
  • izusu logo
  • izusu logo

The SUV owner handled most of the exterior stuff, including Isuzu badges to go on the cab. We sewed Isuzu patches into the seat covers during the installion. The transformation is not as dramatic as Bruce Wayne's Batman or the Remus Lupin werewolf thing, but seeing a rebranded "Isuzu SUV" roaring down I-5 is sure to turn a few heads.