Monday, March 18, 2019

Most Common Fabrics in Convertible Tops

If you’re replacing a convertible top or restoring a classic car for the first time, you’re in for a surprise. There are a lot of options in convertible-top fabrics, each with its own specific benefits, style, and more. Hopefully, this guide will steer you in the right direction.

Everflex Vinyl 


Everflex is high-quality convertible-top material. It is manufactured in England and was primarily used on classic luxury cars like Rolls-Royces, Bentleys and Jaguars from the 1960s to the 1980s. At the height of its popularity, it was featured on the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow.

Everflex is similar to colonial-grain vinyl, but it’s more durable and more expensive.

Characteristics

  • Supple 
  • Handsome 
  • Extremely durable 
  • Stitched with matching colors using high-quality, bonded polyester thread 
  • Heat-sealed seams for added strength 
  • Expensive 

Pinpoint Vinyl 


Pinpoint, also known as single-texture vinyl, is the most popular and least expensive convertible-top fabric. The two-ply composite was original to many American cars made during the ’50s through the ’80s. It was also common on some European cars like the Volkswagen Beetle.

Pinpoint vinyl is constructed with an outer layer of PVC and an inner layer of dyed, 100-percent-cotton sateen. It gets its name from the tiny pips covering its surface. You may mistake it for Eurotop at first glance. It performs surprisingly well even though it costs less than most other toppings.

Characteristics

  • Durable 
  • Known for weatherability 
  • Affordable 
  • Available in a wide range of colors 

German Classic Canvas 

This superior-quality imported fabric is sometimes referred to as Original German, Sonnenland or A5. It is common on BMWs, Aston Martins, Volkswagen Beetles, Mercedes Benzes, Volvo C70s, Saab 9-3s, and Porsche Cabriolets and Boxters.

Its three-ply construction includes a twill-weave, polyester-acrylic blend outer layer; an interior layer of butyl rubber; and a dobby-weave cotton lining in a herringbone pattern. The material is specially treated with flame to remove the downy surface and make it resistant to abrasion.

Characteristics

  • Sturdy and long-lasting 
  • Fade-resistant 
  • Cut from one bolt of cloth for consistent color and pattern 
  • Stitched with matching bonded polyester thread 
  • Rich appearance because of the high thread count 
  • Most expensive of the canvas tops 

Sailcloth Vinyl 


The two-ply composite of PVC and cotton-polyester fabric has a reputation for being strong and durable. It’s featured on Chrysler Sebrings and LeBarons, some Ford Mustangs and other American cars.

Both pinpoint vinyl and sailcloth vinyl are made to look like canvas. However, the sailcloth’s bumpy texture is spread out rather than closely woven like the dimples on the pinpoint. As a result, it more closely resembles woven cloth.

Characteristics 

  • Strong 
  • Fade-resistant 
  • Known for weatherability 
  • Acoustically enhanced 
  • Suitable for replacement of original pinpoint vinyl 

Sonnendeck 


This American-made canvas is an affordable, high-quality substitute for German Classic. It also features the dobby-weave backing. The exterior fabric is a twill weave, and the inner layer is an elastomeric polymer.

Sonnendeck is also sold as Twillfast, but some Twillfast products have a five-ply construction. The basic brand is original to BMW 6 Series cars, Ford Mustangs, Chevy Camaros, Fiat 500s, Peugeot 108s and many others. Sonnendeck has recently become more popular among European convertible-top manufacturers.

Characteristics

  • Comparable to German Classic in appearance and quality 
  • Affordable 
  • Acoustically enhanced 
  • Fade-resistant 

Stayfast 

Stayfast canvas is a lot like Sonnendeck, but the backing is smooth rather than textured. It’s classy-looking and durable thanks to its rubber core.

Stayfast was original to Chevy Camaros, Pontiac Firebirds, Dodge Vipers and other sporty American cars. Foreign cars featuring Stayfast include Nissan 370Zs, Toyota Celicas, Mazda Miatas, Alfa Romeo Spiders and Peugeot 306s.

Characteristics

  • Highly rated for durability 
  • Wrinkle-resistant 
  • Sleek appearance 
  • Popular for upgrading vinyl convertible tops 

Twill Vinyl (HV Denim) 

This heavy-duty material is also known as HV denim, twill-weave vinyl or twill-grain vinyl. It can stand up to lots of abuse. It’s constructed with an outer layer of PVC and an inner layer of blended polyester and cotton.

The distinctive grain on the surface imitates the pricey toppings on luxury cars like Audis, Bentleys, BMWs, Maseratis and Rolls-Royces. It’s used as a direct replacement for original cloth tops or as an upgrade for vinyl on all types of cars.

Characteristics 

  • Attractive 
  • Strong 
  • Non-adding 
  • Heat-sealed deck seams 

Acoustic Vinyl 

The heavy, two-ply component makes for a quiet ride in Jeeps and other SUVs with removable soft tops. In some tests, it reduced noise by as much as 20 percent.

Acoustic vinyl is made of PVC and 100-percent-polyester laminated backing to resist mildew, abrasions and tearing. Polyester is now the material of choice in luxury European convertibles.

Characteristics 

  • Strong and heavy 
  • Significantly reduces noise 
  • Resembles expensive twill tops on luxury cars 


For more information on different types of convertible tops and tops for different convertible models, get in touch with AutoTopsDirect today!

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