Fabric 101: How to Choose the Right Custom Seat Cover Fabric for You

So, you’ve made the decision to buy custom seat covers. Excellent choice! The next step is to choose the best fabric to suit your needs. With so many options—neoprene vs. neosupreme, leather vs. leatherette, camouflage vs. Hawaiian print—our CalTrend team created this buyer’s guide to help you select the seat cover fabrics that are right for you.

The most important question to consider when choosing a seat cover fabric is: What do you use your car for the most? Answering this question will help you discover what you want from the seat cover material. Whether your focus is style, comfort, or protection, CalTrend has got you covered.


If you have an active lifestyle, you might want a more comfortable fabric such as neoprene. If your vehicle is primarily a family shuttle or a work truck, you might choose a canvas-like fabric that gives your interior more protection against dirt, stains, and wear and tear. Or, maybe the luxurious feel and style of leather is your forte.

Below we list car seat cover fabrics in four different categories to help you make the best decision for your car and your lifestyle: Comfort, Durability, Style, and Specialty Prints. Keep in mind that there is always some category overlap in CalTrend’s high-quality products—you can have a durable material that is also stylish!

Comfort – Softer fabrics for active lifestyles

In this category, you’ll find: NeoPrene, NeoSupreme, EuroSport Spacer Mesh

For those who lead an active lifestyle, we recommend fabrics that offer the ultimate comfort while also maintaining durability. If you’re spending a good portion of your day in your car, truck, or SUV, you’ll probably put more value on the ease and coziness of your seat covers.

NeoPrene seat covers are soft, comfortable, flexible, and resilient to stand the test of time (as well as spills and stains). The wetsuit-like material is long-lasting but also feels good day in and day out. The flexibility in neoprene fabrics ensures that your covers will endure the daily grind alongside you.

On those hot days, NeoSupreme seat covers are game changers. You’ll get a combination of comfort and good UV protection. They’re perfect for beach-goers and camping regulars who may be tracking mud, water, and sand into the vehicle.

Caltrend’s NeoSupreme covers are made of a high-quality material similar to that of a wetsuit, which fits snugly while also being water resistant to keep the original upholstery underneath clean and dry.

When comparing these two fabrics, it’s important to note that NeoPrene is made of a high-quality, more expensive material, but its top layer doesn’t offer the same UV protection as NeoSupreme covers. 

Looking for both comfort and style? EuroSport Spacer Mesh is a high-quality 100-percent space-knit fabric that offers maximum comfort with a Euro-style sophisticated look.

Durability – Protection for on-the-go travelers

In this category, you’ll find: DuraPlus, SportsTex, PetPrint

If protecting your original upholstery is a key factor in using custom seat covers, you’ll need fabrics that offer the most resistance to rips, scuffs, fading, and spills. We recommend more durable fabrics, like canvas, for those who regularly use their car or truck for transporting gear or for families who are always on the go.

If your seats regularly take a beating, the extra protection of our seat covers will go a long way. DuraPlus offers a canvas-like material that is tear- and scuff-resistant in addition to protecting against UV rays, mildew, and liquids.

If you’re looking to give your SUV or pickup an interior refresh, SportsTex is stylish, protective, and easy to clean—we recommend these seat covers for transporting sports gear, commercial cargo, children, and pets.

Speaking of pets, canvas is especially great for pet-owners because it is a highly durable and heavy duty material. Pet seat covers offer comfort, style, and what you need most: protection for your original seats from paws and claws.

Style – Materials to match your lifestyle

In this category, you’ll find: Leather, Leatherette, Velour, Carbon Fiber, MicroSuede, Non-Fade Denim

Whether you’re looking for a sporty or more luxurious look, these seat covers ensure you’re riding in style while offering comfort and protection. Carbon Fiber seat covers are a great choice for our sportier crowd; they are designed to match the look of carbon fiber but feel much softer.

For those with a love for leather, you generally have two options: leather or leatherette. Leather is a top-of-the-line premium-grade material, meaning you’ll get extra luxury and comfortable cushioning for the real deal, but at a higher price point. Leatherette (I Can’t Believe It’s Not Leather™) is a more affordable option and is so similar in look and feel as premium leather that most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

CalTrend’s ICBINL covers have the same three-layer construction as NeoPrene, which give them extra protection from damage. Both Leather and Leatherette are made of breathable material and have UV protection to help fight against mildew and mold.

If you want the original factory look that is soft and luxurious, Velour seat covers are a great option for you. MicroSuede can also add a little glamour to your car’s interior. Crafted from a simulated suede fabric, it provides the high-end look and feel of genuine suede material at an affordable price.

2017-2018 GMC Acadia Middle I Can’t Believe It’s Not Leather Light Grey

CalTrend’s Non-Fade Denim, offered in blue, is specially made in the USA for automotive seat covers. The denim fabric is both stylish and tough (it’s made with added UV protection and is water repellant).

Specialty – Patterns that showcase your interests

In this category, you’ll find: Camo, Hawaiian, American Flag, PetPrint

Specialty prints such as Camouflage, Hawaiian, American Flag, and PetPrint can bring some nostalgia to your car, truck, or SUV. CalTrend’s specialty print seat covers offer comfort and protection in the style that suits you.

Hawaiian print and patriotic American Flag seat covers are both made of a wetsuit-like material similar to NeoSupreme, which offers a soft feel, snug fit, and resistance against any elements thrown their way.

Camouflage and PetPrint are very popular prints that lend especially well to outdoor enthusiasts. Our CalTrend camo brands, which include Mossy Oak®, TRUETIMBER®, Digital Camo, Hunter, and Retro seat covers, are made to withstand the vigorous outdoors.

Have more fabric questions?

Now that you know the differences between some of the most popular car seat cover fabrics, check out the Shop Fabrics section of our website for more options. CalTrend offers American-made custom seat covers with the right fit for your Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Honda, or Jeep.Shop by Vehicle.

Contact us if you have more questions about our products.

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