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What to use for sofa webbing?

- 20 Jun 2012 -
14 posts / 0 new

Hi there.

We recently bought a 3 seater sofa from a thrift store and I'm currently trying to restore it.

It had fiberboard supporting the seats, but when I removed those some gutters were exposed. I assume the gutters were used for the original webbing but in the past someone replaced them with the fiberwood.

I'd like to restore that webbing, but what do I use for it? Steel wire? Elastic wire? Something special? How did they do it in the 50's/60's?

More photos behind the link below.

Thanks alot!



- 20 Jun 2012

Those channels are for...
Those channels are for rubber or vinyl covered coil springs (see pic below).....Don't think you will have any luck finding them as they need to be that specific size and, as far as I know, are no longer made

- 20 Jun 2012

I guess steel wire is good...
I guess steel wire is good for webbing of this sofa. Elastic wire is also good but it will not last longer. And you?ll not find any coil springs that fit for your sofa anywhere, unfortunately.

- 20 Jun 2012

That longitudinal wood center support has got to go.
The tubular metal cross-support(s) may be original.

A good upholsterer should be able to either retrofit Fagas straps or build a frame for traditional-style jute webbing that will sit flush to the visible frame members.

Either way, your sofa will be much more comfortable, if not completely original.

Edit: Ah, I see now that you've removed the offending parts! Best of luck!

- 20 Jun 2012

Saddlers have great stuff, D buckles + webbing?

- 21 Jun 2012

TCHP is right.

I stock the experspring needed for your sofa and they are so easy to fit.

Measure the gap across from loop to loop and multiply by 2 and the number of gaps in the seat.

You deduct 5% in length for the right tension.
Screw the thread half way into one end.

Counter coil the others 5-6 times.
Join the end to the thread and twist toggther.

The spring will then uncoil itself and sit neatly in the seat groove.

Job done for 20 years!!

I sell it by the meter and each meter comes with a connector thread. Each meter is £5 excluding postage.

I would estimate that you will need in the region is 16-18 meters for a complete sofa seat.

- 01 Jul 2012

Thank you all!
Thank you all very much for the tips! I didn't know the coil springs and I'm looking into the Experspring solution. I'm currently still sanding down all the parts though.

- 05 Feb 2018

Note: Prize for resurrecting the oldest thread so far this year.

Does anyone have a good technique for re-installing these old loop springs on a KL chair frame. Some were off when I bought a chair, and I took the others off to clean.

My first attempts were to set one side of the loop into the semicircular groove on one side, then try pulling/stretching the loop towards the groove on the other side. While I was able to get close with some decent pulling effort, the grip required for pulling was then not suitable for inserting into the groove.

I was thinking of creating a "half-moon" wooden block to insert inside the loop, and then use a quick grip bar clamp between the half moon and backrest frame to pull it close to the open groove. With the bar clamp then holding the tensioned loop, my hands would be free to try to slide the loop into the groove.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

- 05 Feb 2018

I had a horrible time getting expersprings back onto a chair, except the chair i was redoing had one long piece anchored at opposite top and bottom corners. I was tearing my hair out until I looked really closely and found a tiny brad hole in each groove in the frame and a corresponding hole in the spring at each bend. Still, even with that it was hard to get them to stay long enough to tap the brad in.

I have done put regular loops back in other chairs and I think what I finally settled on was a soup spoon or shoe horn. The Danes probably had a curved metal tool for doing this.

- 05 Feb 2018

Thanks, spanky. Soup spoon or shoe horn both make a lot of sense to me now. The tip of the spoon/horn would go into the groove; then lever action would help stretch the spring and then slide off the curved tip into the groove.

Sounds simple . . . in theory. Lets see how it works for me this evening (with old stiff spoons of course).

- 06 Feb 2018

I think part of the problem is that the spring tends to roll when you are trying to stretch it and work it into the groove---and then as soon as you ease up on it, it unrolls and springs back. So anything that will keep it from rolling will help; i.e., smooth surfaces. In theory. Maybe a little cornstarch, too?

- 06 Feb 2018

spanky wins again.

I used a clamp and piece of acrylic to keep one side in while pulling towards the other. It still took some effort to get the spoon close, but once the tip was in the groove, it was fairly straightforward to then finagle the spring into the groove off of the spoon tip.

- 06 Feb 2018


I swear, I am breaking out in a cold sweat just remembering what a pain it was to do those. The clamp is a great idea.

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