Extraordinary headliner info wanted

With all the different taste in things… Has anyone made an alternative headliner for a coupe ?.. Plus photos please

Back in the mid 1990’s I went to the premier of the Aston Martin DB7 at the local Ferrari/Aston dealer. (Met an extraordinary girl there too… but that’s another story…) I fell in love with the DB7 interior, and having THE car was it’s progenitor, I decided my sagging headliner would be replaced and done like the DB7… with Alcantara. Now this was the 90’s and some things were hard to come by without Amazon. It took months and I ended up having to bond the right color Ultrasuede to an actual headliner material. (essentially rolling on lightly contact cement on the backside of the Ultrasuede and the frontside of the headliner material.) I have no pictures of this. These days you can buy a number of colors already pre-bonded to thin foam, so one is far better off these days, but it can still be done the old way if the right color is not available. The best way to do it would be to use a spray gun to coat both sides and bond them.

I don’t have pictures of the headliner in my Jag, but I do have a picture from it that will give you some idea, AND pictures from my old c1500 truck on which I used the same process… because… why not. It needed it.

From an old pic of my Jag, what you can see here is the A pillar trim re-covered - or over-covered with REAL leather- the sued side up. That’s about the color and look of the headliner too.

Gratuitious shot of my dash that I redid in red… showing the general colors of the car.

Now from the truck, similarly, how such a thing would look as a headliner (but colors matching the truck):

During install:

The material I started with:

I thought I had pictures of bonding the two materials (actually 1/8" foam 54" wide from Walmart used for sewing) but I can’t find them at the moment. Suffice to say sometimes materials need to be ironed beforehand to get rid of any creases if they’ve not been rolled, and depending on how they’re put together, - the way I do it - both materials are stretched out on a wall to ensure they’re flat, then the foam is introduced to bond to the backside of the synsuede (novasuede in the case of the red material) taped to a wall so that it is taught.

~Paul K.


< waiting for Lover to chime in here > :laughing:

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So you used both alcantara and real suede?

Yes. I happened to have access to some very fine leather pieces leftover from covering a Diablo roll cage, and I made use of them on the A, B and C pillars, and where the felt was on the instrument cluster. A fantastic blue-grey. The headliner was a very similar shade of grey, and the cant rails were re-foamed and covered with black leather. It worked well.

The headliner was actually Ultrasuede, which is the same sort of thing as Alcantara, except Alcantara is the Italian licensed stuff from Japan’s Toray that is spec’d for Automotive use.

These days there are more choices in quite good synthetic suedes such as NovaSuede from Majillite, Soave Texuede, SenSuede, Korean Chamude by Kolon, Unisuede, Street Suede, Synergy-Suede-II, and others. Some are now available as replacment for various luxury cars. None of these are “microsuedes” which are woven products.

~Paul K

BTW… Pellon Flex Foam I think (in black) is what I used on the truck as the backer.

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To add to the question… Has there been any headliners made not using the original type shell… Alternatives to that ?

Well, since you asked… made commercially? No. I don’t think so. Different? Yep… I had to. My headlining shell had been cut for a sunroof and completely fell apart when I went to take out my old headliner (in the XJS). I didn’t have a choice to but to make a substitute because I had no access to the now available aftermarket shells you can get.

The solution? Cork. Cork drawer lining + Contact cement.

My new shell was bonded TO the inner roof skin as if it were an inner skin. I left a little lip at the front and rear window over which to wrap the headliner material just as if it were actually a shell. It quieted the car, and gave me nearly an inch more headroom… but I had to install the headliner IN THE CAR. These days I’d acquire a new shell.

~Paul K.


It’s a shame the original headliner board crumbles when you take it down.(at least in my cases) That’s why I had to do a bit of fiberglassing to get it right again.
I put marine headliner carpet material up in my coupe. It looks interesting but I would have much preferred to put that Alcanterra material that Paul did that looks lush.
On a side note, I would love to do what rolls Royce does with the starry headliner. Processing: AC044263-57A1-4018-B045-4E3314231DBB.webp…

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Hey James. You may have already seen, but there are a number of YouTube vids on making a project of doing a “starry headliner.” (Keywords in quotes). IDK if like a perforated synsuede would work or…

~Paul K.

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There is someone in the UK who sells headliners made with a fiberglass mold on Ebay. I bought one for my 88 coupe, and it’s great. Choice of light tan or grey.


I will take a look I have not seen yet. I don’t watch much on YouTube unless it’s really short or extremely interesting lol I have attention span of a finch.

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Obviously not…your attention to detail requires focus. I think it is subject matter that bores your intellect.


Says the artist guy with an airliner XJ-S !


Wow … it’s kinda like having a fake “moonroof” for those of us that don’t have sunroofs … :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

In case you weren’t already aware of this, it’s very important whichever approach you use is to be sure and use that 3-M headliner spray adhesive on it that is “extremely strong” (i.e. their more pricey $$ version :moneybag: ), esp. if you live in the hot/sunny areas. :sun_with_face: Otherwise, the material tends to start sagging after a few hot summers. :frowning: Seems almost every one of my “Ebay” Jags arrived with a sagging headliner in the past (funny how the sellers never seem to post pics of THAT part of the car in their listings :roll_eyes: ). The only one that hasn’t is Superblue, and I have a hunch when her PO (in Miami, no less) repainted her he had her headliner redone. Since I have not experienced even the slightest bit of loose fabric up there in the over 5 years I have owned her here in Dallas I have a hunch he used that very stuff for the adhesive. :thinking:

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The only way forward Scrimbo, believe me:

You can keep the fortune usually spent quarterly on 3M adhesives for your grandchildren…

Errr, bangher … are you a surgeon, per chance? :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

On Superblack, I have actually used like 3 or 4 packages of those “Saggystopper” things, that are like clear-headed upholstery “button hooks” . They hold things up nicely and are a bit less “detractive” than other methods of temporary fixes I have seen in that regard … Once I actually get her RUNNING again (if I ever do :roll_eyes: ) of course I’ll do a proper job. Funny thing is her headliner backing board seems to still be fully intact, so it will just require regluing her fabric to it. I guess things don’t get quite that hot in the summer in PA … :disappointed_relieved:

Not yet, but still practising on dead animals on the side of the roads. This is a must-have experience for every XJS owner.

I removed my liner a few years ago… the shell crumbled into pieces… don’t really miss it… However when closing door I get an echo. So have been thinking about what could be done…??? Conventional with metal rods and pockets… Form a shell out of plastic… Adhere a padded material to the roof… I don’t know… That is why I asked for alternative ideas … The hardest part would be around the sun visor area… Perhaps there is a product I don’t know about… My generation of people in farm country were very much tinkerers and inventors… Had to be… that seems to be changing… How about you other tinkerers?

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Well hey, maybe you have a future on the side in the field of taxidermy … :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: