How to Repair Sprung Springs & Webbing in Upholstery

The Problem:

What to do when springs start ‘sprunging’ from your favorite chair’s seat bottom?

unique lion head chair

Keeping the upholstery fabric was paramount to the owner of this chair – she just wanted to save the springs!

bottom of chair with springs sagging through torn burlap

This chair did not even have true webbing – just a heavy burlap to hold the springs in place. Notice the tiny metal clips holding the springs on the burlap.

The Solution:

Stretch the webbing across the bottom of your chair: Begin at center front-to-back, then center side-to-side. Work to each side and toward front and back, weaving the webbing as you go. Follow the numbered order in the infographic below.

There are several different types of webbing stretchers available. My personal favorite is the gooseneck style. See demo video to learn how to stretch webbing here.

How tight to stretch the webbing? Remember, you do not want to stretch the webbing too tight, or your chair’s glued joints will eventually loosen and fail. If you hear cracking, then it’s likely too tight. However, it should be tight enough to make a drum-like sound when ‘plucked’.

bottom of chair - order of webbing strips

Numbers indicate order to apply each piece of webbing to bottom chair rails

On this chair, since the old webbing was still holding the springs in their original position, it was left attached to the springs, and carefully detached from the chair rails in steps as the new webbing was stretched over it. The springs were then stitched to the new webbing with button twine and a curved needle to keep them in the correct position after the fix.

black cloth on bottom of seat chair

A black cambric covers the webbing for a finished look

side view of upholstery webbing repair

You can leave the existing upholstery fabric intact with this webbing repair method

Got a bigger problem that warrants tearing your chair down to the springs? See this related post: ‘How to Tie Upholstery Springs without a Manual’.

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By | 2017-10-18T03:41:08+00:00 December 9th, 2014|diy upholstery, natural upholstery materials|3 Comments

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3 Comments

  1. NIALL O'REILLY August 16, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Hi Carla
    I have an old sentimental chair handed down by my late mother… Unfortunately our dog ate the burlap webbing underneath and I want to have a go at fixing it..

    Could i sent you a photo and ask for your advise as to whether or not it is indeed fixable

    Thank you for your advice here, all very informative

    All the best
    Niall

  2. Carla Pyle August 16, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Hi Niall,
    I’m glad you’re finding this helpful. Yes, you can send your image(s) to carla@naturalupholstery.com and I will post a response here in the comments section so that others with a similar problem may benefit.
    Thanks!
    Carla

  3. Carla Pyle August 18, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Question submitted via email on 8/15/17:

    Help! My sofa was sagging. Too many kids and dogs. I digress. The webbing was black-edged so I replaced with red-edged, leaving the pretty fabric alone. Okay that’s a total lie. It’s Harvest Gold fabric like my mom’s old refrigerator but I’m too broke to change it. Refer to the part about kids and dogs. Now, how do I make the coils stay put on the bottom end? Curved needle and twine? Fishing line? My kids vote for zip ties ( they love the zzzzip sound) but that sounds like a bad joke waiting to be told. Many thanks in advance.
    Sarah


    (my answer)
    Hi Sarah,
    Yes, a curved needle and button twine is the best way to secure the springs to the webbing on the bottom end.
    Good luck!
    Carla

    You are my hero! Um…heroine? None of the other websites had the crucial word…BUTTON twine. There are so many, hairy, unthready, scraggly types of twine! Many thanks for saving my sofa!!!

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