Wool in the Volvo. Alternative seat covers from Sweden.

Alternative seat covers are trendy. With the 2021 model year, Volvo is launching tailored wool in the 90s and 60s series. The manufacturer relies on a mix of wool and recycled polyester. However, this idea is not entirely new. Because already in the 90s there were some cars made of fine wool from Sweden.

New in model year 2021. A wool mix in the Volvo.
New in model year 2021. A wool mix in the Volvo.

Saab made a statement in the early 90s. In the 9000 series there was either valuable leather or wool. The trend away from leather was not yet invented; in Trollhättan you were a bit ahead of the times. The Italian brand supplied the high-quality seat covers Ermenegildo Zegna to. Saab would not have been Saab if the choice of wool as the cover had not been logically justified.

Wool in the Volvo. Cool in summer. Warm in winter.

Warm in winter - cool in summer. These were the facts that spoke for the wool covering. Wool did not prevail in the 9000, the majority of customers argued for the prestigious leather. Since pure wool, and no mixture, was used at the time, the disadvantages quickly became apparent. High sensitivity to UV rays, noticeably less robust than leather. Only a few vehicles with Zegna equipment survived in good condition.

For this reason, Volvo Cars uses a mix of materials. 30% wool and 70% polyester from recycled raw materials provide a more robust cover than was the case at Saab almost 30 years ago. The seat covers are described as hard-wearing, water and dirt repellent and wrinkle-free. In comparison, with the previously used nappa leather covering of the sports seats, 3 kilograms of weight are saved as a pleasant side effect.

However, a fundamental advantage has remained valid. The wool mix cools in summer and keeps you warm in winter. In addition, it is puristic-Scandinavian and therefore fits the origin of the brand. A nice detail on the edge, which should not be missing to perfection, is the small Swedish flag on the seat back.

27 thoughts on "Wool in the Volvo. Alternative seat covers from Sweden."

  • @ MySAAB
    ... but that can take time. There is less and less. 🙁

  • @ MySAAB,

    very nice comment. But before the first fly, a member of the supervisory board ate one to 127 eggs with caviar and 817 salmon slices ...

    Or a fitter bitten into a cheese and sausage sandwich, poured milk into their coffee or grilled a sausage at the end of the day ...

    The 100% vegan car. Just an illusion or even a real horror scenario? ? ?

  • Until the first fly sticks to the window…. 🙂

  • I like leather

    Is also a natural material. The summery argument (bare skin sticks) makes sense. Everyone has to know ...

    What I don't like is the vegan philosophy, which excludes both wool and leather. And I was pretty horrified by the interview with a hard core vegan in the ÖR.

    She claimed that plastic and petrochemical textiles had the better ecological balance. Livestock of any kind have no right to live because nature did not provide for them. In a “better” world they would consequently and all of them die out. She meant that very seriously. Really crude …

    I could imagine that a wool sheep, a shepherd dog and the shepherd find their lives worth living. And also that these three mammals consider themselves and their way of life to be more natural than the plastic belt around the waist of the vegan, who denies them any right to exist.

    Why always such extremes?
    But why on earth?

  • It doesn't matter whether you use the leather seats in an XC90 or a less problematic V90, the same amount of leather is probably used. One should be satisfied with a V40

  • So I've been at sea for 48 years and don't want to replace today's microfiber functional clothing! Breathable, warm, comfortable to wear at all temperatures and easy to clean. You can wear wool underneath, but everything else is not possible!
    I just exchanged the BoW leather seats in my work 9000 for fresher ones. They had now covered 400.000 km in two cars and would be ready for preparation. I would like to see that with other natural materials.
    To give a multi-ton SUV with wool a sustainable ecological paint is ... ridiculous!
    That's why no cow is slaughtered less. Rethinking should rather take place when selecting the basic vehicle.

  • Nothing speaks against wool.

    Ken Daniel,
    I wrote earlier that wool (felt rings) was even used as a seal in engine construction.

    By the way, cork too. B14 to B36 (a V8 out of two B18) all have cork seals under the valve covers. Until the early 1970s, Volvos were all cars (and trucks, because that is where the B36 was used) that would be overwhelmed with environmental awards today. I have a cork seal for a B30E in stock in my garage, but the last one lasts and lasts ...

    Wool felt, sisal, cork, coconut, wood, wood fibers, rubber, cardboard and of course leather ...

    The old boxes are so full to the brim with natural materials that a PR department could get into a row, which detail should be used today to establish the idea of ​​sustainability and to advertise effectively in the world.

    But the thought wasn't born then. On the contrary, cars that were produced all too naturally were considered technically and stylistically obsolete by the mid-1970s. Just as wool is now or still viewed with skepticism ...

    Functional clothing for seafaring, hunting, sports, military, outdoor and expedition, there is nothing that wool cannot do. It is windproof, water and dirt repellent as well as breathable and less odor-prone than synthetic fibers. The wool has climbed Mount Everest, reached the North and South Poles and won the Tour de France and it does not shrink (!) When it is dried if it has been woven or tumbled accordingly.

    I would like to see more natural fibers in our lives and that the automotive industry discovers the topic for itself.
    In addition to corona and CO2, we also have a problem with microfibres and plastics ...

    It is also interesting that we all feel safest at a meeting in a wool suit, a cotton shirt and a silk tie.

    It is strange that the synthetic fiber in its almost all-encompassing triumph has somehow come across limits and insurmountable hurdles.

    But I like it and I hope that natural fibers (also for composite materials) could make a comeback.

  • I don't necessarily need leather seats in the car, thank God you can get good seats in today's cars, or the better seats (sports seats / extra comfort seats) without leather. In the past, the better seats were always connected with leather, the Super Aero seats in the 9000 or the sports seats in the 9-5NG were always only available in leather. Would certainly be different today.
    I've written it before, but I like the fabric seats in the 9-3II better than the leather seats in the 9-3III. Especially in summer, when you sometimes wear a pair of shorts, you don't pick on the fabric seats.
    With wool, I would only ask myself how easy it is to care for these seats.

  • My father had the wool-covered seats in his 9000 Griffin. Company car, dark green metallic, I have never sat better than in these seats. The Saab was with us for three years, the next vehicle was a soulless BMW 5 Series. Today and that must be almost thirty years ago, my father still speaks of this car, it has never been forgotten.

  • So Volvo & environmental protection? Interesting topic for us, I'll pick up.

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  • @ Tom,

    yes, 30% nature and 70% recycling of seating materials point in the right direction. It also looks chic.

    It is also interesting to know what percentage of nature there is in a car of around 2 tons if a few 100g of wool were used?

    Nothing for bad and nothing against Volvo, but the whole industry is too complacent and far too frugal for me. If a little moss (for Sono) and a little wool (for Volvo) are sensational, then I am saddened rather than happy and confident.

    There is still a lot of room for improvement.

  • the “Stoff-9000-CD” is really nice, it already tingles 😉
    I can not understand this Volvo Hipe with some, I see it exactly like Ebasli.

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  • Well you are very lucky, you don't have to buy a new Volvo if the design is supposed to be that bad….
    However, the sales figures speak for themselves 😉

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  • All the positive properties that are rightly attributed to a woolen material are no longer relevant with a 70% polyester content. (Imagine a T-shirt made of 30% cotton and 70% polyacrylic, because the cotton has lost its charm as well. This is why this mixture is not offered.) The high “admixture” only increases the abrasion resistance and thus the service life. If the proportion of virgin wool is 30%, it is called a wool blend. To put it bluntly, it is a refined polyester fabric.

  • It's all a matter of taste, I think the Volvo station wagons are also quite ok. From the outside, I think the giant SUV ships are terribly ugly, ostentatious (the opposite of the simplicity that Saab lived and loved) and completely oversized. For example, the rear lights of all current Volvos show, in my opinion, how it shouldn't be done right now: Also there is a glaring jumble of lines and even more jagged points, because with LEDs you can now bring a lot of bells and whistles to light and therefore probably have to. How beneficial, on the other hand, was the successful, simple and absolutely chic light bar on the 9-5 NG! With the old V70 (I drove one in 2000) the taillight design was still fancy and chic, but what this now Chinese manufacturer have made of this beautiful idea at the time - brrr! With the current products from Volvo, which is now really no longer a niche manufacturer (the SUVs now dominate the cityscape compared to other SUVs here in HH), I cannot make any difference compared to Stuttgart, Sindelfingen or Munich (I wouldn’t with the fraudsters from Ingolstadt anyway buy more) recognize more - unless you would rather drive a Chinese than a German car. I think the design is sometimes significantly worse, not homogeneous and blurred inside and out with various lines, jagged edges, beading, etc. Nothing simple, nothing coherent and nothing from a single source. In my opinion, the Ingolstadt-based company has clearly nicer and harmonious lines - but like this

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  • Yes, the discussion about climate protection and the vegan car. Most of my Saabs, usually 20 years old and older, have leather on board. I like it, but wouldn't I order more today? Saab would probably have alternatives on offer. But times were different back then. By the way, my company car is “vegan”.

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  • Tom Office Series

    Thanks for the link! The fabric in the 9000 looks really beautiful and classy! 🙂

  • Leather and wool can be viewed both positively and negatively with regard to climate protection. As animal products, they naturally have a carbon footprint that is similar to that of meat and milk products.

    However, if they are added to meat and milk production, it is certainly better to use them than to dispose of them.

    One or the other manufacturer has already discovered the topic, as the following examples show:

    https://www.volvocars-partner.ch/blog/2020/03/11/polestar-2-nachhaltig-vegan-schnell/
    https://vegconomist.de/unternehmen-und-portraits/ford-erhaelt-peta-award-fuer-den-ersten-zu-100-veganen-mustang/
    https://www.aachener-nachrichten.de/ratgeber/auto/audi-e-tron-gt-selbst-fuer-veganer-ein-gutes-gewissen_aid-35175731

  • Polyester made from recycled (!) Raw materials. Plus 30% wool. That's fine. Or?

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  • The historical view

    I took a 144 first-hand from my parents.
    I sold the car 22 years old and ran over 330.000 km, unfortunately.

    It already had defects and signs of age. So why “unfortunately sold”?

    Never again have I encountered any other vehicle that (apart from paint, sheet metal and rust) would have exhibited such long-term quality.

    Despite city traffic, he still had the first brake discs that were still a long way from being worn out. But much more fascinating - and that's the topic here - was the interior ...

    I have no idea what Volvo was weaving and weaving back then, but carpets and seat covers looked very natural and indestructible to me. Wool? Hemp? Sisal and or coconut?

    I have no idea. I just know that the interior, the insulation material and the surfaces were indestructible and very natural. There were even felt rings instead of Simmerrings under the hood ...

    Against this background, I definitely do not let a polyamide and polyester mix with a wool content of 30% go through as progress or even an ecological revolution in automotive engineering.

    We had that better and more sustainable. In addition to leather, wool, sisal, coconut fibers and hemp, wood has also played a significant and important role in automobile construction.

    It cannot and must not be the case that every model to which a blade of grass is glued in carbon for the decor of the dashboard is showered with environmental awards. This is definitely going too far.

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  • I like the interior. And the reference. Finally an alternative. Like Volvo, which is now the only serious alternative in the premium segment if you don't feel like Stuttgart, Munich, Ingolstadt.

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  • I think I saw such a fabric cover (checkered) in the Polestar concept car and thought to myself, man, that would be an alternative! Nice that it actually comes, albeit in plain color. I can't see a jumble either, I think Volvo is very chic, inside and out. As Volvo has “slipped” into the premium class, I believe that Volvo has ensured its survival.

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  • There is one in the network 9000 CD with a very well preserved Zegna equipment. Unfortunately the pictures are in need of improvement.

  • The seats made of high-quality wool are of course also available for the estate models V60 and V90, as well as the sedans S60 and S90. I can't see a “jumble” of lines in the seat design.

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  • Interesting report, nice fabric in a noble color - but apart from that an ugly interior, including the seats, a single jumble of lines. But it fits in with the exterior of this entire SUV giant ship fleet from Volvo. But it is now a (Chinese) mainstream brand that, above all, wants to be expensive and therefore want to look like it. In terms of design, they could never hold a candle to Saab.

    Are there still pictures of the interior of the 9000 with wool covers?

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  • Learned something again!

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