You have an old patio chair or lounger and some of the straps are broken. You've looked up how to do the repairs and need some vinyl strapping to complete the job. But, how do you decide what type of vinyl straps to buy? Do you buy pre-cut? Strapping on by the foot on a roll?
Deciding What to Buy
Shopping for vinyl strapping can be really tricky. First of all, you need to work out what size strapping you need and how much of it to replace the straps that you’re removing from your piece of furniture’s frame.
To decide what to get, firstly you need to measure the width of your current straps. When doing this, you mustn’t forget that vinyl strapping does have a tendency to stretch when on furniture and thus shrink a little when it’s removed, so bear this in mind when deciding what width and lengths to buy. Straps come in many widths, so choose the best fit for your chair.
As you measure your straps, remember that some patio chairs have single wrapped straps, and others have double wrapped straps. Take this into consideration when measuring because for double wrapped straps you'll need to wrap your measuring tape around the frame twice in the same way the straps wrap too.
Read the handy guide on how to measure straps for replacement. Or watch the video here:
Pre-Cut or Roll?
It is important at this point to work out what would be best for your needs and budget. Let’s have a look at some of the advantages of each type of vinyl strapping.
With pre-cut straps, the hard work is done for you. You simply give your measurements to a company and they cut the straps to fit your chair, which are then sent to you for fitting. Of course, you must ensure that any measurements given to a company are accurate as most will not accept returns. This way of replacing straps is ideal if you only need a small number for example, between 1 and 5 straps. However, it’s worth remembering that some companies do require you to make a minimum purchase, perhaps even of 10 straps. Another point to note is that pre-cut straps do tend to be more expensive than buying a roll and doing it yourself.
With a roll of vinyl, there are some advantages and disadvantages too. Firstly, buying in bulk (such as on a roll) is usually cheaper than buying a small number of pre-cut straps. Secondly, with a roll you can create as many straps as you need, and you will usually have some left over in case you need to make additional repairs later on. It’s also ideal if you’re a bit of DIYer and like to do things yourself. However, in terms of disadvantages, it can be more difficult to measure and cut the straps yourself.
Vinyl Strapping by the Roll
With vinyl strapping by the roll, you need to work out the length you need and therefore you will need to do some math. Firstly, work out how many straps you need to replace. Once you have this number, you need to measure how long each strap is. For example, I had a piece of furniture and I wanted to replace all 30 straps on it. Each strap measured 20 inches in length. Altogether, that’s 30 20-inch straps that I needed to buy.
Next, you need to multiply these two numbers together to work out how many inches of strapping you need. For me, this was 600 inches. Obviously, companies work in feet, not inches, so to work out how many feet of vinyl strapping I needed, I had to divide my total inches by 12. For my example, I need 50 feet of vinyl strapping. Strapping usually comes in 50’, 100’ and 200’ rolls.
Which to buy?
To summarize, if you need just a few straps, say one to five, it’s probably easier to buy pre-cut straps. It’ll save you time and because you only need a few, it’ll save you money rather than buying a big roll that you won’t end up using.
If you are doing lots of re-strapping (for example, more than 10 straps), a roll is definitely best. You’ll be able to cut the straps yourself and it will work out cheaper per strap. You’ll also have some left over in case you need to make additional repairs later.