COMFORT ZONE

As featured in Land Rover Monthly magazine.

As Land Rovers are the ultimate recyclable vehicle, replacement seats are much in demand in all their many shapes and sizes.

If business in general is all about ‘bums on seats’, then Exmoor Trim’s business is specifically about keeping those bums cosy and cosseted. Because while a vehicle’s contact patch with the road is its tyres, the driver’s contact patch with the vehicle tends to be concentrated through the seat of the pants – and nobody enjoys a pain in the bum.So making seats that are both soft and firm in all the right places as well as durable and good looking requires very specific materials and a high degree of technical skill. The design has to be right in the first place then the manufacturing process has to deliver a product that’s worthy of the design.

Materials are crucial and Exmoor Trim devote a good deal of effort to ensure that the cloths and fabrics are right and that the foams are consistent. The patterns for the foam sections and fabric panels are, of course, computer designed and the manufacturing process is similarly computer controlled. With so many parts and pieces coming together to produce a single seat, consistency throughout the process is vital. But, in the end, no matter how many computers are involved, it all comes down to human input. I watched as an Exmoor Trim modular seat was built up on the bench. It’s a simple enough process but one that requires concentration and commitment to get right.

The stitched panels are systematically fitted, glued and clipped over the seat frame and its foam pads and cushions to ensure a tight fit. The materials are assembled onto a brand new frame in a huge variety of seat types to suit pretty much any Land Rover owner’s needs and tastes. Exmoor Trim can supply everything from exact replica seats for any Series model, including spade backs for 80s, right through to hi-tech Defender seats using Outlast fabric or even real leather if that’s what takes your fancy. Outlast is a material that controls thermal transfer, so it’s warm in winter and cool in summer – try it once and you’ll never want anything else.

Exmoor Trim’s factory is a monument to the Land Rover’s environmental credentials. They supply everything from Series One ‘restoration kits’, which include a full set of seats, right through to do-it-yourself Defender re-trim kits including the latest model. Truly, there’s too much to mention here – immersing yourself in their catalogue is the only way to get the full picture. There doesn’t seem to be any reasonable excuse to ride around with tatty old seats in your pride and joy when such a comprehensive range is available. Our own 200 Tdi 90, refurbished at Trek Overland, has Exmoor Trim replacement seats fitted. I was also tempted to buy a set of Exmoor’s very impressive Melvill & Moon imported seat covers. What an instant difference they make.

Exmoor Trim only operate a manufacturing operation at their Somerset premises, retail sales are handled through a chain of distributors. Check out the catalogue and it will make you wonder how you put up with the rough old seats in your Land Rover for so long.

READ PART FOUR

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With the side panels in place the inner section is first secured…

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…then fixed firmly with adhesive.

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The seat back forms an integral part of the seat frame.

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Attention to details demands that edges are neatly finished.

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Built onto a brand new frame, fabric is clipped tightly over the foam.

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Just like the original, seat bases are available in many fabrics.

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Pre-cut foam panels are fixed to the seat back frame.

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Seat base is slotted into the frame and the seat is finished.