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Easy ways to repair a tear in your car's upholstery

Oct 9

Every car owner wants to see their vehicle looking its best. Your car's interior can become worn out or damaged, and it can affect not only its aesthetics but also your pride in your vehicle. However, professional repairs can prove costly if your car's interior becomes scratched, torn, or damaged.

How would you fix your car's upholstery? These easy fixes will make your upholstery look great before you spend a lot of money.

How to fix a tear in your cloth upholstery

Cloth upholstery is one of the most accessible fabrics for car repairs. With the right tools and instructions, you can repair tears, rips and holes at home. These are some of the ways that you can fix a variety of cloth upholstery issues:

Simple tears

You can use your sewing skills for more minor tears. You can pick up a durable, curved upholstery needle at the shop. Next, pick up some extra-strong thread for upholstery and thick fabrics. Choose a thread that matches the upholstery color.

Double-thread your upholstery needle using your durable thread to ensure that your stitches stay firmly. Start at the opposite side of the tear. This should be approximately 1/2 inch from the point where the tear began. 

Your needle should be placed under the fabric. The needle should then be brought up through the fabric. Continue to alternate your stitches, placing your needle under the fabric and bringing the needle up through the fabric. We recommend keeping your stitches at least 1/4 inch from the edges of the tear when you sew.

To create a knot, repeat the same stitch five to eight times until the year ends. The excess thread should be cut close to the fabric. To prevent it from ripping or tearing again, you can use a fabric sealant on the edges of the stitches and the tear.

Small holes

You can quickly repair smaller holes (two inches or less) by making your fabric upholstery. Holes caused by animal claws or cigarette smoke burns can be repaired. You can fix them with a piece of fabric and a specially-designed adhesive fabric that seals with heat.

A small piece of fabric can be purchased at a craft store that matches the fabric and texture of your upholstery. The fabric should be cut to fit the hole. Place an additional piece of adhesive fabric in the hole.

Nationwide recommends placing the new fabric over the adhesive and heating it with an iron. Once the adhesive is hot, it will melt seamlessly with your new fabric and cover the hole completely.

How to repair leather or vinyl upholstery


Leather upholstery is more challenging to repair than cloth upholstery. It is more difficult to repair leather than cloth upholstery because it is a higher-quality fabric. A top coat often protects leather.

Most minor scratches and scuffs are not visible beyond the protective top coat and can be repaired using detailing. If the leather's color has been removed from the area affected, you will know if your leather has suffered damage beyond the protective top coat.

Leather conditioning cream can treat most scratches and scuffs. You can use a rag to rub the affected area in slow circular motions. You can also spray acrylic lacquer to restore leather's appearance in more severe cases.

Choose products that match the color of your car's leather. It is essential to remember leather is a delicate fabric when working with it. Don't rush, and take your time.

Using specialized leather kits, even tiny rips or tears in leather can fix according to wikiHow. A backing cloth is then placed inside the tear after trimming it to create a clean area. Once the glue has dried completely, a leather filler can be used to fill in any gaps between the original and the new fabric.

This filler will need to be applied in multiple coats. Between coats, it should dry completely. After the filler has dried, you can gently sand it with grained paper. Use a leather colorant to apply the filler to the surface until it matches your upholstery. For good measure, seal the leather with a leather sealant.


Vinyl isn't as popular in car upholstery as cloth or leather, but it is common and works much like leather when it concerns repairs. Vinyl repair kits are available for small tears, cracks and holes.

These kits come with liquid vinyl in a color that matches the original upholstery. The liquid vinyl can be applied in thin coats to damaged areas. After the vinyl has been completely covered, you can use grain paper to match the upholstery's texture. Heat must then be used to set it permanently.

How to determine your DIY limits

Although it can save you money on upholstery repairs, it might not be the best choice for all damages. It is important to remember that even if your car looks new, all repairs made at home will be visible. Car upholstery repair colorado springs are best if leather upholstery is severely damaged. Professionals are safer and better at handling leather upholstery that has suffered severe damage.