Whether you inherited a piece of antique furniture or if you’re trying to restore an old piece in your living room, re-tied springs can give a sofa a new life. Tying springs is not an easy task. Be prepared to undo your work and retry several times before you get it right. There’s a reason that upholstery experts charge so much for their services. With practice and patience, however, you can successfully tie sofa springs.
Things You'll Need
- Spring twine
- Protective gloves
- Utility shears
- Spring nails
Remove the fabric and padding covering the springs. Before you remove the existing ties, measure the current height of the springs. If they are various heights due to wear and tear, take an average of the heights. This way you’ll know how much to compress the springs once you’ve removed the existing ties.
Tie a clove hitch knot for your springs. To tie a clove hitch knot, loop the twine around the top of the spring counterclockwise and cross it over the rest of the twine. Then make another counterclockwise loop around the spring, but stick the end of the twine through the loop you've just created. Pull at both ends of the knot to secure it. Clove hitch knots are similar to loops but they hold better.
Remove the old ties one by one. Use protective gloves, especially when working with an old piece of furniture that may have springs with sharp edges. Work from one side of the sofa to the other and remove the springs in rows. Pull out the old nails and dispose of them.
Tie seat springs with 2 to 3-inch compression and back springs with a compression of 3 to 4 inches. Use the measurements that you took before you cut off the original spring twine to guide you.
Springs should always stand up straight when they are compressed, except if they are on the edges toward the frame. The springs on the edges will have slanted tops but the main part of the spring should stand straight.
Cut a piece of spring twine for the first row of springs. Cut the twine to a length that is four times the distance across the springs from the back rail to the front rail.
Place two nails in the back rail and three nails in front rail in staggered pattern. Don’t drive the nails in all the way yet. Make sure that they are secure but not flush with the board.
Take the twine and measure in ¼ of the length of the twine. Wrap this spot around the first nail in the real rail. Hammer in the nail all of the way to secure the twine.
Start with the long end of the twine and use a clove hitch knot on the first side of the first spring. Create a knot on each side of the spring and compress as you go. Do both sides of the first spring and then move to the next spring in the row.
Once you reach the front rail, pull the twine tight on the closest nail and compress the entire row of springs to the desired height. Wrap the twine around the nail twice and then hammer down the nail to secure the twine.
Repeat with the next row of springs in the same way. Be sure to secure and compress as you go and tie secure knots.
Tips & Warnings
- Be prepared to retie the springs several times until you get the method right.
- There are many different styles of tying springs, depending on the shape and size of your sofa.
- You can undo an entire row without undoing the whole bed of springs if you need to.
- Don't rush through tying springs. The work you do now will have an effect on the life of the sofa.
- Don't try to substitute string for spring ties.
- Don't forget to measure before you cut the original ties.
- Photo Credit Gozde Otman (gozdeo) at www.sxc.hu
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