Auto upholstery is a specialized field that requires a real talent when it comes to creating a beautiful finished product. Upholstery needs vary from repair of damaged upholstery to complete renewal of classic car interiors. This is one job that most handymen would be wise avoid.
Not only are skills such as sewing, using various glues, and familiarity with the numerous fabrics available important, but a fair selection of specialty tools is also required. These include heating guns, staple guns, foam cutters, various clamps and webbing stretchers.
Fabrics are numerous when it comes to repairing and renewal of auto interiors. Leather and vinyl are a couple of examples. Each of these come in multiple colours and require unique handling.
Convertible tops present a different kind of challenge. Here you are working with materials like canvas but you also need to be adept at handling the framing. No one is going to appreciate a saggy canvas top on their ‘baby’. The completed work must be both attractive and tight.
If you have damaged upholstery due to spills, gum or the like you may be able to repair it easily enough. Better to at least call a quality upholstery shop first though as a do-it-yourself job may make things worse. A good shop may be able to save you a lot of time and money by using the right kind of cleaner to do the repair.
Sometimes a patch may be necessary. Pros are the best people to advise you on whether or not this will work in the long run. Patching requires careful matching and custom work. A poor patch job will fail and end up costing you more money. Sometimes a patch will not do – rather the replacement of a larger area of upholstery may be necessary. It is important that you trust the advice of the experts you are dealing with though as this is more expensive.
In summary, here are some reasons you should not (in most cases) undertake your own upholstery repair or renewal:
– Lack of experience can cause misdiagnosis of the problem and the cure and lead to a poor outcome in your upholstery work.
– You could make the problem worse costing yourself more time and money.
– Finding the right product match for your replacement or repair could be very difficult.
– You may not have all the right tools to get the professional outcome you want.
Auto upholstery is a highly skilled profession. If you possibly can, you will always want to use a professional to do this work for you. Check the usual sources if you are unsure of who to trust: BBB, Google+ reviews, and references.