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Seating Sling Replacement Instructions

Just as there are several ways to remove fabric slings from outdoor patio furniture frames, there is more than one way to replace them. The steps shown below are almost the reverse of the procedure for removing the slings.

Let's take a typical chair as an example. Similar design and construction are used for all types of sling patio furniture, so pretty much any other type of sling can be replaced using the same principles. Please read the steps below completely before starting your sling replacement project.                                                          Did you mean: How to remove seating slings

New sling chair installation video

This new video takes you through seating sling installation the way the professionals do it. A few tools are used that you may not find in your workshop, but there are more ways than one to achieve the same results.

We suggest you watch the video several times until you grasp all the tricks!

2 mins 45 secs

Here's a step by step guide to seating sling replacement in a patio chair...

[1] Lubricate the Rails
There is a lot of friction involved when dragging a sling fabric through the side rail channels. First lubricate the channels with a spray lubricant, or soapy water to make the job easier.  Another option that works well is to rub a cake of bar soap over the edges of the sling, where the spline is located. CAUTION: USE LUBRICANTS SPARINGLY!

lubricate the rails

[2] Insert the Sling into the First Channel
Feed one end of the sling into the channel of the first side rail. Obviously, the hemming edges should be behind or under the chair. Note: Do not cut the plastic spline to length until after the sling is completely installed.

insert the sling into the channel

[3] Sling Fully Inserted
When the sling is inserted into both side rails, it should look something like this.

sling fully inserted

[4] Do Not Trim the Splines
The ends of the splines should be left sticking out of the channels, because they tend to move when strretching the sling fabric in the side rails. Cut them off later.

leave splines untrimmed

[5] Mount the Sling Rails into the Frame
Start by loosely bolting one of the side rails into position. Screw the bolts/nuts only enough to hold the rails in position so the other side can be mounted before tightening.

mount sling rails in chair frame

[6] Stretch the Sling and Tighten the Bolts
IT IS RECOMMENDED TO USE A TOOL  TO SPREAD THE SLING RAILS, SO THE BOLT THREADS DO NOT GET STRIPPED. Use a pair of pliers to stretch the sling fabric from top to bottom in their channels, then gradually tighten each nut or bolt in turn, a little at a time for each one. Note: Make sure the sling remains stretched so it reaches both ends of the rails. You cannot stretch the fabric after the side rail bolts are tightened.

tighten the bolts

[7] Insert the Spreader Bars
This is the most difficult stage of replacing your slings. We have a spreader tool for rent to make this easier, but an ingenious person can devise a way to stretch the side rails apart enough to insert the spreader bars! One way is to use two pieces of 2x4, cut long enough so together they are the right length, with a hinge attached in the middle. You can also purchase a sash clamp with a reversable end to make it push out instead of in.

insert the spreader bars

[8] Trim the Splines
Now you can cut off any excess spline. Make sure it is trimmed flush with the end of the side rail, or even shorter, so the end caps will insert fully.

trim the splines

[9] Replace the End Caps
Using a plastic or wooden mallet, tap the end caps back into position on the ends of the side rails.

replace end caps

Click to learn how to measure seating slings Click to learn how to remove seating slings
Click to see seating sling fabrics Click to see sling prices Click here to order your seating slings
Click to rent the sling spreader tools


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