Beauty and power on the inside, strength and durability on the outside

Expertise and Innovation - Stories by Coats

Around the world, drivers will spend up to 320 hours per year in their automobile traveling to and from work. To better enhance this time, making it more enjoyable and safe, new materials and stitching techniques are being employed.

The early 1800s were dedicated to perfecting the engine, from steam power to internal combustion to gasoline. In the 1900s, seat belts and airbags become new safety car options, and the steering wheel was introduced. Today, the automotive industry is progressing at lightning speed, focusing on both the interior and exterior.

With over 50% of an automobile being made of textiles, the interior is aesthetically significant to consumers. From the material used to construct the seats to the sewing threads meant to bind them together, colors complement each other and enhance an automotive’s beauty.

Automotive attributes

With these attributes in mind, customers are zeroing in on the use of technology and advanced materials, from 'smart' electronics in the interior to the replacement of metal with new materials for the exterior.

'Smart' Yarns Composites

Remember, when interacting with the comfort systems of the car involved manual dials or push buttons? Now imagine this interaction being completely hands-free. With the swipe of your hand over certain areas, you could adjust the heating and cooling system, and seats could monitor your body temperature, making it completely comfortable just for you.

Consider a concept from Erik Stensrud, former student at The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Stensrud’s concept used traditional materials to alter the use of digital or manual functions by creating a touch-sensitive, directional baseball-style stitching on areas of the car previously controlled by knobs or buttons steering wheel or console. These stitches, made with a new carbon fiber material engineered thread, work in conjunction with knobs and are connected to the vehicle’s head-up display. The stitches could eliminate many interior switches and buttons, allowing designers to create a more streamlined, elegant-looking interior for the future.

"I wanted the reaction to be more emotional with the car. My idea was when you’re using more of your senses, the attachment with your car will be stronger. I ended up focusing on touch. Keep your eyes on the road all the time, but keep in touch using touch."
- Erik Stensrud

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Materials and technologies used in racing cars such as Formula One are quickly evolving to mainstream automotive manufacturing due to the want for high-speed, low-weight, and crash-resistance materials. To meet this, components traditionally manufactured with aluminum and other metals are now being replaced with more lightweight composites, provide high strength, and meet the safety requirements of today’s consumers.

In 2013, BMW led the way with the i3/i8 model line. Now, in 2017, nearly every global manufacturer is using composites of some fashion in their automotives.


Other industry leaders:

  • The newest Audi A8 model will use carbon fibers in the mid and rear panels of the vehicle.
    Read the article
  • Toyota is rolling out a new Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid featuring composite fibers in the rear hatch.
    Read the article
  • The new 2017 Ford GT features a chassis produced with composite fibers and is only the second Ford vehicle to be produced with carbon fiber wheels.
    Read the article

Need a traditional sewing thread? We recommend:

Coats Neophil is a bonded nylon thread which caters to every sewing application in the automotive sector

Coats Gral is a lubricated polyester, which offers uniform, balanced seams for automotive interiors and seat belts.

Looking to create the automotive of the future? We recommend:

Coats Magellan, is a range of uniquely conductive composite yarns capable of modulating currents and leading away electrostatic charges.

Coats Synergex is a custom range of composite fibers that can be blended as well as twisted to be the perfect harmony of strength, weight, and performance.