Many chairs and sofas use upholstery strapping to help support the bottom cushions. Through normal wear, these straps can sometimes break or become too loose to offer good support. An otherwise perfectly good piece of furniture can become practically unusable if this problem is not corrected. If this is a favourite piece, or if buying a new piece is financially prohibitive, replacing the strapping may be your best option.
Determine what is holding the strapping in place. By turning the chair upside down you'll have a clear view of the strapping and what is holding it in place. This will typically be screws, rivets or slotted fasteners. If it is screws, determine what type and size of screwdriver you'll need.
Remove screws by turning the screws in a counterclockwise direction. Remove rivets by wedging the end of a flat head screwdriver under the edge and working them out of the frame. If the straps are held in place with slotted fasteners, cut the strapping down as close to the fastener as you can get. This will loosen the stress on the fasteners and they should come right out.
Measure for the length of the new strapping by running your measuring tape from the top of one hole, then go around the frame, under and over, then all the way across to the hole on the other side of the frame, again wrapping around the frame itself. Make sure that you pull tightly on the measuring tape as you go. If the strap you removed is still intact, you can just measure it to get the desired length.
Cut your new straps. Measure your new strap an inch shorter than the true measurement. Using this method, you will ensure that the strap will be extra tight when it is in place.
Using the end of a screw or a small awl, make a hole in each end of the strap. The placement of the hole should correspond to the holes in the original strapping and will be the anchoring point for reinsertion of the screws.
Attach one end of the strapping with the same screws, rivets or fasteners that held the original in place.
Run the strap around the frame over to the other side of the frame, wrapping around it again, just as you did when you took the measurement. Attach that end the same way you did the first one.
Continue this process until all the damaged webbing is replaced. Test the strapping to be sure it is held firmly and securely in place.
If you are working with rivets, you'll need a rubber mallet. If you use a hammer instead of a mallet, be sure you hammer with gentle taps. Too much abrupt force can damage the rivets.
Do not attempt to reuse any damaged hardware associated with the original strapping. Instead, replace them with new ones, which are available at any hardware store.
Tips and warnings
- If you are working with rivets, you'll need a rubber mallet. If you use a hammer instead of a mallet, be sure you hammer with gentle taps. Too much abrupt force can damage the rivets.
- Do not attempt to reuse any damaged hardware associated with the original strapping. Instead, replace them with new ones, which are available at any hardware store.