How to Replace Rubber Webbing

Rubber webbing is used in furniture under cushions to provide a bit of bounce and comfort. It’s often used instead of coil springs in chairs with low profiles, making it very common in mid-century chairs in particular.

To restore your chair, you’ll need Pirelli rubber webbing and rubber webbing clips, which we offer here at OnlineFabricStore. I will be showing you an easy method that you can do with a lot of tools you already have at home.

Using this chair we got at the Brimfield Flea Market, I’ll be showing you how to install rubber webbing with metal clips.

The webbing in this chair was missing altogether when we bought it, but when it’s getting near the end of its life, it will start to become brittle and crack. The webbing tends to shrink so it may appear narrower in your chair but it was likely originally 2″ wide like the rubber webbing we’re using.


Step 1: Assess your chair

You are going to want to use rubber webbing in chairs with grooves like the one we have here. Some chairs will have 2 grooves like this one and some will have grooves on all 4 sides.

Jute webbing is commonly used in antique furniture, so that may be a good option for other types of chairs. It is often used with coil springs.

If you don’t have grooves, I would recommend another type of webbing. Even if the chair came to you with damaged rubber webbing, stapling or tacking down rubber webbing isn’t as effective and can cause it to break prematurely.

This old webbing came out of another upholstery project we are working on that should not have had rubber webbing in the first place.

Step 2: Measure

Measure the space between the grooves so you know what length to cut your webbing.

You should measure from groove to groove (inside edges of the grooves) in multiple spots along the chair to make sure it is the same distance the whole way.

You also are going to want to measure the opposite side if your chair has four grooves.

Step 3: Cut the webbing

Cut the webbing to the length you measured at a perfect 90 degree angle.

Step 4: Attach the clips

Rubber webbing has two sides. One is smooth and the other is textured. You want the textured side facing up because it will keep any padding or cushions from slipping and sliding around.

You also need to know the anatomy of the clip before attaching them. The lipped end will go between the webbing and the edge of the groove so the wood edge doesn’t wear away at the webbing over time. When positioned this way, the teeth of the clip will dig into the rubber when it is sat on.

A vice grip is easier to use than pliers because it does the squeezing for you, but we realize this isn’t a common tool to have lying around!

To attach the clips, place the webbing inside with the smooth side resting against the lipped side of the clip. Using pliers (or a vice grip if you have one!) squeeze the clip closed until you can see the teeth have pressed an indent into the four small holes that are parallel to them. The teeth are not supposed to break through the webbing, just create pressure.

Attach the clips to both sides of all of your pieces of webbing.


Step 5: Insert webbing

Insert the webbing into the chair’s grooves. It will not be super easy to do with just one person but having an extra set of hands or pliers helps. Remember, the textured side faces up and the lipped edge goes in towards the center of the chair.

Use the same number of pieces as your original chair if the old webbing was still in place.

I am placing 6 pieces of webbing ½” away from each other but you may want a little more space if you have a piece of furniture with 4 grooves.

To install webbing in the other direction, you will want to weave the pieces through after you have finished one side so it looks like this.

And that’s it. Now you can enjoy your furniture for many years to come!

If you need to make new cushions for your chair, check out our box cushion tutorial.

Useful Links

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