Cloth vs Leather – 8 Factors to Consider
At some point in your life you will probably will have to make decision: Cloth or leather upholstery in your new car. On some lower-priced vehicles you might be stuck with cloth since leather may not be an option. But for the majority of today's vehicles, you get to choose between the two. So, which way are you going to go? This article includes 8 factors you should consider when choosing.
1: Hot Weather Perhaps the biggest beef against leather is how hot it gets in the summer. Here's a fact: If you leave the windows up on a sunny summer day in Arizona, the temperature in the car can exceed 180 degrees. That's hot and And when you get in and plop down on 180-degree seats, you are literally risking getting burnt.
2: Cold Weather And then there's cold weather. Leather seats have more bulk to them so when its cold out, they stay cold for a while. Cloth seats, on the other hand, start to warm up as soon as you sit down.To deal with this, automakers have countered with heated leather seats. Of course, the feature adds to the price, meaning you might have to pay for both leather upholstery and for the apparatus that heats the leather seats.
3: Price Leather will always cost you more. It all depends largely on the quality of the leather, which can range from thin cow skins to top-shelf Nappa leather. For example, to upgrade a 2016 Chevrolet Traverse to leather upholstery will cost you an additional $1,750.
4: Liquid Stains When it comes to liquid spills, our friends at Liberty Chrysler, Hinesville, GA, point out that leather is clearly the material of choice. Leather can be wiped clean in virtually all circumstances. Of course, some spills can be wiped up but some may stain cloth upholstery permanently. For many parents of young children, this can be a major issue because children spill everything.
5: Smell Leather has a pleasant smell, one that's distinctly its own. Most people enjoy smelling new leather, just like they savor the "new car" smell. Leather can also be conditioned periodically which helps keep that new leather smell alive for many years.
6: Maintenance Leather is high-maintenance. It needs to be cleaned and conditioned a few times a year. If you don't do this, the leather will eventually dry out and crack. Cloth upholstery needs some maintenance too, including periodic vacuuming and cleaning, but leather owners will tell you that their seats take a lot more time.
7: Resale When you cough up additional money to get leather, you're not exactly out all that you paid. You can make up some of that money at resale.
8: Morality The position of the leather industry is that leather is a byproduct of the beef industry. This is not exactly true. Some automakers use Nappa leather upholstery on some of their luxury vehicles. Soft and flexible, Nappa leather comes from the skins of sheep, lambs, and goats.