How to Attach Headliner Fabric Without Glue

Written by evelyn trimborn
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How to Attach Headliner Fabric Without Glue
Headliner fabric comes in an array of colours for a custom look. (grey fabric image by Dmitry Grishin from

Headliner fabric is the fabric attached to the inside roof of the car. It can be difficult to attach, or reattach if it sags, due to the number of clips, screws and brackets that hold it in place. It is also partly held in place by certain fixtures in the car, such as the visors and the shoulder seat belts. You can give headliner fabric a smooth, attractive finish without using glue to attach it.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 small flathead screwdriver
  • 1 Philips-head screwdriver
  • New headliner fabric (optional)
  • Tape measure
  • 1 roll Velcro, male (hook), 25 yards by 4 inches wide, peel-and-stick
  • 1 roll Velcro, female (loop), 25 yards by 4 inches wide, peel-and-stick
  • Dressmaker's chalk

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  1. 1

    Open the car door. Search the roof of the car carefully around the roof edge to locate the fasteners holding the current headliner fabric in place.

  2. 2

    Unscrew or pry open the first fastener using the appropriate screwdriver for the task. Start from one corner of the headliner and work your way carefully around the roof of the car, until each fastener is open and the headliner fabric is completely detached.

  3. 3

    Measure the headliner fabric length and width. Write the measurements down on paper. Cut your new headliner fabric to those dimensions if you wish to replace the headline fabric completely.

  4. 4

    Measure the roof area where the headliner fabric will be installed. Note the dimensions on paper also.

  5. 5

    Plot the placement of the Velcro in the roof area using the width of the headliner as the required length of Velcro from the roll. Cut the female Velcro into five strips and position the strips on the headliner fabric, placing them at equal distances apart.

  6. 6

    Check the measurements between the strips. Mark the same positions for the Velcro strips on the roof of the car using dressmaker's chalk. Cut the male Velcro into five strips of the same length as the female Velcro strips.

  7. 7

    Attach the female Velcro to the male. Peel the backing slightly off the male Velcro strip, exposing about 2 inches of the adhesive. Place it on the roof in the desired position and begin to peel off the rest of the backing to stick the Velcro to the roof. Work from one side of the car to the other carefully, keeping the Velcro strip as straight and smooth as possible.

  8. 8

    Repeat Step 7 four more times with each of the remaining strips of Velcro. Then peel off the backing from the female Velcro, exposing the adhesive.

  9. 9

    Hold up the headliner fabric to the roof of the car and start to smooth it in the direction of the first Velcro strip. Keeping the fabric taut, press down on the fabric as it makes contact with the first exposed Velcro strip. Smooth along the whole length of the strip.

  10. 10

    Continue smoothing the headliner fabric toward the next Velcro strip. Smooth it over the adhesive tightly, avoiding any sagging.

  11. 11

    Repeat Step 10 until the headliner is fully installed in the roof area of the car. Refasten all the clips and strips that hold the headliner in place.

Tips and warnings

  • If you make a mistake in the placement of the headliner, just peel and stick the Velcro again.
  • Some manufacturers produce complete headliner kits. Compare prices to see which solution is best for you.
  • Velcro can be quite expensive; compare prices for the best offer.
  • Check all your measurements carefully before placing the Velcro on the roof board, as it will be hard to unstick.
  • Be sure to buy the correct width of headliner fabric if you wish to replace it completely. The standard width is 54 inches, but certain vehicles use 60-inch headliner fabric.

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