The four different types of upholstery webbing used over the years
What has been and is still the most popular type of upholstery webbing is jute. It has been around for hundreds of years and was used in most furniture up until the 50's and is still used today in the upholstery trade.
Webbing can be used anywhere in the couch but it's main function is the support for coil springs in the seat and back. It is stretched across the frame to take the weight of 2-3 people at one time. So this is not the place to skimp because if you do, all your other work will be wasted because the seat will sag. So, you should use the upholstery webbing with the best weave and these rolls are usually marked with a red strip. Webbing with a black stripe is of lesser quality and can be used on the back where there is less weight. When stretching the webbing for the seat it has to become tight. One way to test this is by bouncing an upholsterer's hammer on it and just by the sound, a professional can tell. I always say stretch it as tight as drum.
Over 90% of all furniture sold in Europe has a rubber webbing suspension system. You do not need coil springs with this system. They are more economical than springs, easy to install and give greater freedom of frame design than with traditional sinuous (zig zag) springs , but may not be as comfortable. These can be installed with staples however there are special clips that also can be used.
Another type is polyolefin webbing. It is tightly woven in a 3 1/2" width that resists rot and mildew. All synthetic fibers are strong and sanitary.It is installed the same way as upholstery jute webbing.
Steel webbing was used for a while but is not used that much today.
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