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Custom Seat Cover Fabrics 5 fabric selection criteria


HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR FABRIC

The fabric selection process is very important. This is when you decide how to balance looks and performance for your seat covers.

Northwest offers a wide range of fabrics because some people want looks or comfort or high performance durability. We made sure to have fabrics for Cars, Trucks and SUVs; so depending on how you use your vehicle there’s something for everyone.

We offer comfort fabrics from our Cool Sport to Camo & Lifestyle for Looks and our Work-Pro line offers a range of Classic Fabrics, OEM Materials to High Performance & High Abrasion Fabrics. Vehicle seats are subject to different levels of wear from weekend getaways to everyday work truck scenarios. Most of our fabrics feature waterproofing in the form of a DWR (Durable Water Repellant) Top Coating and Polyurethane undercoating. It’s just a matter of identifying how you use your vehicle the most and matching up the fabric that best suits your needs. This part of the process allows to configure your fabric selection with your seat style and build your custom seat covers the way you want them.

Durability

When we first consider a fabric we always look at the Wyzenbeek test results.

This is also known as the double rub test. This is a durability test that was developed by 20th century inventor Andrew Wyzenbeek. A piece of automotive fabric is placed on top of a half-cylinder covered in a #8 cotton duck fabric. The half-cylinder then rocks back and forth simulating, in this case, the action of someone sliding into his car seat and sliding out. This is one double rub.

UV Protection

The second factor we look at is UV light protection. After many test samples, we decided to include a grade 3.5 UV light protective coating (200 hrs). The fabric will still fade over time but, at a much slower rate. Grade 1 coatings leave fabric feeling very natural but, with almost no protection, the color black would turn to brown in one year. Grade 5 coating does a very good job for protection but, makes the fabric quite stiff. Outdoor furniture is often receive grade 4.0 – 5.0 coatings.

Flammability & Safety

The third consideration is flammability. Our fabrics are FR coating and depending on the style of fabric they’ll pass either the FMVSS302 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) or CPAI 84 Sections 5 and 6.

Waterproof

The fourth aspect we take into consideration is a fabric’s ability to provide waterproof protection. Most of our fabrics offer high water repellency or are waterproof. Just as with outerwear, at some point due to normal use, the effectiveness of a fabric’s ability to repel water will diminish. You can restore the fabric by either spraying Scotchgard on our O.E fabrics or a DWR (Durable Water Repellant) on any of our others.

HD Designs

Technology has really changed what we can do with fabrics. A good example of that is the family of camouflage fabrics we offer. Realtree, Mossy Oak, and Fishouflage all require as many as 10 screens to produce the camo seat cover patterns we all love.

Our fabrics really shine in HD because of the quality of the image when using heat transfer paper and the fact that we use durable 600 denier polyester fabrics.