Presently, leather is the undisputed preference of “premium” upholstery used in cars today. But in the years of the Great Brougham Epoch, velour often proved just as popular, if not more so.
Although not the first example of a velour interior, the 1972 Oldsmobile famously introduced button-tufted loose-pillow velour seats in its 1972 Ninety-Eight Regency, bringing both velour and loose-pillow seating to the masses. Other brands would hastily follow, taking part in a trend that would last the next two decades.
As the years went on, velour simply fell out of favor. The increasing popularity of German and Japanese luxury cars played a large part in this, as their less-adorned and business-like interiors generally favored leather in top models. Velour or any other cloth, if offered, was usually reserved for lower-spec models, leading to its image of inferiority. Today it’s a virtually obsolete material in cars, except in some Asian markets where it is still preferred.
Personally, I’ve never been a fan of velour. I don’t find it particularly comfortable, and like leather, it still gets hot. Also, in comparison to velour, leather is easier to clean and does not absorb odors as easily. But what do you think? Should velour make a comeback? Or do you think leather is the only choice when it comes to premium auto upholstery?