Comparing upholstery fabric for bus and boat seating
Marine Fabricator | May 2009
Compiled by Juli Case
Question: I usually do boat upholstery, but have the opportunity to reupholster the seats on two buses. I need help finding the fabric. It’s a woven velvet with a very colorful pattern.
Answer: Although both are upholstery applications, the materials used in buses and boats have a couple of fundamental differences. For one, bus upholstery fabric doesn’t need to hold up to water quite as well as boat upholstery. Another is that fabrics used in bus seating must be flame retardant, which isn’t often a requirement for marine materials. We are more familiar with vinyl fabric used in school bus seating, rather than a woven velvet, but were referred to La France Industries, a division of Mount Vernon Mills. The pattern your customer has is several years old and no longer available, but the company has a number of equally colorful patterns that could serve as alternatives.