How to Use an Upholstery Webbing Stretcher Correctly

person wrapping upholstery around a chair
What You'll Need
Upholstery webbing stretcher of choice
Upholstery tacks or staples
Upholstery stapler and/or hammer
Nylon or jute upholstery webbing

To ensure that the material you are using during upholstery or reupholstery is nice and taut, you will need to understand how to use an upholstery webbing stretcher correctly. Like anything, there are a few guidelines you should follow so you don't rip the fabric or make any other careless errors. Here's how to use both a slotted webbing stretcher and a gooseneck webbing stretcher.

When Using a Slotted Webbing Stretcher

This stretcher looks akin to a footprint, is comprised of wood in most cases, and includes a webbing loop and wooden dowel with a nice rounded handle for easy use.

Step 1 - Secure Webbing to the Furniture Frame

Place the end of the webbing across the furniture frame. The webbing roll should be facing you. Make sure that an inch of webbing overlaps the furniture across from you. Connect the frame to the webbing by using tacks or staples, your choice. Take the overlapping piece and fold toward you over the portion you have just tacked up or stapled. Use a few more tacks or staples to secure it, forming a W.

Step 2 - Get Ready to Use the Stretcher

Grab your stretcher, handle pointed up, with the dowel facing away from the frame of the furniture. Pull the webbing towards the near edge of the frame. Fold it into a shape that resembles a loop and insert the loop into the stretcher's slot. You will now use the dowel to secure it by positioning the dowel through the loop.

When Using a Gooseneck Webbing Stretcher

stapling upholstery

The gooseneck is a little different than the slotted stretcher, slightly resembling a paint roller, but a bar replaces the roller. There are also sharp teeth and a rubber coating. This type of stretcher should only be used for jute or canvas because it makes strap holes.

Step 1 - Repeat Step 1 for Using a Slotted Webbing Stretcher

Step 2 - Use the Stretcher

Pull your webbing strap toward you as tightly as possible. Encase the webbing around the stretcher, leaving an inch outside the closest edge of the furniture frame. Hold the handle toward you, and pull it so that the stretcher's teeth make contact with the webbing. Hold the rubber encased end on the outside of the frame; push the handle down firmly. Now you should be able to ensure that the webbing is nice and tight.

Step 3 - Connect the Webbing to the Furniture Frame

Using the furniture frame nearest you, tack or staple down the webbing to it. There should be one inch left over as overlap before you then cut the webbing. Place the inch of material so that it covers the tacks (or staples) you used. Make sure to secure it. Repeat this process for each strap of webbing that you're using, at least three on either side or more if you are dealing with a larger item.

Now you have learned how to appropriately work with either a slotted or gooseneck webbing stretcher.