Yes, I said dragon-scale pleats. Vilner, the automotive interior design studio responsible for trimming this Nissan GT-R, says that the pleats were inspired by 2012, the year of the dragon.
As you know, this is the year of the dragon, so just such scaly creature was chosen as the theme, bringing good luck and fortune. A red dragon was embroidered on the car’s headliner, and in the trunk, which was covered with Alcantara. The theme is continued with custom leather quilting made to look like scales.
The rest of the interior is actually very sporty, combining Alcantara and black carbon leather, used on the seats, dashboard, the door panels and the black console. Finally, the steering wheel and gearshifter have been replaced with carbon fiber ones. [more]
The pleats featured on the GT-R’s door panels and console are truly unique. They resemble diamonds, but with the individual sections overlapping. They’re also not as angular or uniform, and appear to grow in size with each individual row.
All in all, I think it looks remarkable. Though I have to admit, I’m a bit stumped on how it was done. There doesn’t appear to be a straight-forward pattern to follow. Unless each scale was individually sewn – which would be one hell of an endeavor – I don’t see how Vilner could have pulled it off.
What do you think? Do these dragon-scale pleats look cool or too bizarre and free-flowing for your taste? If you know how to replicate the design, consider publishing a tutorial in our Auto Upholstery Forum. We’d love to learn!
looks great to me
Nadeem Muaddi says
I totally agree! Any thoughts on how it was done?
Naseem Muaddi says
I think it looks amazing. I can’t figure out how to sew it in continuous lines. It seems as though the scales would have to be done one by one.
Yep, one by one. Count the knots….I’ll bet after the first panel, they were like ‘what did we get ourselves into?’ lol. Looks great though!
no doubt a designer thought of that one and not a trimmer! i like the combo of black leather, alcantara and carbon fiber. i like the shifter too.
Nadeem Muaddi says
Who knows? I’ve seen trimmers pull out some of the most mind-boggling patterns.
I would think some type of embroidery, looks nice.
I’d say it done by hand if you look at the close up shot of the door panel in the first picture you can see the slight mistakes, easily done just very time consuming!
I would say the enlisted the help of the embroidery person that did the headliner. I can’t zoom enough on the pictures to see if it is heavy thread or several strands of finer embroidery thread on the dragon pleats. You can get that effect with a bean stitch. That headliner is no small feat in itself. That had to be hooped several times in order to embroider something that size.
I am willing to bet the scales were done as a large sheet, using a long arm quilting machine with a free floating head and stitch regulator rather than traditional feeds. Then each panel can be cut to shape and size as needed.
That Looks AWESOME!!! I am totally stoked to see how it works out when we try it and I cant wait to see how we can make different colors pop! Thanks for the article!