Understanding the allure of leather steering wheels in enhancing a car’s interior is common among enthusiasts. Discover the secret behind the elegance of your car’s interior with a custom-stitched leather steering wheel. Learn why a bespoke, expertly crafted steering wheel is unparalleled in adding sophistication and comfort to your driving experience, highlighting the craftsmanship and detailed work that goes into creating such a masterpiece.

Why Opt For A Leather Steering Wheel? 

Leather Steering Wheel

Leather steering wheels are not only luxurious, they offer exceptional durability, comfort and a firm, safe grip.

Easy to clean and maintain, leather steering wheels that are properly stitched and finished can last for decades and continue to look outstanding. 

Able to be customised, leather steering wheels also give you a choice over the colour of both the leather and the stitching. This allows you to personalise your steering wheel without compromising on functionality or comfort. 

How To Achieve A Great Result

Just as with any updates to your car or its interior, prioritising planning and spending time researching what is most suitable for your needs, budget and car is essential. 

Choosing the Right Materials

Varying types and qualities of leather are used for wrapping steering wheels. Split leather is common and more cost-effective but is also of a lower quality. 

Nappa or top grain leather is used in higher-end leather steering wheels and provides a smoother, more durable result. 

For the stitching, it is vital that a strong thread is used, but nothing that is too thick – waxed thread is often preferred. 

Additionally, only nylon or polyester thread should be used as tannins in leather erode cotton thread over time and nylon offers better UV resistance. 

Preparing The Leather And Steering Wheel

Before covering your steering wheel, it is important to give it a thorough clean. A wipe with warm soapy water and a microfibre cloth, followed by a second cleaning with isopropyl rubbing alcohol is recommended. 

This will remove all dirt and oils from the steering wheel before covering it for a firm fit and smooth finish. 

The leather used for covering a steering wheel is usually prepared by being measured and cut into two or four pieces. These pieces are sewn together end to end with one opening left for easy placement over the wheel. 

The leather is often pre-stitched on a sewing machine, without thread, in order to puncture the leather for easier stitching once on the steering wheel. 

Stitching the Leather

An art form in itself, stitching leather onto the steering wheel can be done in several ways. 

The way each leather steering wheel is stitched will depend on the type of leather chosen and the preferred finished look. 

Different Types of Leather Stitching


A basic but classic stitch, the baseball stitch is commonly used in Ford, Toyota and Honda vehicles but is also seen in older vintage vehicles too. 

As its name suggests, it looks just like the stitching on a baseball with a repeated inverted ‘v’ pattern. 


Popular in luxury vehicles such as Lamborghini, Audi, BMW and Mercedes, the basting stitch is a broader and more intricate stitch than the baseball stitch. 

Often done in three colours, it has the potential to really stand out and add some personality to your steering wheel. 


Appearing as a repeating series of Xs stacked on top of one another this simple, clean stitch is favoured by Porsche but also a leading choice for custom steering wheels. 

No matter which type of pattern you choose, the stitching can take anywhere between two to four hours to complete. Finishing the stitching properly and ensuring consistent symmetry as it is done is vital to achieving a long-lasting, outstanding result.  

Tools and Materials You Need

Auto trimming requires the use of specialist tools including heavy-duty sewing machines and thick upholstery needles.

You will also need:

  • Chalk for marking
  • Sharp scissors
  • A seam-ripping tool
  • Strong nylon or polyester thread in your chosen colour
  • Leather in your choice of colour and finish 

Tips for Successful Leather Stitching

Steering Wheel StitchingThe art of leather stitching and how challenging it is to do well should not be underestimated. 

If inexperienced with sewing or stitching specific leather patterns, it is recommended to watch some online tutorials first. Practising on a spare piece of leather is also strongly encouraged. 

Great outcomes rely heavily on using proper tension, and consistency – such as evenly spaced, near identical stitch placement and proper preparation. 

Ideally, you should:

  • Prepare well
  • Practice 
  • Be patient and
  • Prioritise accuracy over speed 

Carman’s Auto – Your Local Experts

Whether you want to repair your existing leather steering wheel or recover it with a leather finish aftermarket, our skilled motor trimmers can help. 

While it is possible to attempt the refinishing of your steering wheel yourself, the best results are only possible with significant experience in this area. 

Our team works closely with all our clients to create truly eye-catching customisations that reflect their personality and preferred aesthetic. 

With decades of combined experience and an unmatched dedication to detail and customer service, we guarantee exceptional outcomes. Call (07) 3209 3663 to learn more.