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How to Tie Upholstery Springs Without a Manual

color coded spring twine

SO. Excited. To see your thrift store chair newly clothed in your latest fabulous fabric find. You’re almost finished stripping off the old fabric. Let the reupholstery begin! Peeling back the seat padding you get your first look at the springs, and ‘Woe is Me!’

broken and rotted jute spring twine

Seat springs with broken twine

The bottom webbing is in good shape but the twine has come loose on some of the springs and it’s clear that they will need to be retied before you can proceed. What to do??

If you’ve gotten this far, first of all give yourself a pat on the back and a word of reassurance that YOU CAN DO THIS! Since the springs are essentially in their original positions (eg. they’re not sprung every which way), you can use the old ties as guide.

Find the most intact twine and carefully mark each separate run of twine with it’s own color. This can be tricky to do without untying the twine, so try to use the already-broken pieces to see how it’s wrapped.

color coded spring ties

Carefully mark each separate piece of twine with its own color

chair springs with new twine started

Color coding on new spring twine matches original twine colors

old jute twine serves as a reference for wrapping new polyester twine

You can leave the old ties as a guide for how to knot the new twine around the springs

old jute twine serves as a guide for tying new polyester twine - view from above

Example showing old twine used as a reference for new – top view

If the only problem is that your webbing is tearing out of the bottom of your chair, check out this post on “How to Repair Upholstery Webbing‘.

Finally, be sure to keep the springs the same height and position you found them.

If your chair is really a hard-luck case, here’s a great book (by Singer) to get you started with setting and tying chair springs from scratch.

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About the Author

CarlaHey there! I'm Carla Pyle. I love the stories that our furniture tells. For me a picture of my Granddaddy Milton's green upholstered arm chair brings to mind the vivid rhymes & colors of 'The Cat in the Hat' and his soft low voice in the telling. I love too that there is always an element of nature in furniture - the warm-toned curving grain of a walnut leg or the reflection of life in a mid-century chrome piece. The best part of teaching & sharing natural upholstery is that it ties all of these things together. Stories - of individual experience and of the planet - help us build happy & healthy homes.View all posts by Carla →

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