How to Install Alcantara Headliner – autointeriorspecialists
How to Install Alcantara Headliner

How to Install Alcantara Headliner

A headliner is the foam-backed cloth cover that is attached with adhesive to the ceiling of a vehicle. It is not unusual for a car headliner to become unattached and cave in if it has been exposed to excessive amounts of moisture or if the car is somewhat older.

You can improve your headliner by replacing it with Alcantara fabric. Alcantara fabric will give the vehicle interior an elegant and classy look! 

Alcantara is a synthetic textile material that has a soft, suede-like microfiber pile, and is renowned for its unmatched durability. Alcantara is commonly used in automotive interiors with items such as Alcantara headliner, Alcantara car seats or Alcantara steering wheel cover.

You do not have to hire a professional to come in and fix a saggy or dirty headliner; you can replace it yourself by taking these steps:

1. Remove the old headliner

  • Pry off all the trim that surrounds the headliner and holds it in place.
  • Detach and remove all the seat belt covers, lights, speakers, visors and clothes hangers. You may also have to remove some of the upper A, B, C pillar panels to get the headliner to drop from the roof area. You may have to unscrew some bolts and/or pry some parts up with a flathead or star screwdriver.
  • Unclip any clips that are holding the headliner board in place.
  • Slide the headliner board out of the vehicle and set it on a flat work surface. A large table or the floor will do.
  • Remove the material from the car headliner board. It should peel off without much effort.

2. Scrape off any foam that remains stuck on the headliner board with a bristle brush or lightweight sandpaper.

Be gentle so as not to damage the board. The smoother the board surface is, the better your finished headliner replacement will look.

3. Lay the replacement headliner fabric over the headliner board

Spread it out flat and smooth out any folds or wrinkles.

4. Fold the Alcantara fabric

Fold 1/2 of the alcantara fabric back onto itself, leaving 1/2 of the headliner board exposed. Working each half of the fabric application separately makes the task easier to manage.

5. Prepare both surfaces for adhesion

Brush contact cement on the underside of the headliner fabric and on the exposed half of the headliner board. Alternatively, 3M makes a sprayadhesive that is much easier to work with.

We recommend getting the strongest glue you can. Because of the location of the headliner, many weaker glues will fail with heat.

6. Stretch the cemented material over the cemented half of the board

Stretch the cemented Alcantara material over the cemented half of the board. Then, press the Alcantara fabric in place with the palm of your hand as you go.

7. Fold the unattached half of the headliner fabric back onto itself

Fold the unattached half of the headliner fabric back onto itself and repeat the gluing, stretching and pressing process for the other half.

8. Wait for the adhesive to dry

Drying time will be listed on the adhesive label.

9. Cut holes in the car headliner where the lights, seat belts, visors and clothes hangers need to be attached

You can use a hobby knife to cut holes in the car headliner where the lights, seat belts, visors and clothes hangers need to be attached 

10. Trim any excess fabric from the edges before you install a headliner board back in the car.

Leave about 0.5 inch of extra Alcantara fabric around the circumference of the board so that it can be tucked in during installation.

11. Return the headliner board back to its place in the car

  • Tuck the excess fabric under for clean edges.
  • Secure the headliner with the car's headliner clips (if applicable)

12. Place back the accessories and trim

Put back the accessories and trim that you removed for the headliner replacement process.

Voilà - you are done! You now have a brand new headliner using sturdy and elegant Alcantara fabric!

Want to custom-make your own headliner? Purchase your own authentic, OEM Alcantara fabric from our online Alcantara shop and have the material sent directly to your doorstep!