Cool Katzkin Leather Install For A Hot EcoBoost F-150

Never in the history of American cars and trucks have we had so much to choose from. Automakers offer us plenty and so do aftermarket outfitters eager to please. Aftermarket outfitter Katzkin was founded in 1983 by Mitch Katz and his sister Lesley, hence the easy-to-remember name Katzkin.

Ford EcoBoost F-150

Our Ecoboost F-150 sees its fair share of off roading, though with the ability to get over 20 MPGs, it sees a lot of street driving as well. Thus, we turned to Katzkin for a custom set of leather seats.

Katzkin 2011 F-150 Options


  • Bisque P200-134
  • Black P200-100
  • Lapis P200-115


  • Bisque w/Perf C200-134
  • Black w/Perf C200-100
  • Lapis w/Perf C200-115

Limited Edition

  • Black Amaretto Tuscany L200-100
  • Lapis/Dark Slate Suedezkin L200-100
  • What makes Katzkin a cut above factory interiors is use of only the finest imported leather that equals and exceeds standards set by automobile manufacturers.
  • Every Katzkin interior is backed by a 36 month/36,000 mile national warranty good from coast to coast.



For nearly 30 years, Katzkin has been designing and manufacturing custom leather interiors for new cars and trucks. Today, Katzkin offers leather interiors for more than 2,000 vehicle applications including the 2011 F-150 we’re about to show you here.

Katzkin got its start as an outfitter in 1986 providing high quality upgrade interiors for the premium Honda Accord. In the years since, it has enjoyed valuable business relationships within the auto industry, including Ford Motor Company, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Carmax with cool interior upgrades you can have installed by the dealer on your new vehicle, by a qualified professional installer, or by yourself in the comfort and familiarity of your own garage.

Did you know each Katzkin interior consists of at least 200 different pieces? And did you further know it takes a very committed team of design professionals to conceive and fabricate each one? More remarkable yet is Katzkin’s ability to get an interior into your new car or truck within 48 hours of its purchase. Katzkin tells us it enjoys the best quality and craftsmanship in the industry.

Easy Online Navigation

When you enter Katzkin’s website, it quickly routes you to vehicle make, model, and model year along with three basic choices including Premium, Custom, or Limited Edition options. Products are separated into 2010 and later and 2009 and older models for easy navigation and selection.

If you own an older vehicle, this is an opportunity to make it like new again with Katzkin leather, with some products dating back 20-plus years. Mustang owners, for example, enjoy selection dating back to 1985, which is great news for Fox body lovers. When you land on something you really like, all you have to do is pick up the phone to place your order.

Katzkin It Yourself

To install Katzkin yourself, you’re going to need basic hand tools to get the job done, including a set of Torx drivers for some applications. You’re also going to need hog ring pliers, diagonal cutting pliers, an awl, scissors, a shielded razor knife, heat gun or hair dryer, silicone spray, and lightweight thin plastic bags. Plastic bags act as a bearing between upholstery and foam to make the job a little easier. The bag enables you to roll upholstery on without resistance protecting foam once installed.

Picking your leather couldn't be easier. After choosing that we had a 2011 F-150, Katzkin's site took us to choose the leather type we wanted. We selected their 'Custom' line and the black with white stitching. Katzkin gives you the ability to add in seat heaters as well. To finalize the order, select an authorized installer or dealer for a quote.

Hog ring pliers make light work of hog ring installation. Latex gloves protect your hands from silicone spray, and a heat gun or hair dryer makes the leather much easier to work with – making it stretchable and flexible.

Although you can cheat and use conventional pliers for hog ringing purposes, you’re going to want genuine hog ring pliers for ease of installation.

Another option upholstery shops use is steam to get stubborn leather and vinyl where they want it. Steam is also very effective for getting wrinkles out. The one mistake you don’t want to make is getting a heat gun or steamer too close, which can cause permanent damage to the material.

That said, you must be gentle with new leather because, no matter what you may think, leather can and will tear along with stitching if you get frustrated. Use silicone spray in modest amounts because, though it will help you install upholstery, it is also impossible to remove. Auto body shops tell us this all the time. Silicone hinders good paint adhesion despite a shop’s best clean-up efforts.

Easier Than Ever…

“Katzkin allows you the freedom to take your vehicle’s interior in any direction, leaving boring way behind,” the manufacturer tells us.

There are three levels to choose from : Premium, Custom, and Limited – depending on your budget and tastes. Premium affords you the look, smell, and feel of a factory level leather interior. Custom allows you to make a personal statement with interior options that will make your ride “pop”, while Limited Edition is as good as it gets with a one-of-a-kind demeanor engineered to impress and comfort. As Katzkin tells it, “we can’t wait to see your face.”

Heat can be your greatest friend in upholstery work. Without it, leather and vinyl become very stubborn. Heat can also be your worst enemy if you get too close because it will damage the material. Steam heat is more effective than dry.

In each of the Premium, Custom, and Limited Edition are colors and styles sure to get your motor running.

Katzkin allows you the freedom to take your vehicle’s interior in any direction, leaving boring way behind.

There’s no magic to custom upholstery installation. Gone is the complexity (and callouses) of old-fashioned fully hog-ringed upholstery. Thanks to Katzkin’s unique approach to premium upholstery and great innovations with seat design and construction, re-doing your own seats has never been easier. Forget the upholstery shop unless you wish to leave it to the talents of a skilled professional.

Factory interiors have never been more durable than they are today. We like the crispness of the 2011 F-150 interior. However, we'd like to kick it up a notch with genuine Katzkin leather.

Getting Katzkin

To take your interior to the next level, begin by visiting Katzkin’s website at and select your interior option. Then, get on the phone to work out the details if you’re opting for a custom interior design pattern. All you have to do is chat with a Katzkin customer service professional while cruising Katzkin’s website. You may also order through your Ford dealer or from Katzkin and have it installed by a professional.

Check this out - real imported high-end leather for your F-150 from Katzkin. Have it installed by your Ford dealer or your favorite upholstery shop in a couple of days because it's easy to install. We're going to walk you through installation and show you how easy it is.

Factory upholstery removal is easy. And take our advice – carefully remove upholstery and store it away in a cool dry place for safe keeping. And when you sell the vehicle, don’t forget to include the factory upholstery because you never know who’s going to want it later on.

Unlike days of yore, today's seat upholstery is secured with very few hog rings and some Velcro, which makes it easy to remove. Be very careful not to tear the material.

When we disassembled the seats in our 2011 F-150 Ecoboost, we were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was because there weren’t the dozens of hog rings found in the old dusty classic Mustangs and vintage Fords. Although it’s easy to believe that Ford did this for our convenience, nothing could be further from the truth. Seat upholstery had to be made easier to install to reduce vehicle assembly time and cost.

Allow new leather to lie in the warm sun for a couple of hours in a secure location. Cold leather (and vinyl) are very difficult, if not impossible, to install. Roll the warm leather on as shown and hog ring attachment points.

Headrest attachment points must be carefully marked and pierced to make way for escutcheons.

Installing new leather upholstery mandates your every patience. Leather needs to sit in the warm sun for a couple of hours and become flexible before installation begins. Abuse and try to stretch fresh leather and you’re in for an expensive surprise because you can rip leather and stitching if you’re not careful. Use silicone spray on seat foam along with a plastic bag liner to ease leather installation.

Katzkin Cool Leather Fact Check

  • Premium, Custom & Limited Edition
  • C200-100 2011 F-150 Custom
  • Black with Perforated Insert & Silver Double Stitching
  • Suggested Retail $2,095.00 2-Row
  • Suggested Retail $2,395.00 3-Row
  • Dealer or Professional Installation

Installing interior is a clean process, but one that takes patience. While it’s an installation that can be better performed by a professional, it’s not horribly difficult for a typical do-it-yourselfer. The two biggest pointers we can give you is heat up the leather before installation, plus measure twice and cut once for the headrests. In a days hard work, you can transform an every day worker’s truck interior into a stylish and comfortable office.

About the author

Jim Smart

Jim Smart cut his teeth on automobiles in the 1970s with a passionate interest in Ford and Chrysler musclecars. After serving in the United States Air Force, he transitioned into automotive journalism as editor of Mustang Monthly magazine in 1984. In 1990, Jim joined Petersen Publishing Company as a feature editor at Car Craft, and later as editor of Mustang & Fords, then senior editor at both Mustang Monthly and Mustang & Fords. Jim writes for a wide variety of automotive publishers and websites.
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