Types of Upholstery Webbing

Written by samantha volz
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Upholstery webbing is the material used in the support structures of furniture. You can find upholstery webbing in the seats of chairs and surrounding the springs of your sofa, just to name a couple of places. This popular material has a number of variations, and knowing what kind is in your furniture can help you with restoration or replacement efforts.

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English Webbing

Also called black and white webbing, English webbing is the most popular style used in European furniture. This pure forms of this material are composed of pure flax fibres, and are they often wove to form a black and white pattern. Lesser quality English upholstery webbing will include small percentages of jute (a vegetable fibre), cotton, hemp or linen.

Pure English webbing is known for its resilience; installed correctly, English webbing can maintain its strength and support structure for decades. English webbing is generally sold in pieces varying in width from 2 to 2 ¼ inches, and in length from 18 to 36 yards per piece.

Jute Webbing

Jute webbing is the most common upholstery webbing used in furniture from the United States. Jute webbing is graded in retailers according to the tightness of its weave. The tighter the weave, the stronger the webbing will be, and so it will hold more weight.

In retail stores, high-quality, tight-weave jute webbing is usually marked with a red stripe; this is the material used in couches that are designed to support more than one person. Lower quality jute webbing is marked with a black stripe; this type of webbing can be used in single person seating or on the backs of couches where less weight is present.

Jute webbing is generally sold in pieces 3 to 4 inches wide and up to 72 yards long.

Burlap Webbing

Also called Hessian webbing, this material is used to put a finishing touch to the other webbings. Burlap webbing ranges in weave thickness from very thin (called scrim) to a very heavy weave (called spring canvas or tarpaulin). The heavy types of burlap webbing are used to surround the other webbings near the springs to add extra support to the seats; the lighter versions can be used for stuffing the arms and backs of chairs. Medium weave varieties cover the bottom of chairs for some extra support.

Burlap or Hessian webbing can be as wide as 72 inches, and can be cut to any length needed for a project.

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