How to Upholster a Steering Wheel Using Alcantara Fabric

How to Upholster a Steering Wheel Using Alcantara Fabric

Upholstering your steering wheel using Alcantara fabric is a fantastic way to add a robust and luxurious touch to your car interior. Alcantara is a common Italian-made synthetic textile material with a comfortable, suede-like microfiber pile. Alcantara, sometimes known as Alcantara leather, offers a greater, firmer grip, and it is incredibly durable, making it highly sought-after by automotive enthusiasts.

To upholster or wrap your steering wheel using Alcantara fabric, you can use the following steps:

1. Clean Your Steering Wheel

Choose a cleaner suitable for your steering wheel’s material (e.g. leather cleaner for leather or all-purpose cleaner for metal). Spray the cleaner on a microfiber cloth and coat the wheel. Then, rub the towel around the wheel to remove dirt and debris.

2. Measure and Cut Pieces of Alcantara to Fit your Wheel

If you are cutting your own fabric, lay it over the steering wheel and mark where you need to make cuts. Remember that the Alcantara fabric will need to be tight on the wheel, so cut it slightly smaller than the actual wheel size to account for stretch.

3. Use a Sewing Machine to Pierce Holes

Fold the Alcantara fabric in half, and, starting approximately 1/16th of an inch away from the end of the fabric, run the folded piece of fabric under the sewing needle without any thread. Move slowly to ensure you maintain a straight line.

4. Measure Your Thread

Lay the thread on the circumference of the steering wheel to determine an appropriate length. Take the measured length, add 3 more inches, then double it before cutting.

5. Thread Two Needles

Run the thread through one needle and, on the opposite end of the thread, thread the second needle.

6. Cross-Stitch the Leather to the Wheel

Most manufacturers use a cross-stitch on their stock steering wheels. It holds securely and adds a touch of elegance to Alcantara.

To cross-stitch, follow these steps:

  • Starting with the first pre-pierced hole, run needle 1 through, from left to right. Then, follow with needle 2 from right to left (through the same series of holes).
  • Follow this pattern, alternating which needle goes from left to right versus right to left, until you have reached the end of the leather section.
  • If you prefer, you can use other stitching methods, such as a diamond-shaped stitch, or a hexagonal-shaped stitch.

7. Close Your Stitch

When you reach the last hole, proceed with the pattern as normal but run each needle through the last hole one more time, this time running the needle under the existing stitch. To secure the thread follow these steps:

  • Remove the needles from the thread, and pull the thread tight.
  • Tie the two ends of thread together, securing the stitches in place.
  • Cut any excess thread away.

Voila - you are done! You now have upholstered your steering wheel using Alcantara fabric! This material will help your steering wheel gain more grip and elegance.

We are proud to be the official distributor of Alcantara fabric in North America. If you are an upholsterer, you can order your Alcantara for steering wheels. If you are looking for an upholsterer to reupholster your car's interior, you can use our dealer locator search.