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A limitless spectrum of colour

Bentley offers an unrivalled range of interior options, resulting in millions of possible colour and trim combinations. Yet there are times when even millions are not enough - our customers want a car that is the very definition of Extraordinary. For these customers, the Hide Matching service provided by Mulliner, Bentley’s personal commissioning division, offers the perfect solution. 

For the most discerning Bentley customers, leather hides can be created in any colour. Just a sample of the colour, provided to Mulliner can result in a truly bespoke car interior. It could be a dress, an item of jewellery or even a photo – our customers just need to share their inspiration with Mulliner and Bentley's  expert team of bespoke craftspeople will do the rest.

And there’s no need to stop at the leather: why not have the whole interior created to a personal design? Mulliner can match every upholstered detail in our cars to any colour a customer might specify, from the seatbelts and the speaker grilles to the stitching and even the thick-pile wool carpets that adorn the floor. Together with Mulliner, we invite our Bentley customers to create something truly extraordinary and totally one-of-a-kind.

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More than a match

The first step in creating a bespoke interior is to match the colour of the car interior to the artefact our customer will supply - lipstick, tie fabric, artwork, yacht: any colour is possible and Mulliner will match it.

Colour-matching is a complex - and very scientific - process. Rather than relying on the naked eye alone, Mulliner’s craftspeople use state-of-the-art colour recognition software to analyse the composition of the sample – and design dyes that can reliably recreate a chosen hue in the necessary hides and fabrics.

And that’s just the beginning: once the hides have been dyed, they begin a sequence of tests to ensure that, even though they will only ever be used in one, unique, Bentley, they meet the exacting quality and endurance standards to which every Bentley interior must adhere. In fact, bespoke hides will undergo around 60 durability and safety tests before they can be passed for use in a customer's car.

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Making the grade

The dyed hides are tested for durability to standards that are three times higher than those stipulated by other car manufacturers.
Once the overall quality of the finish has been appraised by hand and eye, they are passed through a spectrophotometer, to ensure they still match the colour sample on which the dye was based.

Although the glass in every Bentley features an anti-UV coating, all bespoke hides are subjected to ultraviolet light testing, to ensure it would withstand the effects of bright sunlight. Some might call it over-engineering, but to the team at Mulliner, it’s just another opportunity to go the extra mile.

Heat testing follows: the hides go into a special oven, where they must withstand constant temperatures of 100 degrees or more for at least a week, with no visible detriment to their colour or tactile finish.

Shrinkage tests are used to check whether the leather remains suitable for application to the car’s various surfaces. Seats, for example, must withstand the rubbing of riveted jeans, metal zips and other hard outerwear details, so the Martin Dale test is used to simulate the effect of people repeatedly getting in and out of the car. Steering wheel leather, on the other hand, needs to be resistant to the natural oils and salts present on human hands, so the Veslic test is used to simulate the effects of various chemicals on the hide.

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Born to be bespoke

When it comes to creating bespoke vehicles, Mulliner has a long history. Longer, in fact, than the history of the motor car itself. A family business formed in the 16th Century, it moved from saddlemaking into coachbuilding, before creating its first automobile bodywork in the early years of the 20th Century. The company crafted the bodies and cabin interiors of many early Bentleys until, in the 1950s, Bentley bought Mulliner outright. Today, Mulliner operates from its own workshop at the Bentley factory in Crewe, its craftsmanship on display in some of the most exquisite cars in the world.

Read more about Mulliner's history and the services our team of experts can offer.