The upholstery and fitting of automobile and carriage interiors in a range of materials.
This craft uses products derived from animals – please read our ethical sourcing statement.
|Historic area of significance||Midlands|
|Area currently practised||UK|
|Origin in the UK||17th century|
|Current no. of professionals (main income)||11-20 estimated|
|Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
||Included in numbers above|
|Current no. of trainees||Not known – there are around 500 students studying with the Association of Master Upholsterers who could potentially go on to be coach trimmers.|
|Current total no. serious amateur makers
|Current total no. of leisure makers
Originally coach trimming involved upholstering the interiors of horse drawn carriages then, as the carriages gained motors and evolved into the motor car, so the trade followed suit.
Today coach trimming is used for vintage and modern classic cars.
Auto-trimming is the term used for contemporary car interiors and, although some materials such as leather and vinyl may be similar, the techniques used are different.
- Fluting, stuffed fluting
- Deep buttoning
- Use of traditional materials in stuffing such as cotton wadding, as opposed to foam
- Fixings and fastenings – e.g. tacks and gimp pins rather than glues and staples.
Issues affecting the viability of the craft
- Skills issues: There are a lack of training opportunities for traditional skills and the older generation not passing on skills or technique.
- There is no main organisation or trade organisation.
- There is no government recognition for the trade.
Craftspeople currently known
Coach trimmers specialising in classic car interiors:
- David Nightingale
- Joseph Bennell
- SJ Bowles
- Elite Coach Trimming
- Richards of England
- Dave the Trimmer
- Matthew Hill
- Thornley Kelham
- Mike Frewer
- Richard and Alan Geater
- O’Rourke Coachtrimmers
- Mike Thomas and Dave Strange Trimmers
- Robert Smith Coachtrimming
- Julian Taylor
- Taylor, Don, Automotive Upholstery Handbook
- Mattson, Fred, Automotive Upholstery and Interior Restoration
- Taylor, Don, and Mangus, Rod, Custom Auto Interiors
- Caldwell, Bruce, Auto Upholstery & Interiors: A Do-it-yourself Basic Guide