Send an Enquiry
Close X We'll call you!

Send a general enquiry here, or:

Use our Build A Quote service to submit your interest in the parts required for your restoration & tell us more about your car.

We will be back in touch with you within 72 hours of receiving your enquiry.

Build a Quote Build a Quote FAQs
Your Quote (0)

Triumph TR4

Year of Manufacture: 1961 - 1965 Number Produced: 40,253 Chassis Number Range: CT1 - CT40,304 Designer: Giovanni Michelotti

In 1961, Triumph Standard Motor Company called on the services of famed Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti to design what became the TR4. This saw the introduction of the embossed “weld” pattern on many of the interior panels that would become synonymous with all the Triumphs from this point on. Throughout its production in the years 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965, a total of 40,253 cars were produced.

John Skinner Ltd has produced awarding winning interior trim and upholstery kits for over four decades, including contributions to the Jabbeke MVC575 restoration, as well as the TS01 and TS02 cars – meaning that we have been involved in arguably three most important restorations of the TR era. In collaboration with Mark Macy of Macy’s Garage (USA) – we also provided the interior trim and upholstery for the perfect-100 score Triumph Register of America Concours award in 2018; the only car in the clubs’ history to attain this result. You can read more about this restoration here.

Interior Trim Quotation

Build a Quote

Use our online system to build your own quotation, specific to your car & restoration requirements.

Unsure on what parts and colours you need? Add all the options you’re considering and we’ll be back in touch to discuss further. For more information on our Build a Quote system, please see our FAQs.

A Restorer's Guide to the TR4

We have created this OEM guide based on the knowledge we have acquired through well informed parts books and our own extensive records of original parts and photos, in addition to over 40 years experience in manufacturing trim restoration kits. However, we would always advise that due to inconsistent methods on the production lines and notoriously vague historical record keeping, that you take OEM specifications with the proverbial “pinch of salt.” 

This guide gives a basic overview of how the cars would have originally left the factory, and may differ slightly to how we now manufacture the kits due to changes and advancements in modern day production methods and new – and more suitable – material developments. You can find detailed information on how we supply all our parts on the individual products pages within Build a Quote.

To help you best understand this guide, you may find our Glossary tabs useful where we list and explain common terminology used across interior trim.

Please note that there were production inconsistencies during this period, so colours should be chosen on individual basis.

Black Black, Red (“Matador Red”) TBC
Spa White Black, Red (“Matador Red”) TBC
Powder Blue Black, Blue (“Midnight Blue”) White, Black
British Racing Green (BRG) Black, Red (“Matador Red”) TBC
Signal Red Black, Red (“Matador Red”) White, Black
Velasquez Cream Black, Red (“Matador Red”) TBC
New White Black, Red (“Matador Red”) TBC
Wedgwood Blue Blue (”Midnight Blue”) TBC
Triumph Racing Green (Conifer Green) Black TBC

Information from: Piggott, B. (1991) Original Trimph TR – The Restorer’s Guide to TR2, TR3, TR3a, TR4, TR4A, TR5, TR250, TR6, Bideford: Bay View Books Ltd.


Triumph TR4 Original Colours supplied by John Skinner Ltd

It is widely accepted that the interpretation of original shades varies depending on who you ask – and may well have varied from the original factory production line. As a result, John Skinner Ltd offers multiple shade options for each original colour.

Learn more
Midnight Blue
Midnight Blue
Midnight Blue
Learn more
Pale Shadow Blue
Pale Shadow Blue
Pale Shadow Blue
Learn more
Cherry Red
Cherry Red
Cherry Red
Learn more
Matador Red
Matador Red
Matador Red
Learn more

Colour names refer to internal John Skinner Ltd colour names, not necessarily the names Triumph originally used for these colours.

We can also offer non-original custom colour schemes if you so desire. Please see our online shop for more details.

As part of the quotation/ordering process, we will arrange for samples to be sent for final confirmation – so browse and shop with complete peace of mind, knowing that we will guide you through step-by-step with all the information you require.



A note on Piping/Beading

Triumph TR4 models originally featured White Piping on the majority of cars that left the factory production line, with a few recorded instances of Piping matching the main trim colour. 

We can also offer the largest range of non-standard “bespoke” colours schemes for those looking for a more customised finish.

Interior Trim Panels

After the overhaul of the Triumph TRs in the early 1960s with a somewhat radical redesign by Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti, the majority of the interior trim items were also completely updated. It was during this era that Triumph embraced changes in technology and introduced HF/RF (High-Frequency/Radio-Frequency) embossed patterns on many of their trim assembly panels. 


The TR4 was the start of a new era for Triumph. RF/HF welding details were added to interior panels, including the Door Pockets.



The interior trim panels consisted of the main Door Panel Casings (with a newly introduced Pocket Flap), B Post Panels, Quarter B Post Panels and a Rear Bulkhead Panel (the configuration of the Rear Bulkhead dependent on whether the car was a ‘Soft Top’ or ‘Surrey Top’ style). All panels were manufactured in a Hardboard material, with the exception of the B Post Panels that were made from Millboard/Fibreboard. All the main panels (Doors, Quarters and Bulkhead), featured a RF/HF pattern – in the case of the TR4s, this was a four-line front-to-back horizontal line pattern at the top of the Door and Quarter panels (as well as a RF/HF welded Door Pocket design), and a 19-line top-to-bottom vertical line pattern on the Rear Bulkhead (Surrey Tops only). The B Post “Gusset” Panels were the same for the TR4 and TR4A models – consisting of a creased millboard panel trimmed in the matching interior trim colour and material – covering just the inside area of the Gusset Panel – with the exterior left exposed as bodywork.

TR4A restorers take note – there is a fairly major and very important difference between the dimensions of TR4 and TR4A when looking at the Rear Bulkhead Panel outside upper corners, as well as the corresponding Quarter Panel corners. The TR4 featured a small corner on both panels, as the Wheel Arch bodywork was more curved and rounded in this area due to designs related to the Hood Frame mechanism; whereas the TR4A models (and all subsequent TR5/TR250 and TR6 models) updated to a more “flat” Wheel Arch bodywork, thus resulting in a bigger corner section on both of these aforementioned panels. The reason this is being mentioned is that we have seen quite a number of instances where cars have been renovated incorrectly in this area without the owners’ – and presumably restorers’ – being aware of these changes, and consequently when the Trim Panels come to be fitted, issues may be encountered.


The TR4 Rear Bulkhead and Quarter Panels (left) have small corners to accommodate the curvature of the Wheel Arch Panels. On TR4A models (right), the corners are made deeper and larger to sit across the more ‘flat’ Wheel Arch shape.


Loose upholstery trim

There were various pieces of upholstery to cover the bodywork of the car. These consisted of the Wheel Arch / Wheel-Well areas directly in between the Quarter Panels and Bulkhead Panel in addition to the B Post Pillar Covers and material to cover the Windscreen Frame.

Original materials

The TR4-TR250 models left the factory upholstered in a grained finish unsupported PVC material – often confused with Vynide (Leathercloth) which was used elsewhere in the cars. Commonly these days, this material is superseded with Vinyl (Ambla) due to availability and practicality of use for these areas. Very few cars, if any, would have left with Leather panels – and if they did, this would have been a special order item. At this point it is worth noting that when “Leather” is mentioned on the heritage certificates, this is often only referring to the Seats (more on this under the Seat Kits tab).

The Dash areas were remodelled by Michelotti for the TR4s, and then their design remained largely unchanged through to the TR6 era. The TR4 to TR6 models always left the factory with a black Dash area, presumably as a cost-saving exercise alongside the undoubted acknowledgement that there is reduced glare from the sunlight on black surfaces, assisting in improved safety for the drivers. This Dash area consisted of the main Dash Top Panel, Lower Crashpads (left and right) and a Central Console H-Frame up-stand. All were supplied in an unsupported PVC material, vacuum formed around the frameworks. For the TR4 and TR4A models – the passenger side Lower Crash Pad also featured a grab-handle – before being removed for the later TR5/TR250 and TR6 models.


The black Dash area of a Triumph TR4. Note the Grab Handle on the Passenger’s side.


Triumph Motor Company also introduced Sun Visors for the TR4 models, which continued until the end of the TR6 era. The TR4/TR4A Sunvisors were identical to one another – which were supplied mostly in a heavy grained white-blue “Longhorn” PVC material, with some leaving in black. They were a basic design with no vanity mirror included on the TR4/4A models.


Sunvisors were a new addition to the Triumph TR4 models, most commonly seen in a heavy-grained white PVC material.



The TR4 Door and Quarter Casing Panels continued to feature white piping/beading as per their TR3A predecessors – not only to improve aesthetics, but also to hide gaps between the panels and bodywork! The piping was removed from the Surrey Top Rear Bulkhead Panels, but maintained its embossed styling – this time with nineteen vertical lines running from top-to-bottom of the panel. The Soft Top models had a plain Hardboard Rear Bulkhead Panel, often black in colour, with a foam padding strip across the top section. This was used in conjunction with the 3-Piece Hood Frame Stowage Cover (see the Seat Kit section for more details on this 3pc Unit). 


A Triumph TR4 interior showing the White Piping used across the Door Panels, Quarter Panels and Wheel Arches. The seats featured White Piping too.

Seat Kits

Front Seats

You could see the wheels of innovation changing throughout the TR4 – with three different Seat designs used during the production of the TR4 model, spanning two different Seat Frame designs. Initially, the Front Seats of the TR4 remained identical to the TR3A / TR3B models – using the exact same frameworks, springs, paddings and covers. However, they then introduced a fairly rare updated version – using the same frame, barring a subtle change to the base which in turn altered the Springs – where the TR3A seat design was essentially maintained but with the pleating direction changing from horizontal to vertical. This design was short lived before Triumph began production of the seat design most commonly associated with the TR4s; a ‘square’ shaped cushion and backrest with vertical pleats and white piping around the outer edges. The seats also included a panel to the back of the backrest, which was detachable. The cushion base springs were replaced with rubber diaphragms and webbing straps were used on the backrest section to act as a lumber support. In total, there were three different Seat Cover Assembly designs used on the TR4 models – which in turn affected the hardware and framework used for each design. All designs are interchangeable within the car chassis itself – and as per most of previous TR models, these frames titled forward but did not recline.


The seat design most commonly associated with the Triumph TR4 – square shaped with White Piping around the outer edges and vertical pleats running the length of the cushion & backrests.


Original materials

The covers themselves were mostly supplied in a Leathercloth (Vynide) which is often confused with and substituted for Vinyl (Ambla). Some cars would have left the factory with Leather seat covers; albeit these would have most likely only been supplied with Leather to the facings of the seat (the elements of the seat covers which touch your body as you sit in the seat),  with Leathercloth still used to the seat backs and surrounds. This configuration is commonly referred to as “LeatherFaced” and should not be confused with Full Leather.

Seat hardware / fitment

For the earlier style seats, akin to those used to the TR3As, the backrest covers are fitted to the seat frames using Tacking Strips which are riveted to the seat frames in specific areas. Tacks are then used to help attach the material to the framework. This allows for flexibility when trimming by avoiding a more ‘permanent’ fixing and enabling tacks to be removed and re-sited according to the tension required during fitment. 

Cushion covers are fitted to the coil spring units using hog rings.

Seat paddings were originally basic fibre/horse hair material for the inside of the Backrest Frame and the top of the Cushion Base (which sits on top of the spring unit). The backrest backs used a thin felt material as a basic padding.

For the final adaption of the TR4 Seats, the Seat Frame was mostly made from tubular steel, and consequently the associated metal seat clips were used for the fitment process. The Paddings were a mixture of fibre/horsehair and foam; with diaphragms and webbings being used as resistant mechanisms.

Rear Seats

The TR4 occasional Rear Seat reflected the design of the later style Front Seats; square in shape with HF/RF embossed lines running from back to front (akin to the Rear Bulkhead Panel) and finished with white piping to the outer edge. It was fitted on top of a plywood base, which was topped with a foam padding before the cover was trimmed over. A recess in the centre allowed for its positioning in the car over the Differential Hump. It was an optional extra for most cars, so whilst not commonly seen, it was present on enough cars to be worthy of a mention, and certainly adds a nice extra aesthetic touch to the rear of the car.


A Triumph TR4 Rear Seat with HF/RF weld detailing across the cushion to match the weld lines on the Rear Bulkhead Panel.


Hood Frame Stowage 3pc Kit

The TR4 Soft Top Convertibles saw the introduction of the unique stowage area for the folded down Soft Top Hood. Using a similar philosophy to that of the Austin Healey production line for some of the 100-6 models, a Rear Bulkhead Squab Cover was introduced as a decorative solution to neatly hiding the metalwork of the Hood Sticks. Quickly discontinued for all proceeding TR models, this Rear Hood Stick Assembly Cover turned out to be a rather clumsy solution, and was soon enough replaced with the Rear Bulkhead Squab Panel and Exterior Hood Frame Envelope Stick Cover; the latter of which had been previously used on the early TR2-3B models. However, during the 1961 to 1965 production period, this was a prominent feature on the TR4 Soft Top models. This cover assembly consisted of three pieces – the main central piece, which folded up to allow access to the Hood Stick Metalwork Stowage Area, alongside a left and right Quarter Panel/Wheel Arch section. All three pieces included embossed patterns using a HF/RF (High-Frequency/Radio-Frequency) technique to achieve this finish – akin to that of the other main trim panels in the car. Behind this main section was a plain (or black) hardboard panel (sold separately)  which included a thick foam section at the top of the panel which helped keep the shape and fitment of the sewn Hood Frame Three Piece Unit Cover when in position. This cover kit was securely held in position on the top rails underneath a chrome finisher that went around the Rear Deck and Quarter Panel top sections, and this acted as the anchor and pivot point for the covers to be folded up on themselves to give access to the Stowage Area. The bottom edges were held into position using fixing studs located down onto the Rear Shelf Deck Area and the Quarter B Post areas respectively.


A Hood Frame Stowage 3pc Kit in the process of fitment to a Triumph TR4A.


Left to Right: the hardboard panel behind the stowage unit with the foam top; the stowage cover folded over and secured to the Rear Shelf with fixing studs; the Rear Seat placed back into position over the Differential Hump.


Original materials

The Hood Frame Stowage 3pc Kit was originally supplied in Ambla (Vinyl) and would have been matched to the same colour as the main trim panels and seats. Very few cars, if any, would have left with Leather panels – and if they did, this would have been a special order item. This kit also included PVC piping on horizontal sections of the three panels which would generally have been supplied in White with the possibility of a few special order cars leaving with different coloured piping. The outside edges of these covers were edged in Leathercloth (Vynide) as per the carpet edging material and style.

Carpets & Flooring

On the initial release of the radically overhauled, Giovanni Michelotti designed Triumph TR4, the Carpets in the car were one of the most obvious interior parts to see some changes. The most apparent visual difference was related to the overall shapes of the carpet pieces, making them suitable for the fresh redesign bodywork chassis shape. Drawing basic inspiration from the earlier TRs, they kept the circular sewn opening for the Gear Shift Lever, as per the TR2 and TR3 models, and also stuck with a flat Rear Shelf Area directly being the seats, as per the later TR3A/B models. The Front Floor Footwell carpets were extended allowing them to bend up into the engine firewall section of the car, underneath the dash – and although records are not conclusive on this matter – it appears that they may not have been carpet, but instead large rubber mats. The Rear Floor Carpets maintained the rear floor pan shape following the curvature of the tub around the Wheel Arch Wheels. The TR4 kept the safety “handbrake” lever mounted on the right side of the gearbox in the footwell area – and so a rather rudimentary hole was put in the tail edge of the Front Floor Mats for this to be positioned through. The Rear Shelf was a large one-piece setup which folded over the shelf and down onto the tub floor. There were cut-outs at the rear for the differential “diff” hump, and at the front for the prop shaft tunnel. The “A” Post Kick Boards directly in front of the doors were still carpeted, although, for the TR4 models, this was originally trimmed onto a millboard panel – and not directly onto the bodywork of the car, as per its predecessors. Unlike the earlier TR2-3B cars, the Sill areas of the car were also carpeted, with a long strip running from the footwell areas all the way back to the B Post Quarter Panel area, therefore fully covering the step area below the door.


A Triumph TR4 restored with New Tan Wool Carpets and ribbed rubber Front Floor Footwell Mats. Image Reference: Willsheer, A. Triumph World Magazine, Dec 2012/Jan 2013.


Original materials

As experienced quite regularly with cars of this era – what material was used and which colours were offered for the carpets of the Triumph TR4 is a subject of much debate. There are certainly records that indicate that a large majority of TR4 cars left with a grey/charcoal coloured carpet, most likely in a synthetic “rayon” nylon carpet and most likely with a loop pile. However, some cars were supplied from the factory in cut-pile wool carpet, in matching colours to the main trim. Inconsistencies were common practice on these production lines – and record-keeping even worse! The carpet pieces featured a Vynide (Leathercloth) binding on the edges, although not all edges of every piece were bound. A rubber ribbed Heel Pad was situated on the Driver’s side Front Floor Footwell Carpet (or a whole rubber mat was situated here instead of carpet), as well as a small “D” shaped Heel Pad on the Driver’s side vertical A Post Bulkhead Panel, and a matching “D” Heel Pad on the Driver’s side section of the Gearbox Clutch Housing Carpet. The Gearbox Cover itself included a pre-cut hole with sewn surround opening for the Gear Lever “Boot” Gaitor.


A Triumph TR4 restored with a grey nylon/synthetic loop-pile carpet.


A fully fitted restoration Triumph TR4 Carpet Set in Bright Red Wool to match the interior trim.


Short note on Underfelt

Carpet Kits were fitted on top of a layer of Underfelt, providing basic heat and sound insulation with an additional layer of comfort underfoot. Typically this was a natural jute felt of around 6mm to 8mm in thickness. Not all the carpet sections were fitted with corresponding felts underneath them.


Four different types of Fixings were used to keep the carpets in place and all these fixings are still available today. 

Mounting Studs (A) are secured to the bodywork floor pans using Pop Rivets (B). Then the Pronged Rings (C) are pierced through the carpet pieces in various areas and secured using the corresponding chrome Carpet Clip (D) to the back of the carpet. This allows the Mounting Stud (A) and the Carpet Clip (D) to clip into one another thus securing the carpet parts in place. The positions of these fixings is a subject of much debate – although you should often be guided by the pilot holes found in the bodywork of the chassis itself.


Triumph TR Carpet Fixings.

Boot / Trunk

The radical redesign of the Triumph TR4 chassis brought with it huge changes to the Boot Trunk area. As with the earlier TR2-3B models, the Boot Trunk area originally consisted of a Millboard Liner Panel that covered the bulkhead of the Boot Trunk area directly behind the main fuel tank. This was supplied as standard in a black surface grain finish to imitate the look of leather. This panel remained consistent for all the “Carb” TR4, TR4A (IRS) and TR250 models – but differed for the Petrol/Fuel Injected “P.I” systems of the short production run TR5 models. For the TR5 models, the panel was slightly wider with a creased element to the board allowing it to bend around and cover the fuel pump which was positioned in the left Wheel Arch Fender area.

Unlike the earlier models which came with a Boot Luggage Floor Mat fitted, the TR4 to TR5/250 models did not leave with any covering. The floor was fitted a black plywood base panel to cover the Spare Wheel, and it was only during the TR6 production run that a Luggage Mat was reintroduced into the cars. That being said, it has become common-place for restorers to lay a Boot Trunk Mat over this plywood panel. 

The left and right side panels of the Boot Trunk Area were left exposed to show the painted bodywork. (It is worth noting here that John Skinner can supply Boot Trunk Side Covers for this area of the car which is often overlooked but can benefit from some extra attention in trimming). These are Millboard Panels – either supplied as standard in a black surface grain finish to imitate the look of leather, or covered in a material of choice (most commonly carpeted to correspond with the Boot Mat).


A Triumph TR4 Boot Trunk area restored to original specification with a black grained Liner Panel to the back. Body work sides are left exposed. A Boot Trunk Flooring Mat (non-original, but common-place for today’s restorers) covers the Spare Wheel area.


Triumph TR4 Boot Trunk Side Panels as supplied by John Skinners. The panels can be left untrimmed or covered in Vinyl, Leather or Carpet according to the restoration requirements.

Weather Equipment

Convertible Soft Top Hood

The Convertible Soft Top saw quite a few visual and practical changes to its predecessor on the TR3A. One element that remained the same was the somewhat intolerable job of having to physically remove the material Hood from the metal Hood Sticks to store in the luggage area of the car or in the garage when not in use. It was only during the later TR4A cars, and all others that followed, that the Hood was redesigned to remain in place on the framework whilst being folded down. Rather ingeniously, for the TR4 models – the bare metal Hood Stick Framework was then hidden behind a material flap cover in the rear cabin area of the car completely hidden from sight. However, practically speaking this novel method was quite clumsy to operate and so was quickly taken back to the drawing board for the proceeding models! The Convertible Soft Top Hood still included the 3 rear window setup as per the previous TR models and these were HF/RF welded into position. The front of the Hood featured a pre-sewn pocket flap on the underside of the material – sewn across the width – containing three metal strips. This flap containing the metal strips was then used to clamp under the aluminium capping on the header rail of the windscreen to secure the Hood in place on the car. An additional left to right flap was sewn in the middle of the underside of the Soft Top with studs inserted – which was used to wrap around the horizontal Hood Frame rod above the Driver’s head, and secure in place. The Side Channel Gutter Flaps directly above the door glass featured some elasticated tabs with a metal fixing inserted which was then secured to the associated fixing on the Windscreen Frame Pillar. Lift-The-Dot fixings were used around the Rear Deck of the Hood to fix to the bodywork.


A Triumph TR4 Convertible Soft Top Hood.


The Triumph TR4 Convertible Soft Top Hood Framework. The soft material hood is removed from the frame before it is folded back into the stowage area at the rear of the car.


The majority of Triumph TRs left the factory with PVC Hooding – this is effectively a pvc vinyl plastic material with a waterproof membrane, and featuring a grain in the surface of the material to imitate vinyl/leather. The actual material used was Everflex (known as “British Everflex”) – which was an ICI trade name for PVC Hooding (think “sticky tape” and “sellotape”!). Some special-order models may have left with Deluxe Mohair Canvas (also referred to, albeit not exactly the same as Stayfast/Twilfast etc – see Glossary for more details). The clear plastic windows at the back were made in a Vybak plastic. The TR4 to TR6 Soft Tops all seem to have been available in either White, possibly Off-White, or Black Everflex from the factory production line. However, as mentioned previously, this is by no means set in stone – reports suggest that colours were also available for the Soft Top and Weather Equipment elements.

Surrey Top Canopy

The TR4 models saw a “Surrey Top” version introduced as an option as standard from the factory production line. This incorporated a fixed window frame section at the rear of the car – similar to what you see on modern-day “Targa” cars – enabling the car to be semi-convertible with an opening directly above the driver and passenger seats, whilst maintaining the fixed and wind-shielding rear screen frame section. This half-hardtop version was offered as a standard factory option for all TR4, TR4A, TR5 and TR250 models; before being discontinued and replaced with an alternative full-hardtop style for some TR6 models. The Surrey Top models featured a removable Hardtop Panel that could be fixed in place to make the car essentially a full hardtop car. A soft material Surrey Top Canopy cover was also offered, allowing the owner to essentially use the car as an open-top car with an easy to fit (and much more transportable) cover for the Surrey Top opening should you get caught in a sudden downpour of rain!

The Surrey Top Canopy Cover was made in a very similar fashion to the Soft Top Convertible Hood in terms of the fixing method at the front of the Canopy and the side-gutter channels. The materials used and colours available matched that of the Soft Top options.


The Surrey Top was introduced on Triumph TR4 models, allowing for either a soft material Canopy or Hardtop Cover to be fitted over the gap.


A Triumph TR4 Surrey Top with a Hardtop Cover fitted.


Tonneau Cover

Despite very obvious changes in the Tonneau Cover shape to suit the new TR4 chassis design, the overall concept of the Tonneau was the same as its predecessors with a pocket located on the Driver’s side to allow the steering wheel to be covered when the cover is fully in use and a slightly off-centre zipper offering a larger opening on the Driver’s side for when using the cover half-open. A tab was sewn to the underside of the Tonneau Cover for securing to the fixing located on the inside edge of the passenger side seat base framework. This design was maintained for the TR4A, TR5, TR250 and TR6 models that followed – with only changes to the fixings used to attach it to the bodywork being updated. The TR4 models used Lift-The-Dot fixings, whereas the TR4A, TR5, TR250 and TR6 cars used the “hood” press studs; the TR4A versions in silver, whereas the TR5/TR250 /TR6 were originally in black (plastic).


A Triumph TR4 Tonneau Cover.



For those cars fitted with the Surrey Top Hardtop Panel, both the Headliner Roof Assembly and Rear Screen Surrounds were originally upholstered in the same material – a heavy grained “longhorn” PVC material, in either a white-blue or black. This same material was also used to upholster the B Post Uprights and the Quarter Panel Tonneau Cappings making up the Rear Screen Surround.

The main headlining section of the Surrey Top was a pre-sewn cover with scrim loops sewn onto the underside which was used to insert three metal rods that went from left-to-right in the car to secure the headliner in place. 

The Rear Windscreen area consisted of pieces to recover the Side Panel Assembly Finishers around the B Posts as well as the Lower Tonneau Capping metalwork. Both the Upper and Lower Rear Glass Screen Surrounds were also catered for in the same material. A few of these parts overlapped one another when fitted in the car.


A Hardtop Surrey Top Headliner, fully fitted. The Rear Windscreen Surrounds and Sunvisors are all trimmed in the same material to match.

Glossary of Materials

Armacord – a coloured grained PVC material with a natural jute felt backing and ribbed surface finish. Very similar to Hardura in quality but the ribbed effect was a finish used specifically to Austin Healey models across a combination of Rear Floor, Boot Trunk and Rear Deck areas depending on the model specification. Also seen on Jaguar C Type Gearbox Tunnels.

Beading – see ‘Piping.’

Binding / Edging – a strip of Leathercloth that is fed through a binding machine and secured around the edge of a carpet. Generally only applied to edges of carpets that are exposed when fitted. Leathercloth is a sturdy yet nimble material that gives a neat and durable edge to carpets, enabling them to lay flat when fitted. (Please note, Vinyl binding – although available in a wider colour choice – is thicker than Leathercloth which results in a bulky appearance. It can also catch and snag easily, and wrinkles around corners when sewing. For these reasons, we never use Vinyl to bind our carpet edges at John Skinners).

Carpet: Karvel – Karvel carpet is a utilitarian floor covering with a tough ribbed surface structure and a woven hessian backing. Seen most commonly throughout Austin Healey and MGA interiors.

Carpet: Nylon – Nylon carpet is a man-made material constructed from polypropylene fibres glued to a flexible rubber backing. Ideal for budget restorations, or for areas of the car that are rarely on show e.g. Boot / Trunk areas. Avoid this choice for the main cockpit cabins if possible – Wool is always preferable and far superior.

Carpet: Wool – Wool carpet is spun from wool yarn and glued to a flexible rubber backing. The wool fibres provide a thick, springy and dense pile that doesn’t spread when fitted over bodywork curvature. Luxurious to the touch. Something about superior in quality, finish/touch etc etc – this should be the choice for most restorations  

Carpet: Wilton Wool – used for immensely luxurious, spacious and often chauffeur-driven saloon cars e.g. Rolls Royce and Bentley. Very densely packed, fluffy pile – akin to living room carpets. Not suitable for sports cars where its quality and feel looks out of place.

Carpet: Loop Pile – a carpet where fibres are ‘looped’ and left uncut to create a flat and durable carpet surface. Most commonly used on Triumph TR4s. Please note that Loop Pile carpet is not supplied by John Skinners.

Edging – see ‘Binding.’

Fibreboard – see ‘Millboard.’

Furflex (Tac-On & Snap-On) – with a similar velvet-like touch to Moquette, Furflex is the name given to a very short pile, high quality wool mix material wrapped around a rubber tube with a flanged edge. Used most commonly for trimming around door edges for the purposes of a draught excluder.

Hardboard – a versatile wood based material with one side having a very smooth finish and the other a heavily grained finish. It was used very extensively for Trim Panels and gradually replaced Millboard. ‘Motor Grade’ Hardboard is around 2.5mm thick – thinner than the more readily available 3.00mm – that 0.5mm makes all the difference – which allows for doors to close fully against draught excluders and be fitted to the bodywork of the car with the use of Trim Clips which are designed specifically for use with the original 2.5mm thick board.

Hardura – a coloured grained PVC material with a natural jute felt backing. Most commonly used to trim Boot Trunk areas – particularly across the Jaguar range – and was also used for flooring and other interior parts.

Headlining: Union Cloth – a woven material made from wool/other fibre mix (around 80% wool content, 20% cotton). Ideal for lining the interior roof of the car – most commonly Jaguar XK and MK2 (Saloon) models. Available in 2 colours; beige and grey to complement all interior colours. 200cm wide.

Headlining: “West of England” Wool Cloth – a woven material made from 100% wool fibres ideal for lining the interior roof of the car – most commonly Jaguar Saloon, Sedan and XK-E models. Available in 3 colours; beige, green and grey to complement all interior colours. If trimming a roof from its bare bodywork, opt for pre-bonded foam backed wool cloth to avoid having to twice glue and trim the headlining area; first to apply a foam base, then to glue and trim the headlining onto the foam. 150cm wide.

Hidem – made from Leathercloth or Hooding, Hidem is a type of banding – around 16mm wide – with a central seam running through it that can be used to hide unsightly tacks and staples across trimming work. Seen, for example, around the base of the backrest on Austin Healey BN1-BN4 Front Seats; and commonly seen on the header rails of soft top convertible Hoods.

Hooding: Deluxe Mohair Canvas – a woven twill waterproof canvas material with a dense rubber membrane encased between its twill surface and a textured dobby backing. A premium material seen most commonly on Soft Top Convertible Hoods for the Jaguar XK and some E-Type models. With minimal shrinkage qualities, Deluxe Mohair Canvas is exceptionally durable. Can also be referred to / known as – DMC, Canvas, Haartz®, Sonnenland®,, German Canvas or Dobby Cloth. 

DMC is the superior canvas hooding product; more so than the commonly seen SMC (Standard Mohair Canvas) products on the market, which can also be referred to / known as – Stayfast®, Twillfast®.

Hooding: PVC – a waterproof plastic coated material with a knitted cotton backing. Heavily grained surface finish. ‘Everflex’ is the ICI trade name for PVC hooding. Can also be referred to as – British Everflex, Vinyl Hooding or Crush Grain Vinyl.

Leather – a natural product derived from animal skins with marks, blemishes and scratches an inherent part of the materials’ surface and character. Modern day processes – such as mechanical graining and dyeing techniques – help hide imperfections to maximise use of the hide, reduce production waste and make leather products accessible to the wider market. Whilst Vaumol™ natural grain leather would have been original for these cars, our Grained, Smooth and Antiqued Leathers offer a more than suitable alternative in keeping with originality – you can read more about these here.

Leathercloth / Vynide – both names refer to the same material; a coloured and lightly grained PVC material with a thin woven cotton backing and no stretch. Leathercloth / Vynide replaced Rexine in the marketplace. ‘Vynide’ was the ICI trade name for this material. Used for Trim Panels, Piping & Binding. The choice for restorers looking to return their interior to truly original specification. Available in a select range of colours.

Millboard – a flexible and tough cardboard like material with a grained finish to its surface. Used for Trim Panels & Boot Trunk Areas. Can be creased to allow for bending around bodywork fixtures such as Petrol Filler Pipes. Can also be referred to as ‘Fibreboard.’

Moquette – a short pile, high quality wool mix material with a velvet-like touch. Used for various trim items across the Jaguar range such as Seat Backs, Wheel Arch Covers and Trim Panels. Available in a variety of colours.

Piping – a flexible core encased in either Leathercloth or Vinyl and finished with a flanged edge. Sewn around seat edges and pleated panels, and either sewn or stapled to some interior panels such as Wheel Arch Covers or Door Panels. (Please note, although Vinyl piping available in a wider colour choice than its Leathercloth counterpart, it is thicker than Leathercloth which results in a bulkier appearance. It can also catch and snag easily, and wrinkles around corners when sewing. We would always recommend to use Leathercloth piping where possible, unless you feel particularly limited by colour choice within the Leathercloth range).

Piping: Chrome (as seen on Austin Healey BJ8 Front & Rear Seats) – a silver and black twisted yarn core encased in bendy plastic with a flanged edge to create a ‘chrome’ / metallic effect piping. Original for Austin Healey BJ8 Vinyl Front & Rear Seats. Often referred to incorrectly as ‘gold’ piping (the result of the original chrome piping yellowing through age and sunlight exposure).

Piping: Plastic (as seen on Triumph TR4-TR6 Panels & Seats) – a 3mm moulded plastic piping only available in Black or White. Originally used for Triumph TR4-TR6 Interior Panels & Seat Kits. No longer used by John Skinner for Seat Kits as it does not provide the flexibility required for good seat structure. John Skinner would only use this plastic piping on trimmed panels if customers are not ordering seats to match. Where customers are ordering both Interior Panels & a Seat Kit, Leathercloth piping is used in place of the original plastic piping.

Rexine – a coloured and lightly grained plastic material with a thin woven cotton backing and no stretch. Rexine was an early type of Leathercloth, but thinner and of a similar quality to book-binding material. Used across Trim Panels, Piping & Binding. It is no longer available on the market and was gradually superseded by Leathercloth / Vynide.

Underfelt – a natural material made from compressed jute felt fibres to offer heat and sound resistance properties. Anti-scuff finish to face. Flexible, durable and essential for flooring restorations to ensure carpet kits fit correctly. Place directly onto the bodywork floor of the car prior to fitting carpets on top. Can be used in conjunction with modern-day heat and soundproofing materials such as Dynamat®.

Vaumol™ – a leather finishing process developed in-house by Connolly Leather to celebrate the natural and individual characteristics, patina and aroma of each hide. The leather is vegetable tanned and surfaced dyed and left with its natural grain to the surface which is enhanced through the Vaumol™ finish. ‘Luxan’ hides are further enhanced with a secondary colour application. 

Vinyl / Ambla – both names refer to the same material; a coloured grained PVC with a thick knitted cotton backing allowing for good stretch qualities. Its knitted backing makes it thicker than Leathercloth / Vynide. ‘Ambla’ was the ICI trade name for this material. It was introduced to the market in the early 1960’s and was used widely across Trim Panels & Seats from this period onwards, quickly replacing its Leathercloth alternative. Favoured by today’s restorers due to its more flexible nature and wider colour range availability, it is quite common to see Vinyl used as a substitute for Leathercloth.

(Note that for carpet edging and seat piping, we would always recommend using Leathercloth. It is thinner than Vinyl, making it more suitable for sewing round corners and curves without wrinkling or adding bulk).

Our Customers' Cars

…and people say that “pre-manufactured upholstery kits will never fit“.

Our customers beg to differ; and we have the photos to prove it – thanks to thousands of loyal clients from all over the world keeping us informed about their restorations.

See for yourself…and remember – it is our accurate pattern making (all from original templates & donor cars) and in-depth knowledge of these cars, as well as our precise, modern-day manufacturing processes that enable us to produce world class, award winning kits rarely rivalled by others.

Whether you’re a professional trimmer or an amateur enthusiast – a John Skinner Ltd kit is the best way to kick-start your interior trim restoration.

Start building your Quotation

Build a Quote

Use our online system to build your own quotation, specific to your car & restoration requirements.

Unsure on what parts and colours you need? Add all the options you’re considering and we’ll be back in touch to discuss further. For more information on our Build a Quote system, please see our FAQs.