For many auto trimmers, coming up with an interesting and attractive idea for a customer’s car seats is easy. It’s effectively communicating that idea without a visual aid that’s the challenge.
Fortunately, two very reputable aftermarket leather seat-cover suppliers provide free online tools that allow trimmers to quickly and easily design seats. You don’t even need to be extremely proficient with a computer to use them.
Katzkin Leather, Inc
When Katzkin launched its Vehicle Interior Selector (VIS), it became the first leather seat-cover supplier to offer such a tool. Trimmers who use VIS can attest to how intuitive it is. The program starts you off with a blank rendering of a bucket seat, which you can then customize. Start off by choosing among Katzkin’s single or two-tone options, as well as the colors you’d like for wrap and insert panels. You can even choose different shades for piping and contrast-stitch French seams.
Alea Leather Specialists, Inc
Following Katzkin’s lead, Alea recently launched Alea Design Studio (ADS). This program allows trimmers to do everything offered by VIS and more. For example, Alea allows you to choose a custom insert – like diamond stitching or an attractive Victorino Series pleat design. You can even opt for suede inserts or choose to have the pleats done in contrast stitching.
The only thing that Alea doesn’t allow you to do is select a seat cover by make, model and year before starting the process. Katzkin does.
Employing these tools
Both companies allow for trimmers to embed the tools into their websites. That way, customers who’d like to experiment with different styles and color schemes can do so directly on your homepage. Then, when they’ve finally settled on a design, they can place their orders through you.
Of course, tools like these also come in handy for older-model vehicles that neither company supplies covers for. Just use the programs to mock up design ideas for customers to choose from. After one is selected, pattern, cut and sew it yourself.
Definitely give these tools a try. Not only are they fun to use, they beat the hell out of rummaging through and comparing tiny leather swatches.