I’m a huge fan of traditional webbed patio chairs, but they can be hard to find these days. The only stores I’ve seen them regularly in person are True Value Hardware stores, where I’ve also spotted re-webbing materials (Frost King seems to have the market cornered on those). I’ve also seen them at the DoItBest site. But here’s the rub: the new chairs are usually webbed in boring colors like brown or forest green. That’s why, for the past few years, I’ve found my own webbing online (searching for “chair webbing” or “re-web kit” on Google or eBay) and used it to re-web vintage or discarded webbed chairs I’ve found at yard sales or on the street. Re-webbing is easy — believe me, I wouldn’t bother if it wasn’t — though, like any DIY, it can be a little tedious. Click the link for the webbing how-to’s — I’ll keep things as simple as possible. –Mary T.
Screws or clips?
If your chair has little holes, it is re-webbed using screws.
If it has little slots, you use webbing clips.
I’m not going to lie — the screws are a lot easier. But let’s start with the clips.
Re-webbing using clips.
I recently found the pink and white chaise on the street. A lot of the webbing was worn, but the frame was in perfect condition, so I couldn’t understand why the owner had tossed it out. Then I realized that the chair was webbed using clips, something I’d never seen before. A-ha — I quickly discovered they’re kind of a pain to use. Took a few tries to get the hang of it, but I think the end result turned out well.
The webbing I used to fix the chair was 2.25″ wide, a little thinner than the existing 3″ webbing, but I still think it worked fine together. I removed only the webbing that was clearly beyond help — frayed or completely torn through. Luckily, I had some webbing on hand that was a good match with the colors already on the chair.
First, measure how long of a strip you’ll need. The clip instructions say to have at least an inch and a half extra at either end. I usually just eyeball it, but that can lead to a few inches of waste or worse, like a strip that’s just a little too short to use, so you have to discard the whole thing.
Push the point on the clip through the strip with the clip teeth facing the cut edge.
Fold the edge of the webbing strip over the clip.
Turn the chair over. Insert the clip into the slot on the chair.
Once clip is inserted, pull the webbing strip around the metal bar, and weave the strip through the existing webbing.
Now you’re at the slot on the other side — this is where it can get a little tricky. Push a clip through the other edge of the webbing strip on the inside of the strip, again with teeth facing the cut edge.
Fold the strip over the clip, and then pull the clip around the metal portion of the chair to insert this clip into the slot. You may have to remove and reposition the clip a few times to get a good fit, because you want the strip to be taut enough to hold a person, but not so tight that the clip is going to fly out when someone sits.
The curve of the clip helps to secure it to the chair. When you have a good fit, you will be able to tell — there’s a satisfying “click” feeling when you get the clip placed in the slot.
Re-webbing using screws. This is ultra-simple. First, measure and cut the length of the strip that you’ll need, as above.
Take the cut edge of the strip and fold each side in to form this lovely pointy end. Turn the strip over and insert the screw directly through this point so it holds the flaps together. (You can find re-web packs that include the screws. If you get a vintage chair and need a few extra screws, they’re easy to match with screws from a hardware store.)
Then screw into the hole on the chair. Weave the strip through existing webbing and repeat the folded point on the other side, securing with screw through the hole on that end. Again, you might have to refold once or twice to get a good, taut fit, but it’s a whole lot easier than trying to shove those clips into the chair.
A note about the bar between the chair back and seat: Always put the webbing under this bar; I learned this from experience. If the webbing goes over the bar, it makes the chair very uncomfortable to sit on. Also, when you’re adding webbing length-wise, remember to factor in the bit of extra length you’ll need for the chair to open and close fully.
Now, sit back and relax — you’ve earned it!