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How to Repair Upholstery in Car: 3 Options Compared

How to repair upholstery in car

Whether you have accidentally ripped your car’s seat, or it is simply showing the signs of years of wear and tear, knowing how to repair upholstery in car seats is an important part of your vehicle’s regular maintenance.

You have many different options to choose from when it comes to repair upholstery in car, depending on the severity of the damage, your budget, and what you expect to achieve through the repairs. The three primary options are to either do it yourself, use an upholstery repair kit, or seek assistance from a professional service.

In this article, we’ll compare these three options for fixing your car upholstery, so you can decide which one is best for your situation.

DIY repair upholstery in car

Many car owners choose to go with the DIY upholstery repair due to its cost-effectiveness. When you decide to take on a DIY upholstery repair job, you are in complete control of the project which means that you can customize the repair in accordance with your personal preferences. A DIY upholstery repair job is perfect for small tears or damaged areas, or for those who feel confident in their abilities to take on the project, and complete it with a level of professionalism.



Without question one of the biggest pros of choosing to do a DIY upholstery repair project comes down to the cost-effectiveness. Taking on the project yourself can generally cost a lot less than hiring a professional, and may even be cheaper than purchasing a repair kit from your local big-box store.


Your ability to customize the upholstery is also an important benefit to choosing a DIY project. When you go with the DIY approach, you will have full control over the materials you use as well as the final outcome.


Skill Level Required

Keep in mind that when you choose to take on a DIY upholstery project, you do need to have at least some skills and experience in working with fabrics as well as adhesives. A DIY project can be challenging, especially if you do not have the necessary skill set to complete the project.

Risk of Mistakes

At the same time, since most DIYers lack sufficient skills and experience to complete the job, they take on the risks associated with this lack of knowledge and technique. As a result, many DIY repair jobs may lead to subpar outcomes, and can even result in further damage to the car’s interior.

Related Article: How to Repair Fabric Car Seat Upholstery DIY

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repair upholstery in car Kits

For many car owners, upholstery repair kits are the convenient solution to tackle just about any form of upholstery damage. These repair kits are specifically designed to match your car’s interior and generally provide in-depth guides and explanations to help make the process a more bearable task. Car upholstery repair kits are the perfect option for those who are looking for a middle ground between DIY and professional services. Keep in mind, that although the repair kits can be costlier than going with the DIY option, they may end up being cheaper in the long run.

Repair kits contain materials and instructions for how to fix car upholstery yourself


Targeted Solutions

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of going with an upholstery repair kit, is that they come with all of the necessary materials and the instructions that you need to complete the job. Not only is there a wide selection of kits available on the market today that are specifically targeted to certain types of damage, but you are virtually guaranteed to find one that matches your car’s interior perfectly.

Easier than DIY

If you lack the necessary skills and know-how to tackle a DIY project, then choosing to go with a car upholstery repair kit is often the best option. These repair kits include precut patches of material, as well as adhesives and a manual to help guide you through the entire process from start to finish. As a result, using a repair kit can often be a lot easier than attempting a DIY project.


Material Quality

As with any type of project, when you choose to go with a car upholstery repair kit, there are certain limitations. The most important of these is the quality of material that is available in many different kits. The old adage that you get what you pay for is crucial when it comes to selecting a quality repair kit, because cutting corners in order to save money when purchasing a repair kit, may result in lower-quality materials.

Complex Damage

At the same time, car upholstery repair kits are specifically designed for only certain types of damage. If your car has more complex issues, far beyond surface damage or minor rips, burns, and tears, then a repair kit will not be suitable for your project. When dealing with large rips or extensive wear in tear, it is usually best to reach out to a professional service.

Related Article: How to Choose a Quality Auto Upholstery Repair Kit

Professional repair upholstery in car

Not everyone is willing to tackle a DIY project, which is why we have professional car upholstery services. Sometimes it is best to leave the repair to the experts, and a professional service can offer the highest quality results you need and the peace of mind that it is being done correctly. Although a professional repair service is more expensive, they can provide a more complete and thorough job that provides car owners with a higher-quality finish and more durable materials.

To repair upholstery in car of high value you should use a professional


Highest Quality

Of all of the possible advantages associated with using a professional service, quality is king. Professional car upholstery services have the expertise, the right tools, and a wide selection of materials to deliver a superior result every single time. Whether you just need a single seat repaired or are planning on reupholstering your entire car’s interior, professional upholsterers are the best option.


When dealing with professional upholsterers, you are choosing to work with people who have years of experience in dealing with a wide variety of different types of upholstery damage. It is this experience that allows them to be as efficient and effective as possible when it comes to fixing just about any type of damage to your car’s interior.

Guaranteed Results

More importantly, when you choose to go with a professional upholstery service, you are almost always guaranteed results. Many professional upholstery services today, offer their own in-house warranties or guarantees on their work which provides you with an added reassurance that they will complete the project to your exact specifications.



Perhaps the biggest drawback with choosing to go with a professional upholstery repair service is that they are much more expensive than a DIY project or repair kit. The cost associated with using a professional service is dependent upon the extensiveness of the damage and the customizations that you wish to include.


Keep in mind that the ability of an upholstery repair shop to take on your vehicle project means that you will always have to deal with scheduling conflicts. Many repair jobs will require that you leave your car at the shop for several days at a time, which is an inconvenience for most car owners.


In the end, when it comes to repairing upholstery in your car, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. The best option for your particular needs, will depend on your budget, the level of your skills, and the amount of damage that you need to repair. When dealing with a smaller budget, and of course smaller tears and damages, a DIY repair project is the perfect choice. However, if you lack the necessary skills to take on a DIY project, but are still on a limited budget, then opting to purchase a car upholstery repair kit is the next best thing. In the end, some damage may be too extensive for a DIY enthusiast, or even a car upholstery repair kit, which is why car owners continue to seek out the assistance of professional car upholsterers to get the job done right the first time.