Can I fix the webbing on my couch?
February 8, 2012 9:41 AM   Subscribe

Can I fix the webbing on my couch?

I have a retro couch of the type where the cushions lie on top of webbing. Last week one of the straps broke (pic), and when I made inquiries into getting it fixed at a nearby furniture store the price quoted was more than I would prefer to spend. It looks like you can buy similar webbing at Online Fabric Store, but is it possible to replace the straps yourself (and if so how do you do it)?
posted by The Card Cheat to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here's one video tutorial (for a chair). There are a lot of furniture repair resources on the web.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:47 AM on February 8, 2012

I did this, I bought some similar webbing and upholstery tacks at a upholstory shop. Also a tack puller.
It looks to me that you may have to pull off a strip of wood to get to the tacks, but then it's just a matter of pulling the tacks off, replacing the webbing, putting new tacks in (or reusing the existing ones) and replacing the strip. But maybe not, can we get a picture of where the webbing goes into the frame?
posted by Duffington at 10:18 AM on February 8, 2012

Response by poster: I'm out of the house and won't be back until this evening, but I could take a photo of the webbing/frame then.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:30 AM on February 8, 2012

Looks like it broke where it crosses the brace in the middle, which probably means it hasn't rotted.

Why not hand sew 4-6 in. of 2 in. wide climbing sling into the the existing webbing-- from below for appearance sake-- and be done with it? That stuff'll outlast the couch.
posted by jamjam at 10:40 AM on February 8, 2012

Response by poster: Well, the additional problem is that there are other spots where the webbing looks like it's fraying, so I thought it would probably be best to replace all of it in one go.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:39 AM on February 8, 2012

I agree with jamjam - there's not much benefit to replacing the whole strap over doing a simple patch job that connects the flapping ends with a splice piece of webbing. The difficult part would be getting the tension that you want, but it's possible you could do that with a buckle. On preview, you say you want to replace all the straps, so I guess not, unless you wanted to basically do patches over the weaker-looking areas.

The reason for the extra strips around hte edge is the tension in the straps - if you just nailed the strap to the inside of the frame and tugged on it, you'd pulling at the attachment points at an angle that tends to pull the tacks out. So there's an extra piece of wood to (a) spread the force from being several points of tacks to being a line where the strap contacts the wood, (b) transfer the tension on the strap to pull along the strap instead of directly perpendicular, and (c) transfer the perpendicular tug from being on the tacks to being on the screws that hold the retaining strips in place.

There's definitely a right way to do upholstery (which this project somewhat counts as) but from a utilitarian perspective, anything that you do that accomplishes the essential engineering feats ought to work just fine. Basically, look for videos or internet resources, and just go for it. Once you have the cushions back on, that'll cover a multitude of sins.
posted by aimedwander at 11:48 AM on February 8, 2012

You can absolutely do it yourself and be as fancypants or as jury-rigged as you like. When I have done this in the past I've just used a few extra straps so I didn't have to be as concerned about getting it perfectly taut; if weight is distributed across multiple straps then they will each individually deflect less.

Just be sure that if you are going to use any sort of attachment that protrudes up at all that you wrap around a corner or two so the attachment isn't right under your read-end. No matter how well you think you've gotten it flush you'll be amazed at what you can feel through a cushion.
posted by phearlez at 12:15 PM on February 8, 2012

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