Most people think that upholstery is only meant for cars interiors. We won’t hold anything against them as most of them have been exposed to auto upholstery throughout their lives. But upholstery is much more than that. Apart from car upholstery, there are furniture upholstery, boat and marine upholstery, yacht upholstery, RV upholstery, and even upholstery for walls.
Boat upholstery in most part can also be linked with marine upholstery. The basics of the boat and marine upholstery is similar to auto upholstery, but a specialist marine upholsterer is needed to perform any repairs or replacements. In addition, the upholstery used in the yachts or boats cockpits and interiors, and Bimini Tops or canvas covers are exposed to direct sunlight, UV rays, and water, which often degrades the upholstery. It is, for this reason, the materials that are used for the boat and marine upholstery is highly durable, waterproof or water-resistant, and resistant to UV degradation.
If you are looking to bring a drastic change to the look and feel of a boat by changing its upholstery, perhaps the best way to do it is by new cushions or canvas. Whether you are fitting a new mainsail cover, upgrading your saloon, or installing a new dodger, new canvas upholstery is a great investment to make, after all this isn’t something you will be repeating frequently.
So it’s imperative that you choose the right materials for the upholstery of your boat, and there is an abundance of options available when it comes to boat upholstery and it is normal to be overwhelmed, especially if you are doing this for the first time. Here’s a guide to help you with the task.
Most boat upholsterers agree that the saloons and cabins inside the boats are where designers and upholsterers can get creative while experimenting with different fabric patterns and textures. Upholsterers can mix and match different types of materials to create unique styles and interesting combinations. However, it is important that the selected fabrics must be durable enough for a boat. The fabrics should be fade and moisture resistant as well as easy to clean. From an interior design perspective, the fabric can be used as a finishing touch; however, it should exude a positive statement below and above deck. In case of refitting or repairing the fabric on the existing upholstery the fabric should blend it with the existing mood of the boat.
Sunbrella has an upholstery line for boats and their fabric choices for interior cushions are pretty intensive. If you like upholstery, the Nauga Soft by Uniroyal is highly recommended. This is one of their highly coveted Ultraleather products and is expensive compared to other options. But this is the best alternative if you are opting for a true leather look and feel that is usually associated with boats and yachts.
In addition to the real leather look and feel, other qualities you should look for in fabrics is the high double-rub ratings. This rating usually measures abrasion resistance and fade resistance. The higher the ratings are the better. Also select a fabric that adheres to marine-appropriate fiber types such as polyester, olefin, acrylic, PVC or polyurethane.
Regardless if you are replacing or repairing the upholstery or hired a professional boat upholsterer for the project, check out the fabric samples beforehand. You want to see the actual colors of the materials yourself and how they fit in with your boat, and in addition to that, you need to know that the material is something that you can work with. In other words, the material that you purchased from a fabric store should be suitable for the intended purpose.
Always select the best fabric and foam. Purchasing a substandard fabric will fade prematurely or may be degraded from sunlight. Poor-quality foams will get damaged fast and will be unsuitable for usage.
Another thing to keep in mind when choosing your fabrics for your boat upholstery is the durability of the fabric. If you have kids, grandkids, and pets, it is prudent for you to select fabrics that are extremely sturdy. We recommend you use highly durable fabric on seat cushions. If you have a pattern or fabric that you like to see in your boat upholstery but isn’t as durable, you can still use it on pillows or something that can be easily replaced.
If you think that the fabric on the cushions has breathability issues or is costing you a lot, there is an option of using a different material on the bottoms. Another option is to use the primary fabric on both the top and bottom surfaces of the cushions. This will not only improve breathability but also help keep the cushions from sliding.
We are your premier #1 auto upholsterer in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Camarillo, Ventura, Oxnard, Calabasas, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Oak Park, Newbury Park, Port Hueneme, and Chatsworth.