How To Fix Saggy Chair Springs

Here’s how it went down. Upholstery student Val had already attached the sewn seat cover to her lovely little chair being reupholstered in an apple green velvet-ish fabric. She missed a class. During that class, I decided to test her chair for comfort. Well, it was bad. It was REAL bad. The front rail just cut into the back of you legs. She had added some padding, but there was a bigger problem and we needed to solve it.

First, I peeled off the front fabric and tried to reinforce it with more and more cotton batting.
I carefully reattached the front of the seat, but it was still all wrong.

I knew what had to be done. I had to take everything off the top to take a good look at the springs. She didn’t want to spend the time or energy on re-webbing and re-tying the springs, so we had to figure out another way, a simpler way, to solve the problem.

It turned out that some spring binding had come loose so the burlap at the front of the chair had torn and the spring was popping through. Additionally, the webbing was saggy and loose from the underneath side.

Solution: Re-web on top of the existing webbing, tighten the springs and rebuild the seat base.

I removed the fabric.

And found this:

I tightened the springs in a conventional and unconventional way.

The next step was to stretch and weave webbing on top of the existing webbing to ‘lift’ the springs up that were well attached to webbing, but saggy webbing.

Stretching and weaving webbing is fun. You feel like you’ve accomplished something in a relatively short period of time. If you can hoist up the saggy springs by reinforcing the existing webbing with a second layer, then do it, especially if you haven’t spent very much money on the chair and fabric.

Springs are lifted up like a good bottom lift.

Almost finished. Stretch and staple a piece of burlap over the springs, pulling tightly. Reattach the front edge roll, add some cotton. Spray adhesive on the burlap, add a cut piece of foam and then cover the foam with cotton batting or dacron. Now it’s ready to upholster. Again.

*If you took this to a professional to repair, they would take it down to the bare bones. For the most part, students taking 6 week class don’t necessarily want to learn how to spring tie. Some do, but most don’t.

What used to look like the bottom of a forty five year old chair now looks like the bottom of a twenty one year old chair. Get it?

Posted in chair, chairs, furniture, Headline Project, how-to, rehab, repair, retro, reupholstery, traditional, tutorials, Uncategorized, upholstery | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

6 Responses to How To Fix Saggy Chair Springs

  1. Cat says:

    yes, I get it! and there was an “8 way hand tied spring” right. Great fix, wonderful to know.

  2. Jami J says:

    Oh My Goodness! I’ve been looking all over for someone who could explain how to fix a saggy bottom (hehe)… I bought this chair at a second hand store for a whole dollar! I Love the chair but the sagginess makes it really uncomfortable… Now I know how to fix it! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  3. shellyleer says:

    You and me both. (hehehe!)

  4. Katherine Sanborn says:

    Do you tie the top of springs and attach to the top of the chair as well as tie the bottom of the springs and attach to the bottom of the chair? I am reupholstering a very old chair. The springs just dangle and are only tied on their tops. All that held them in place on the bottom was the burlap. Seems insufficient. thanks for your help.

  5. Kat says:

    Goodness. THANK YOU! I found 2 Gunlocke chairs on Craigslist and am reupholstering. I’ve never done springs, and while these are in good condition, they do sag just a bit in the bottom. I wondered if I could do it this way…so glad to see I can! Yippee!

  6. Dorothy Chitty says:

    Thanks for the info,all good but how do I go about springs in a fully upholstered chair?