Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rewebbing Danish, Rattan or Wicker With Elastic Webbing

Furniture that use this type of webbing is so easy to repair yourself, instruction is barely necessary - but a few of you have asked, and I do sell this as a kit on ebay, my etsy store and in our new store at 3614 E. Lake St. Here's a pictoral how-to for the blog readers:

The demo chair I found at a thrift for $12.00 and the previous owner had used jute webbing nailed to the frame. I'm sure it served it's purpose until they decided to get rid of the chair and I came along to purchase and set new 2"elastic webbing and v-clips, as the manufacturers had intended. I took some artistic license (and economic practicality) with the height of the seat, using a 4" leftover foam I had in shop, instead of a flat cotton pad or up to 3" foam that would be standard for vintage Danish - still it sits wonderfully with new webbing underneath.





Flattening the v-clip can happen a number of ways - pliers, vise, boot heel. I do like to give it a few whacks with a hammer against table edge in order to make the teeth set into webbing though -




Work from back slot stretching the length taut, but not too tight to the front and make a mark with chalk where you should cut at the slot. Flatten a v-clip to this new strip of webbing and place it in, woo-la!




Keep going until you have all the verticals done, then do the horizontals by weaving them in and out. Not all chairs will have both directions - many frames just use vertical webs, but you get the idea. Don't worry - it'll be great - you really can't mess up, unless you pound the v-clips too flat and they slip out because you cut a strip too short by pulling too tight -- so don't do that!


15 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for posting this "how to"!! I recently bought a similar chair that didn't come with any webbing in place and had no idea how to fix it. I'm very grateful for your ideas! Thanks so much!!!

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  2. What if your project chair does not have the preexisting slots in the wood to insert the webbing strip into? Can the teeth from your v clip grip the wood that is there or do you need to put down some kind of strip for it o adhere to? thanks,
    Laura

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    Replies
    1. Sorry for the delay in reply Laura - 4 yrs later! If there are no slots, you would be stapling or upholstery-nail/tacking into wood rail. I'm sure you figured that out ....

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    2. the answer i just needed as I just bought my elastic and wondered since i do not have slots if stapling would be ok. chair look amazing by the way
      cheers Nina

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  3. AWESOME ! So simple yet I'm ashamed to admit I've been looking at my broken rocking chair for months head-scrathing and was just about to violate it with a nail gun. No more!

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  4. If your chair's webbing was stapled or nailed (even with rounded, more decorative "tacks") - you don't need the v-clips, can't use them in fact, if there are no slots. You will simply nail or staple new webbing in place after removing the old.
    If you DID resort to high powered ammo, i.e. nail/staple guns,etc...whether you have slots or not...a good rule of thumb is to be methodical and consistant in your placement. Don't use a nail or staple too long, this will damage wood and frame unneccesarily. You will be amazed at how a reasonable length and number per strap will hold the webbing as a platform for years. For the 2" strap, I like 4 or 5 staples neatly placed diagonal to the grain of the wood. Also angling the "gun" inward will be kind to the grain and prevent splitting of the wood. In short, be confident that you don't need to over-do it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for this. I've had a beautiful chair for years I want to restore but the webbing was stapled with no slots, and I was never sure what to do. Prior holes were spaced rather close together, however, and I'm worried about damaging the wood by placing in more holes where there are no existing holes. I'll hold my breath and give it a shot.

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  5. Is elastic webbing suitable for outdoors and it's elements. Will the heat break it down? Thanks in advance!

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, I just now noticed this. It will rapidly deteriorate if left in the elements. Cushions covering the webbing will bear the brunt of sun and rain, but do try to cover the piece or bring it in/keep it on covered porch etc. It's not made with UV protectors!

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  6. Just: wow! I was about to purchase replacement straps with clips for $15 each and I needed a bunch for a rattan loveseat. This is awesome. Thanks.

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  7. Thank you for this tutorial -it is incredibly helpful. I have a chair with similar slots to yours (they are holes that go all the way through, not a groove - My question is how do the clips stay in the slots? Just by tension alone? I haven't bought any yet so haven't been able to judge for myself and wanted to get some input before I bought a big pack (I've got 3 chairs to re-web). Thanks!

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  8. How do I remove the vclips, the ones holding the ends of the broken straps, from the chair? Do I just yank them out?

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    Replies
    1. Yes - yank. But yank carefully! Use a cloth folded over several times, or a piece of cardboard folded, to place between the wood frame and your yanking tool (probably a pliers or needlenose grip?) to protect the wood from the leverage you'll surely need trying to pry that old metal piece out. Some people think they can reuse that old flattened v-clip. If they want to take the time to open them up and flatten back down with new webbing in between, fine. I don't know that a used clip will really hold new webbing as it should. I am all for buying new clips to use with new webbing. Your hot commodity/highly collectable Danish deserves it!

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