What type of leather is used for steering wheels?

What type of leather is used for steering wheels?

The leather industry, which was worth $419.3 billion in 2021, is expected to grow even bigger, reaching an astonishing $708.7 billion by 2030. This means that the leather consumer market is multiplying day by day.

The automobile industry was always among the greatest consumers of leather for their luxurious leather seats and cabins.

Nowadays, leather steering wheels are popular for their durability and comfort. But have you ever wondered, “What type of leather is used for steering wheels?”

Many types of leather are used in making steering wheels, such as Genuine Leather, Woven leather, Faux Leather, Teflon leather, Suede leather, Microfiber leather, etc. Each of this leather provides a different look and feel to the hand and is also different in durability.`

In this post, we will talk about what type of leather is used in steering wheels, how it is made, its pros and cons, and finally, how to maintain them. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into the topic.

What is a Leather Steering Wheel Cover?

What is a Leather Steering Wheel Cover?

Steering wheels made of leather instead of typical materials is a leather steering wheel cover.

If you have ever noticed that the steering wheels are usually covered in leather in the more expensive car models, that’s because they come into frequent contact with our skin and sweat, so they are typically made of pigmented leather to make sure they stay clean and durable.

Leather steering covers are made soft to the touch and made for a comfortable ride. They also give a more classy finish to your car’s interior.

History of Leather Steering Wheel Covers

In 1948, a leather steering cover was invented by Sr. Ralph E. Oberlin. It was patented later in 1952 in the USA. The leather industry was sufficiently blooming then, creating a mass waste of leather trimmings. From those trimmings, manufacturers needed to utilize them.

Then they started to make armrests, and steering wheel covers from the trimming of leather seats.

Types of Leather used in Steering Wheel Covers

Types of Leather Used in Steering Wheel Covers

Steering wheels use many types of leather for different styles of vehicles, such as cars, trucks, or even boats. According to style and fittings, there are different types of leather available for your steering wheel cover. Some widely used leathers are

1. Genuine Leather: This type of leather is typically found in the highest-end models of cars, and they can provide a very satisfying feeling when you touch and hold them.

2. Woven leather: This type of leather has texture to it. It’s usually used in furniture, but you can find some of them in steering wheels.

3. Microfiber leather: Microfiber leather is a type of human-made leather that’s made by combining microfiber non-woven fabric with a layer of high-performance PU resins. It’s said to be the highest version of synthetic leather.

4. Suede leather: Suede leather is a type of leather that’s soft to the touch and good for a hand feel. This type of leather is made from the inside of animal skin, the opposite side of the skin that is used for making leather.

5. Teflon leather: This leather is coated with Teflon and has a plasticky feel to it. Some manufacturers use Teflon leather for enhanced sweat resistance for a less sweaty experience while driving.

6. Faux Leather: Faux leather is also known as fake leather. It is not made of animal skin but uses plastic as its base and waxed, dyed, or polyurethaned for texture and colors.

Pros and Cons of Using a Leather in Steering Wheel Cover

Pros of leather in steering wheels

Leather is treated as a luxury item in the automobile industry. It is treated as a high-quality material. Let’s talk about some pros and cons of leather in steering wheels.

Pros of leather in steering wheels:

Leather looks elegant in a vehicle’s interior. It can make an old car seem more attractive and hide the look of an old, rugged steering wheel. Leather steering wheel wraps look even better when paired with leather seat covers. Some of the pros of using leather in steering wheels are:

  1. Better grip: Leather is a nonslippery material that gives you a better grip and control over your vehicle. It is also soft to the touch means more comfortable for gripping. Leather is also heat resistant, which means it protects your hand from cold or hot environments. 
  2. High quality: Leather is the most durable and easiest-to-install material for steering wheels. That’s why it’s more expensive than other materials such as plastic, synthetic or rubber, etc.
  3. Driving comfort: Leather is a soft material for hand use, and it’s the best material you can choose for your steering wheel. By enhancing leather, you will find a more relaxing and less fatigued experience for your hands while driving.
  4. Improved style: Leather gives you a more elegant look than any other materials available. It makes your car interior look best if paired with leather seat covers.

Cons of Using a Leather Steering Wheel Cover

  1. Use of harsh materials: materials used For leather tanning, such as chromium, aldehydes, and vegetable extracts, can be harsh to your skin if used for a long period. 
  2. Expensive option: Leather is treated as a luxury material, and for that reason, only a part of us can implement the use of leather. while the others who are looking for an affordable option cant fit leather in their budget.
  3. Unethical To use: We all know leather is made from various animal skin. So people who advocate nature will likely not use leather because it’s part of animal abuse.
See Also: Can You Add Power Steering Fluid To A Hot Car?

How Leather Steering Wheel Covers Are Made 

Here is how leather steering wheel covers are made step by step

Step 1: Cutting the leather for your existing steering wheel by taking measurements.

Step 2: Sew the leather cover by using a sewing tool that gives a perfect size for your steering wheel.

Step 3: Padding the inside for soft cushioning so that the driver experiences a pleasant ride while holding it.

Step 4: The final step to your leather steering wheel is sewing the leather into the wheel by making sure it has a perfect fit.

Cost of a Leather Steering Wheel Cover 

  • Genuine leather can cost you, for basics, $200  up to a high-end version that costs anywhere from $750.
  • Woven leather can cost you from starting $6 up to $ 260.
  • Basic microfiber leather steering wheel covers can cost anywhere from $10 to $30. For higher grade material, it can cost up to $50
  • The suede steering wheel cover can range from $20 to $50. However, higher-end options or custom-made covers can cost upwards of $100 or more. 
  • A basic faux leather steering wheel cover can cost you between $10 and $30. 
Tips for Choosing a Leather Steering Wheel Cover

Tips for Choosing a Leather Steering Wheel Cover

There are many aspects to choosing a leather steering wheel cover.

  1. Aesthetics: Basically, the look of your steering wheel depends on what leather and finish you choose. So choose the one that’s soothing to your eye.
  2. Ease in application: The fit of your steering wheel really depends because if it’s not fitted right, you may face discomfort while driving.
  3. The material used: leathers such as genuine, suede, microfiber, or faux will be your personal pick.
  4. Price: Leather can start from cheap to really expensive. So choose the one that fits your budget.
  5. Hand grips: Always go for the material that has a better grip on it. Cause the slightest slip can cost your life.
  6. Safety: Better fittings and no distracting features of steering will play a great role in the safety of your vehicle. So keep that in mind.

Common brands/Makers of Leather Steering Wheel Covers 

There are several brands and makers of leather according to design and material. Some of them include the following:

  1. Valleycomfy: They make steering wheel covers that are resistant to heat and cold, skidproof, durable, and comfortable.
  2. BDK: They make covers that are thick, comfortable breathable, and uniquely designed for grip.
  3. Aully Park: They provide covers that give a vintage look that is comfortable and easy to install.
Leather Steering Wheel Cover Care and Maintenance

Leather Steering Wheel Cover Care and Maintenance

There are many ways you can keep your leather cover looking like new. Includes

How can you Clean a Leather Steering Wheel Cover

To wash your leather cover, you can use leather cleaner or just soap and water. But never use any harsh chemicals like bleach and sanitizing wipes.

Also, when you wash your cover, be sure that it is not too wet and try to wipe it off using a soft cloth every time after using.

How can you maintain a Leather Steering Wheel Cover

Cleaning your cover from time to time and applying leather-based products such as leather conditioner will help your leather cover maintain longer. Also, protect it from sunlight and UV rays to prevent cracks.

How can you store a Leather Steering Wheel Cover

Storing your leather cover means you have to clean it and protect it from sunlight and dirt. In your car, keep your windows closed to prevent dirt. To add an extra layer of protection, you may wrap it with plastic to prevent dust issues.

Final thoughts

The leather used for steering wheel covers has wide varieties, such as genuine leather, suede, microfiber, woven, Teflon, and faux leather. Choosing from many options can be tough, but after reading this post, you may have got the answer to your question, “What type of leather is used for steering wheels?”

Depending on usability and longevity, you may find the best that suits your needs. With proper maintenance and care, it can prolong the steering wheel’s life more than you wanted and give you a pleasant comfortable driving experience.

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