How to retie webbing & springs on an antique chair

Updated April 17, 2017

Returning an antique chair to its former glory is a rewarding process. A dilapidated flea market find or your grandmother's old dining room chairs can be made new again by reupholstering. Replacing the webbing and springs of old chairs is necessary when reupholstering. Retying webbing and springs is a necessary step to ensure the longevity of new upholstery

Mark the underside of the center back rail of the chair frame.

Measure the needed amount of webbing strips to cover the frame. Lay strips of webbing between the back legs of the chair, an even number of strips determine the webbing be placed 1/4 inch from the centre mark of the frame. Start webbing in the centre of the frame for an uneven number of strips.

Fold edge of webbing under on each side and pound with the tack hammer to flatten. Flattening webbing will allow the chair fabric to sit nicely on the frame.

Nail the first strip into the back rail of the frame. Place five webbing nails into the back rail in a zigzag pattern to secure the webbing.

Stretch the webbing tight across the length if the chair.

Tack the stretched webbing across the chair and nail the webbing in place temporarily.

Cut the webbing one inch longer than the length of the chair frame.

Fold the webbing over and tack into place permanently, flattening the edge if the webbing with the tack hammer.

Place webbing 1/4 inch apart over the entire chair frame until a full width will not longer fit. It is not necessary to web the outer frame due to the arms of the chair being above.

Repeat process on attaching webbing until the length of the frame is covered.

Start webbing for the width of the chair 1/4 inch from the front of the frame.

Weave the webbing under and over the webbing running lengthwise on the frame.

Stretch the webbing to ensure a tight base. Tack the webbing in place temporarily, cutting it one inch longer than the frame.

Fold the webbing over and tack into place permanently, flattening the edge if the webbing with the tack hammer.

Repeat the process until webbing covers the entire frame.

Place two No. 12 tacks partially into the frame next to each other on both the front and back of the frame. Tacks should be off centre to the springs.

Measure twine five times the length of the frame.

Form a loop 15 to 20 inches from one end of the twine. Place loop over the tacks on the back of the frame. Secure tacks into frame to hole the twine in place. Allow the end of twine to dangle freely until you make ties with the return of the twine.

Tie off the first spring starting at the third coil down from the top of the spring. Place the knot closest to the frame of the chair.

Run twine up to opposite side of the same spring tying a knot.

Run twine to the next spring tying a knot on the top coil closest to the preceding spring.

Run the twine across the coil tying a knot on the opposite side.

Repeat this process tying off all the springs in the row.

Tie the last spring by running the twine down to the third coil and tying a knot.

Fasten the twine to the tacks placed in the frame and make a return tie with the extra twine.

String the excess twine from the back tacks to the top coil of the spring closest to the frame. Tie a knot on the side of the coil closest to the frame.

String the twine across the coil and tie on the opposite side.

Tie the twine to the next spring over on the side adjacent to the first spring.

String the twine back to the first spring tying a knot on the third coil in the same location as the first knot tied on the coil.

Knot the cord and attach to the frame of the chair with a tack.

Repeat this process tying all springs off in the row, back to front.

Repeat the entire process securing all springs from side to side on the chair frame.

Things You'll Need

  • Jute or synthetic webbing
  • Tack hammer
  • Webbing nails
  • 9 gauge springs
  • Jute or synthetic twine
  • Straight or curved upholstery needle
  • No. 12 tacks
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About the Author

Angie Oney has over 10 years experience in food manufacturing, in the fields of operations management, continuous improvement and human resources. She has a deep interest in green living, natural soap making and enjoys making pottery. Oney holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Kent State University and a Master of Science in management, human resources, from the University of Akron.