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How To Replace Fabric On Patio Chairs

Replacement Slings For Your Patio Chairs

AZ Patio

As we get ready for summer, its an excellent time to consider upgrading to luxury patio furniture brands sold by All American Outdoor Living. But if you have a sling-back chair that has seen better days, you can use this DIY guide to save you money and refresh your chairs.

1. Remove the old plastic end caps on the patio sling rail

First and foremost, you need to disassemble your patio sling chair to install the new sling fabric. Remove the plastic end caps from both ends of the sling rails with a flat head screwdriver or pliers. When removing your old end caps, be careful because they are often dry, brittle, and easy to crack. Take care not to damage them . Matching plastic caps can be difficult to locate depending on the manufacturer and color of your frames.

2. Remove the old sling material and spreader bars

It can be challenging to get the slings out of the rails at times. If the old slings are very old and have spent a lot of time in the sun, the plastic splines will be very brittle and rigid and will possibly break in chunks when you attempt to slide the old sling out of the rail. Youll find that the new slings and splines are a breeze to install, particularly when compared to removing the old ones.

The rusty, filthy fabric can easily slip out the sling rails bottom end. Grasp the sling with your hands or pliers and pull it away from the sling rail. Someone can keep the patio sling chair in place while someone else removes the old fabric from the rail.

How To Measure The Replacement Slings Correctly

Next you need to get the right measurements. Here’s how:

Measure The Width

First, we’ll start measuring horizontally from rail to rail. Start about two inches from the top and take the measurement. Then take the same measurement in the middle of the sling and the bottom.

We do this to compare these measurements and see if the fabric size varies or not.

Sometimes you will find that there’s a little more variation between the 3 measurements but as long as it’s not more than a 0.5″ between them you can just stick to the average. If you do see a bigger variation that is more than 0.5″, order it! That’s the safest option!

Measure The Length

Now measure the length of the sling which is going to be taken from up at the top edge of the fabric right on the rail and all the way down.

To be safe you can add an eighth of an inch longer than shorter because it’s easy to tuck that into the rail.

Measure The Rods

With our new slings, we provide new dowels , you also measure these as well, to see what size they are you can compare them to drill bits.

Most of the time they’re either going to be the 7/32″ or 1/4″ which is the two sizes we offer with our replacement slings.


How To Reupholster Patio Chair Pads And Cushions

When the cushions and upholstery of your outdoor furniture wear out, your first impulse might be to replace them or have them professionally reupholstered. But this can be surprisingly pricey. So why not do it yourself? You don’t need sewing skills, and you can choose from a wide range of indoor/outdoor fabrics in assorted colors, prints, and solids at any well-stocked online or local fabric retailer. Redoing your upholstery yourself is also a great way to restore vintage garden chairs and other salvaged patio furniture without turning the whole endeavor into an expensive project.

Where Can I Buy Replacement Slings For Patio Chairs

So, youve decided that your patio chairs need a refresh with some durable new slings. How do you go about doing this? You can buy one of the robust fabrics we mentioned above and make your own, or you can make life easier and order a replacement sling.

Theres a great choice of online stores that sell standard size replacement slings. Some sites let you search by model of chair, or you can measure your sling chair for a bespoke replacement. Well look at the best way to get the right size sling in a moment.

American Slings is an online store that sells all sorts of chair parts, including slings. Theres a choice of fabrics and colors, and you can order up to four free samples to help you decide. 

lets you order five swatches, and they have some great prints to choose from. is another online sling replacement site, and is a family business thats been repairing yard furniture for almost 40 years.

So, there are a lot of specialist sling retailers out there, and theres a great choice of fabrics. If you prefer to use a local store, take a look on or similar, and see if theres anyone in your area that deals with chair repairs.

How To Repair Patio Chairs

Replacing Fabric on a Sling Patio Chair

The first thing you need to do to repair patio chairs is to lay your chair on the ground to find the bolt holding the seat in place.

There should be one towards the front and one towards the rear of the chair. Using a socket wrench, remove both of the bolts.

Place the bolts aside, do not misplace them!You will see that there is a cord inside each side of the mesh seat. This cord sits inside the track keeping the mesh patio chair seat in place. Or at least it should.

Now that both bolts are removed you can easily remove the seat portion from the base frame.

Remove the old cord.

What Is The Best Fabric For Sling Chairs

Do your sling chairs look in need of some TLC?  If the seats are torn, damaged, stained or faded, the good news is that its easy to replace the fabric, and you dont have to get rid of the whole chair. But what sort of material do you need?

Sling patio chairs take quite a hit during the summer. They are exposed to UV, sunscreen grease, crumbs and stains from al fresco meals, and if youre lucky enough to have a pool in your yard, chlorine.

In poorer weather, theres rain, wind, fallen leaves and even snow to deal with. And of course, like any yard furniture, theres always going to be mess from bird poop, various critters, and pets.

So, you need a robust fabric that can resist water, fading, and hopefully stains. Phifertex® and Sunbrella® are two popular brands that make robust fabric for sling chairs.

Phifertex® has an attractive waffle design, and comes impregnated with Microban, which prevents the growth of mold and mildew. Is super-durable, fade-resistant, and easy to clean with soapy water.

Phifertex® fabrics are Greenguard certified, meaning that they emit very low or negligible levels of volatile organic compounds. 

Sunbrella is also fade and mold-resistant. In addition, it is protected against chlorine, so is a great choice for your poolside chairs. It has a softer appearance than Phifertex, because it has acrylic woven in among the PVC fabric strands. This arguably looks more luxe, but may not last as long.

Choosing New Sling Chair Fabric

Photo courtesy of

The Southern Company carries over 100 replacement fabrics that can be used on any of the premium patio furniture brands. Having this range of quality fabrics available for reslinging means you get a virtually new patio set once weve done our job.

Consider the feel that youd like to create with your furniture this time around. Maybe you chose a neutral fabric when you bought your furniture , and now youd like to try something flashier. Do you need your new fabrics to fit in with existing design elements, or are you ready for a complete makeover? Is your patio furniture used mainly by adults, or are children and grandchildren regularly in the mix? All of these factors will have an impact on the fabric you ultimately choose.

Once a few designs have been picked out, take some time to actually imagine your furniture refinished in the new fabric. Will you still be loving that royal blue four years from now? Is the striped fabric elegant enough for your space? Is the neutral gray-brown shade tasteful or just boring? Ask for feedback from others before you commit.

Measure Out How Much Fabric You Need

Its going to save you time and headache if you measure out how much fabric you need before you start. It always helps to have everything you need handy.

To measure, you need to remove the old fabric from the patio furniture so you get an accurate measurement. Add to your measurement to account for seams.

Always measure twice before you cut anything. Its a golden rule.

Other Options To Repair Outdoor Furniture Fabric

When you have a smaller hole thats oddly shaped, you can apply an iron-on patch. But it has to be a flat surface.

And the patch has to be a half an inch inch larger than the hole before you attempt to apply it.

When its only a small tear along a seam, theres fabric glue thatll work well. Spread a little glue in the damaged area and make sure it holds together while the glue dries. Its as simple as that.

What Fabric Do You Use For Outdoor Furniture

  • August 20, 2021

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The Best Fabric For Outdoor Cushions Polywood Blog

Types Of Outdoor Fabric Outdura Vs Sunbrella Olefin Fabrics Oh My Outsidemodern

The Best Fabric For Outdoor Cushions Polywood Blog

Replacing Repairing Dryrotted Fabric On Outdoor Furniture Hometalk

Types Of Outdoor Fabric Phifer

2021 Best Material For Outdoor Furniture Fabric Patio Homeadvisor

Ing Outdoor Furniture A Guide To Fabricaterials That Will Last Past Labor Day The Washington Post

The Best Fabric For Outdoor Cushions Polywood Blog

The Best Fabric For Outdoor Cushions Polywood Blog

How To Make Outdoor Waterproof Cushions Diy Setting For Four

Selecting Patio Sling Chair Replacement Fabric Sailrite

How To Prep And Refinish Indoor Furniture Use Outside Tos Diy

Outdoor Fabric Guide

Step 3: Take The Support Bars Out

Some sling patio chairs are designed with support bars as part of the frame. When youre working straight support bars, youre best off using a stretching screw clamp which can push the sling rails apart for easy removal. If youre dealing with curved support bars, pull up on the middle of the bar while pressing on the end of the bar towards the sling rail.

Step 7: Put The Assembly Back Together

Trim down any extra spline and place the caps back onto the sling rails.

Screw the sling rails in about half way all the way around.

Now, you need to place the tension bar. There are a few methods I have found for doing this. I saw people use some type of spreader tool or jack clamp or even a car jack. Not everyone has something like that lying around so we are just going to use a good old fashioned rubber mallet to get the job done. Start by slightly bending your tension bar and then slipping it into the holes on either side. Then cover the bar with some sort of fabric and start pounding it back into a straight position.

Finish screwing in your sling rails and attach any additional hardware and then your chair is complete!

Shop Phifertex!

How To Repair Outdoor Furniture Fabric With A Staple Gun

Fabric on patio chair ripped. Any ideas on what to use to ...

  • Pliers
  • Staple gun

1. First, you have to measure the dimensions of the area youre replacing. Always measure twice for a more accurate measurement. Add three or four inches for wrapping around any edges.

2. Trace the dimensions and shapes with the marker on the old newspaper. Cut out the pattern.

3. Place your new fabric on the ground upside down. Lay the pattern you created on the old newspaper. Make sure you smooth the fabric and old newspaper out.

4. Use a pencil to trace the newspaper on the fabric. If you didnt add extra inches in step one, nows your last chance to add them.

5. Now, you can cut your pattern out of the fabric with a pair of fabric scissors.

6. Its time to remove the old damaged fabric. Place the patio chair upside down as best as you can.

7. Take the flathead screwdriver to loosen and pull the staples up. And use the pliers to finish pulling them out of the fabric and chair.

8. Place the fabric so its upside down but underneath the front of the patio chair. Wrap the fabric tightly around the chair. While youre doing this, you dont want it to wrinkle up.

9. Use the staple gun and staple the excess fabric on the back or bottom of the chair. As you staple, leave about two inches between each staple. There you have it furniture with a new quality outdoor fabric.

Always Use Outdoor Thread

Again, you dont want to replace the outdoor thread with any other type of thread. You need the real thing to get the job done well.

Outdoor thread is made from tough polyester. Its thicker and stiffer so it can hold the heavy-duty outdoor fabric together.

Its also treated with weather-proofing treatments so it can withstand the elements.

Why We Use Gore Tenara Thread

The durability of our finished products depends not only on the quality of the fabrics but also on the strength of thread we use to sew the fabric. Thats why GORE TENARA thread is the only thread we use when replacing slings on your premium patio furniture. GORE TENARA thread is guaranteed to be resistant to sunlight, chemicals, salt water, extreme weather, and acid rain. It will not rot or mold. It is completely color fast and impervious to any cleaning solutions you may use even bleach! to clean your furniture.

How Do You Replace Patio Chair Slings

You may have engaged a local repairer, who can make and fit your new sling. Otherwise, the fitting stage is over to you. How do you fit your replacement sling?

Youll need a flat head screwdriver, a razor knife, pliers and possibly a Philips screwdriver if the chair has cross head screws.

  • Remove the end caps from the side rails
  • Cut through the center of the old sling fabric, top to bottom
  • Coax the two pieces of fabric out from the rails
  • You may need to use pliers to get it out, so have a pair handy. Pull from the bottom
  • Remove the spreader bars
  • You now have an empty frame, all ready for your new sling. The new sling will come with a hem on each side and two insertable splines. First, feed the splines into the hems
  • Working from the top, insert the new sling into the top of one of the side rails
  • Keep pulling it through. Pliers and a second person will both help, especially as you get towards the bottom of the chair!
  • When its all the way through, tip the chair onto its side and remove the rail with the new sling
  • Put the chair back upright, and fit the sling into the other sides rail. The sling is now in both side rails
  • Reattach the first slide rail to the side of the chair
  • Pull the fabric gently as you tighten the side rail, to get tension in the sling
  • Replace the bars, trim any excess spline, and out the end caps back on
  • Sit down on your fabulous new chair, and have a cold beer or cup of fresh coffee to celebrate
  • Step 5: Remove Old Fabric And Prep Chair

    Mine were falling apart so I removed them a few days before and glued them together as best as I could and painted them

    Remove the caps off of the sling rails very carefully with a screwdriver or knife edge. .

    Remove any old fabric from your chair by cutting it away with a knife and then pulling the spline out of the edges with pliers.

    I found this chair at the Brimfield flea market and it was pretty beat up so a fresh coat of paint did it wonders.

    I am going to be sanding down this chair and applying Rust-oleum primer and a liquid repelling barrier over the whole surface.

    How To Order A Mesh Sling Replacement Kit

    You do not have to be a home repair expert to replace your patio furniture slings. All you need is our kit, some spare time, and a few tools.

    First, we will need the measurements of your furniture. Its important that you measure your furniture according to our guidelines so that we make the slings the proper size. You must measure the actual chair, chaise or ottoman.

    ***Please note: Removing the old slings from your furniture and measuring them will not provide accurate measurements as slings stretch over time!

    Next, choose your new sling fabric. We offer a wide variety of fabrics from solid colors to florals to modern patterns. We will cut the fabric according to your specifications.

    Complete this form and follow the instructions for the sling measurements.

    Each of our replacement slings are sewn with a double hem on four sides using Gore Tenara thread. Gore Tenara is a premium thread made of durable fibers. Exposure to the sun, rain, snow, salt and cleaning chemicals will not cause it to degrade.

    Your kit will also include 2 plastic sling rods or spines that you will insert into the left and right sides of the replacement slings. We will ship you the sling, the rods/spines, and easy to follow directions for installing the fabric onto the frame.

    Replace Your Sling Chair Fabric Not The Chairs

    Is your patio furniture starting to show signs of wear and tear? Are you noticing that the fabric on your mesh sling chairs is looking faded and worn, and maybe the chair frame is chipped? You may start to think it would be easier and possibly even cheaper to buy new furniture than to repair your existing sling chair fabric and frame.

    When it comes to premium outdoor furniture, it is designed for decades of use. Brands like Brown Jordan, , , , and were built to last and they come with the price tags to match. However, the sling chair fabric attached to those durable frames only has so long a life. Mesh sling fabric is not completely impervious to sun, weather, salt, chlorine, and daily use that finally gives way to wear and tear. After eight to ten years , your fabric will likely start to show signs of age.

    This is not necessarily a bad thing! Trends come and go, and you may find yourself tired of the color or pattern of your sling chair fabric after so many years. Changing the fabric of your patio chairs to a fresh color choice or new pattern opens up many new possibilities for the look and feel of your deck, yard, or other outdoor space.

    A Note About Sling Fabric Weight

    An important factor to consider when choosing sling fabric is the weight. The heavier the fabric weight, the more difficult but not impossible it will be to slide the fabric into the sling chair’s groove or channel. For easy installation, choose a sling fabric that’s less than 19 ounces per square yard, which is most solid colored and striped sling fabrics. If you like the look of wicker weave and basketweave sling fabrics, these are the heaviest and most difficult fabrics to install. It will require two people to install, as well as lubricant and vice grips. Watch our video “How to Replace Fabric on a Patio Sling Chair” to see how a heavier weight sling fabric is installed in a patio chair.

    Use the chart below to help you determine which sling fabric weight best suits your application.

    Step 1: Measure Your Existing Chair Before You Begin

    How To Replace Fabric On A Patio Sling Chair Youtube

    Use a flexible cloth measuring tape, the type used in dressmaking, so that it will mold to any curves your chair might have. Keep paper and pen handy to write down your measurements as you go.

    With your chair standing upright, take the following measurements.

    • Measure the width of the top edge of the chair seat from side to side.
    • Measure the width of the bottom edge of the chair seat from side to side.
    • Measure the length of the chair from the top edge of the chair back all the way down to the bottom edge of the seat.

    Turn your chair upside down. Youll need to measure the distance between the screw holes that hold the chair frame together. Chair types vary, but the basic method is the same. Run the measuring tape down the side edge of the chair and write down the distance between the top edge of the chair back to the first screw, from the top edge of the chair to the second screw, and so on until you reach the last screw. 

    How Do You Measure A Fabric Patio Sling Chair

    If youre buying your replacement sling online, its important to order the right size.

    Some websites will give the option of ordering by model, but most ask for the chair measurement. Whats the most reliable way of measuring your sling chair? Grab that tape measure, and heres what you need to know:

  • Unless your chair is already in pieces, always measure the sling while its still attached to the chair. This is because older slings can stretch and sag, but if you measure them when theyre on the chair, youll get the size you need
  • Most sling chairs have a rail on each side with an opening, which is where the sling slides in. Find the top bolt for both rails, and measure between these. This gives you the top width measurement
  • Repeat at the bottom of the chair, measuring again between the two slide rails. This gives you the bottom width measurement. Never assume that tip and bottom are the same
  • Next, measure the length of the chair by measuring from the top rail to the bottom rail, following the contours of the chair. This is the length measurement
  • If your chair has separate pieces for the back and the seat, measure each one in turn, as above. You should end up with six measurements in total
  • Its the same process for swivel chairs, chaise lounges, ottomans and loveseats
  • If you have an older style chair where the sling fits between rods at the top and bottom, you may need to contact the store to discuss
  • How To Order The Right Size Replacement Slings

    Now select the correct sizes from our drop-down menus. 

    Select the rod size, then choose your desired fabric. We custom make your replacement sling from over 50 different designs: from cane wicker fabric to solid block colors, to fetching stripes and stylish patterns. View the here.

    Delivery is free for orders over $150. Slings ship within two weeks and because they are custom-made are non-refundable and non-returnable once the order has been processed so it’s doubly important you get the measurements correct by following the steps above.

    Sling Clearance Chair Replacement Sale

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    Offering the LOWEST PRICE GUARANTEED on Patio Replacement Slings for your Outdoor Sling Chairs, Ottomans, Patio Sling Love Seat and any other Patio Replacement Sling or Outdoor Replacement Sling you can provide us measurements with to get your Sling Patio Set back in style! Patio Direct offers the HIGHEST QUALITY Outdoor Custom Replacement Slings to repair or replace your outdoor patio furniture slings on your chairs, chaise lounges, ottomans, love seats or ANY other sling you would like to replace — with all of our slings custom made for you personally, from the highest quality outdoor furniture fabric, also having the largest selection of quality durable sling fabrics as of this year to give you the best selection to bring your outdoor furniture sling seating surface back to new — or even if your old slings are still in “good condition”, you can achieve a BRAND NEW look for your outdoor patio, pool, lawn. patio etc. sling furniture sets. Your replacement sling may also be sometimes called “mesh” or “webbing” or “seating surface” or “cloth”.


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