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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Wed, May-17-2017, 05:02:05 PM   #1
madsedan
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Default Headliner materials?

Going to use a place local to me, $450 and they R&R it, knock it out in 3 hours, 1 year warranty. Price is for a stock looking black weave material but he offered suede for an up charge. Any advice on using black suede for a headliner? Rest of interior is black and in perfect condition.
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Old Wed, May-17-2017, 06:00:37 PM   #2
spaghettiM3
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Default Re: Headliner materials?

I just did a black suede headliner. It wasn't very stretchy, so it was a bit harder to work with than normal headliner material but it turned out awesome.

Personally, if you are going to redo the headliner, i'd go with suede.

It took me about 4 hours from start to finish and about $50 in materials.
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Old Wed, May-17-2017, 06:22:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Headliner materials?

Suede is the backside of leather; ie real leather. $20+/yd

Microsuede is the common cheapo stuff that typically does not last. ~$10/yd

Alcantara is a branded synthetic suede (microsuede) with excellent automotive durability and construction. There is only ONE real alcantara. $100+/yd
Amarretta is similar high quality automotive grade synthetic suede.

It's unlikely you are getting real suede and you don't want it as it will shrink significantly over time and exposure to elements. Microsuede is not worth your time, stay away from it. This is not a $50 project (sorry Spaghettic, been there, done that... not worth it). Alcantara is the only product you should consider for a "suede" synthetic fabric. Make damn sure it is the real thing. Only a few importers sell it here in the US and many sell the fake kind. Regardless of your choice you want automotive grade fabrics with long lasting UV durability.
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Old Wed, May-17-2017, 08:53:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Headliner materials?

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Originally Posted by Braymond141 View Post
Suede is the backside of leather; ie real leather. $20+/yd

Microsuede is the common cheapo stuff that typically does not last. ~$10/yd

Alcantara is a branded synthetic suede (microsuede) with excellent automotive durability and construction. There is only ONE real alcantara. $100+/yd
Amarretta is similar high quality automotive grade synthetic suede.

It's unlikely you are getting real suede and you don't want it as it will shrink significantly over time and exposure to elements. Microsuede is not worth your time, stay away from it. This is not a $50 project (sorry Spaghettic, been there, done that... not worth it). Alcantara is the only product you should consider for a "suede" synthetic fabric. Make damn sure it is the real thing. Only a few importers sell it here in the US and many sell the fake kind. Regardless of your choice you want automotive grade fabrics with long lasting UV durability.
I bought furniture/apparel suede, not microsuede, from JoAnn Fabrics. Retail price was $22/yard. Bought 3.5 yards= $77. Had a 50% off coupon, so I spent $38.50 on the suede. For glue, I used contact cement, that I had spent about $30 on for a previous project, used maybe half of the can. So all in, I spent slightly over $50. It was indeed a $50 project for me.

I've used microsuede on a headliner in the past and it did indeed shrink and looked like garbage after a couple years. Also, from my past experience, spray adhesive didn't hold up as well as contact cement. That is why I went with contact cement.
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Old Wed, May-17-2017, 09:20:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Headliner materials?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spaghettiM3 View Post
I bought furniture/apparel suede, not microsuede, from JoAnn Fabrics. Retail price was $22/yard. Bought 3.5 yards= $77. Had a 50% off coupon, so I spent $38.50 on the suede. For glue, I used contact cement, that I had spent about $30 on for a previous project, used maybe half of the can. So all in, I spent slightly over $50. It was indeed a $50 project for me.

I've used microsuede on a headliner in the past and it did indeed shrink and looked like garbage after a couple years. Also, from my past experience, spray adhesive didn't hold up as well as contact cement. That is why I went with contact cement.
I'm not sure you understand.

Joanne fabrics ultra/micro suede is exactly the junk I am watning about.

Man made suede (micro, ultra, alcantara) does not shrink. Leather shrinks. Real suede is the backside of leather. Real suede shrinks.

Last edited by Braymond141; Wed, May-17-2017 at 10:04:36 PM.
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Old Wed, May-17-2017, 09:29:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Headliner materials?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braymond141 View Post
I'm not sure you understand.

Joanne fabrics ultra/micro suede is exactly the junk I am watning about.

Man made suede (micro, ultra, alcantara) does not shrink. Leather shrinks. Real suede is the backside of leather. Real suede ahrinks.
I get what you are saying. What I purchased this time was different than the microsuede I had bought in the past. It's not stretchy or thin like the last stuff was. If it ends up shrinking a few years down the road, then it shrinks. I'll pull it and recover it. It's not the most difficult process and looks much better than the saggy and stapled headliner that was in the car when I bought it.
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Old Thu, May-18-2017, 01:51:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Headliner materials?

Just get the real OE stuff from veteran co in LA.

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Old Thu, May-18-2017, 02:29:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: Headliner materials?

Cheapo black suede turns purple after some UV exposure. I just put a black "Honda" headliner in because it was thin and matched BMW's odd thickness of foam. Turned out great.

Also make sure you redo the back deck as they are almost all purple by now.

Every shop I went to tried to talk me out of the suede stuff, so I had to respect their word.
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Old Thu, May-18-2017, 03:17:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: Headliner materials?

Good input, thanks guys!
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Old Thu, May-18-2017, 01:25:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Headliner materials?

Also note that their input on the suede stuff was that it doesn't stretch near enough and tends to separate from the surface over time as that surface tension eventually wins over the glue's hold. They were also afraid of the glue permeating the material.

Headliner material exists for a reason, and seriously any new headliner material is going to look 100x better than the 20yo stuff. Black or black/grey material matches the car perfectly (assuming you have black interior)

I redid everything

Headliner
A-Pillars
B-Pillars
Moon roof panel
Rear deck

...And the entire interior of the car almost looks like new. Not a bad idea to rebuild your moon roof cassette to get it back to new working order while you have things apart. It slides so smooth and silently now there aren't 1lb of pine needles and dirt in the tracks.
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Discussing Headliner materials? in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)