Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Which Fabric is Right for my Convertible Car

Shopping for replacement convertible tops and parts can be a little overwhelming. Choosing a convertible top depends largely on the type of vehicle you drive, your particular needs and budget. The tricky part comes when trying to determine what type of fabric your vehicle needs and comparing manufacturer quality for product durability. How do you know that you are selecting the right convertible top for your car and getting your money’s worth?

Here we have provided an easy guide, highlighting the most common types of replacement convertible tops sold in the market, to help you select the right one!

Sailcloth Vinyl
Sailcloth Vinyl, which is also known as “single texture sailcloth” looks like grained plastic. Typically, vinyl is one of the replacement convertible tops that is not the most commonly used material. However, it is an excellent choice for replicating the tops of surface-coated materials such as those found in vintage cars. It is also one of the original materials used for a lot of older Jeeps such as Wrangler Jeeps.

Product Details:  

  • two-ply composite with sail grain pattern in exterior facing
  • polyester/cotton drill lining fabric
  • seams are heat sealed to prevent leaks
  • resistance to fading
  • enhanced acoustic properties to lower noise levels at highway speeds
  • superior strength and durability
  • better performance characteristics than either earlier model Denim or Diamond vinyls and tend to last longer

Cars that are suitable for this type of replacement convertible top include: Jeep Wranglers, Camaro & Firebirds, Ford Mustangs, and American/European vintage cars.

British Bison and British Everflex Vinyl
British Bison, also known as “colonial grain” or “leather grain”, is an American-made crush grain vinyl that resembles the much more costly British Everflex Vinyl. Structurally, it is very similar to Sailcloth Vinyl, but color selections can be limited. Although British Bison is more economical than British Everflex Vinyl, it is not as durable.

British Everflex Vinyl is the original material used for a lot of classic British convertible cars, such as Jaguar, Rolls Royce, and others. It is a supple vinyl, with a very attractive appearance, and tends to last longer than other types of vinyl.

Product Details:  

  • premium original British Everflex Vinyl, imported from Europe
  • precision cutting with automated computer guided equipment
  • stitched with matching colors using the finest bonded polyester threads
  • heat-sealed seams for added strength and durability
  • noticeable craftsmanship
  • careful detailing

Cars that are suitable for this type of replacement convertible top include: vintage Jaguars, Rolls Royce and Bentley.

Stayfast, which is one of the most popular choices for replacement convertible tops, is a tightly woven cloth canvas. It is also a very common upgrade to vinyl convertible tops because compared to vinyl, these tend to have increased durability and are much more alluring. Stayfast is known to have excellent weatherability, wrinkle resistance, and low temperature flexibility.

Product Details:  

  • standard replacement topping
  • three-ply composite all with acrylic square weaving face fabrics
  • rubber inner-layer
  • cotton backing
  • superior tailorability, wrinkle resistance, weatheability, durability, excellent cost/performance

Cars that are suitable for this type of replacement convertible top include: Toyota Celica, Pontiac Firebird, Dodge Viper, Chevy Camaro, Nissan 370Z, and Lotus Elise.

German A5
German A5, often referred to as Sonnenland, is a premium canvas original to many German-manufactured cars such as BMW and Mercedes. It is generally considered to be one of the most expensive replacement convertible tops in the market due to its rich quality. A lot of buyers interested in this type of material are looking to have an “authentic dobby backing”.

Product Details:   

  • premium quality cloth imported from Haartz
  • three-ply composite made of an acrylic twill weave outer
  • rubber inner
  • polyester dobby lining
  • acoustically enhanced
  • precision-cut using automated computer guided Gerber cutting equipment for perfect fit
  • stitched w/ matching colors using the finest bonded 100% polyester
  • heat-seal tape deck seams in the factory original
  • guaranteed to fit perfectly out of the box
  • noticeable craftsmanship and detailing

Cars that are suitable for this type of replacement convertible top include: Mercedes, Porsche, and BMW.

Twillfast, which is an American-made canvas, is often a common substitution for the German A5 (Sonnenland) canvas due to the similarities yet lower cost. Twillfast is composed of high quality material, resembles the elegance and durability of the German A5, and is used for many high-end automobiles. This type of replacement convertible top is recommended for drivers that are looking for something as saavy and high-quality as the German A5 yet slightly more economical.

 Product Details:  

  • twill woven
  • three-ply and five-ply
  • acrylic twill weave outer
  • acoustically
  • polyester dobby
  • coordinated UV resistant polyester thread
  • precision cutting with automated computer guided Gerber cutting
  • di-electrically welded (heat sealed) seams for strength

     Cars that are suitable for this type of replacement convertible top include: Mercedes, Beetles, Porsche, and BMW.

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