What Is Webbing For Sewing: Uses And How To Sew

Last Updated on 6 months by Susan Mayrich

The answer to what is webbing for sewing pertains to a fabric strip or tape made of various materials. As you will read further below, this webbing is very durable and has multiple applications. 

what is webbing for sewing

We will also discuss if you can sew a webbing with a sewing machine and make a webbing yourself. But speaking of which, are you already familiar with sewing using a machine?

Please read how to sew two pieces of fabric together with a sewing machine because you can apply its procedures in sewing webbing to fabrics.  


What Is Webbing Used For In Sewing

The webbing or tape is simply a piece of fabric strip. Do not confuse it with a bias tape that is used on fabric edges. Instead, the webbing functions as a standalone strip of material that is durable enough for various uses. 

The most common way to use webbing is for adding straps on various projects like bags and sporting goods. However, because it’s made of a strong fabric, it can withstand the wear and tear on items like lanyards, dog collars, and seat belts as well. 

It can be applied for safety uses or items that will hold loads. However, remember that there are various webbing types which mean there are also different breaking strengths. 


Types of webbing

You can differentiate webbings based on their material, widths, and thickness. Moreover, there is a wide selection of colors and prints since webbings can also be used for decorative purposes. 

Nonetheless, consider the following webbing types and how to use them:

  • Cotton webbing needs to be finished with a zigzag stitch for added durability; usually used as bag straps
  • Nylon, polyester, and other webbings made of synthetic fibers are cut with a hot knife to melt the ends for strength; usually used for outdoor gear and sporting goods


Flat vs tubular webbing

Flat webbing is the most common type that you see on bag straps and seat belts. It won’t tear easily, but it’s too stiff for knotting. 

The more durable webbing is the thicker tubular webbing that you can knot. It is often used for items that will experience tension, such as climbing gear. 


How much webbing do I need?

The amount of webbing you’ll need will, of course, depend on the project you’re doing. However, it will be advantageous to purchase webbing by the yard or rounded up to the nearest yard to ensure you’ll have enough. 


How Do You Sew Webbing On Fabric?

  1. Use a needle type and size that can handle the fabric weight and webbing thickness
  2. Thread the needle with a high-quality and strong thread such as upholstery thread
  3. To keep the webbing from unraveling, wrap the area where you’ll cut the webbing with tape before cutting
  4. Cut across the short edges of the webbing to adjust its length and never the long edges, or it might fray
  5. For synthetic webbing, melt the ends after cutting for added durability 
  6. Begin sewing the webbing on the fabric so that you’re stitching the fabric edges as close to the webbing edges as possible
  7. Be careful not to sew through the melted webbing ends as they can break the needle


What Thread Should I Use For Webbing?

The thread you’ll use for sewing webbing should be strong enough for the materials and can withstand the usage of the specific project (e.g., seat belts vs bag straps.) Therefore, depending on the project, webbing, and fabric, you can use any high-quality all-purpose thread to even heavy-duty upholstery thread.

Read what is the strongest sewing thread to know what types you can get if you’re sewing webbing for safety or heavy applications. 


Can You Sew Webbing On A Sewing Machine?

You can sew webbing on a sewing machine as long as it’s compatible with the materials. Furthermore, set the sewing machine correctly with the correct needle and thread to not break or make poor-quality stitches. 

What stitch to use when sewing webbing? Set your sewing machine to zigzag stitch because it can secure the fabric to the webbing effectively. 


How to sew webbing on a sewing machine

  1. Pin the webbing ends to the fabric area where you need it 
  2. If the webbing ends should be sewn together, pin through them as well
  3. Remember to remove pins as you sew so the needle won’t hit them
  4. Set the webbing and fabric securely under the presser foot
  5. Begin sewing slowly since the webbing and fabric are thick
  6. Press the pedal and move the handwheel accordingly
  7. After sewing the webbing to the material, backstitch across it for added durability 


How Do You Make Your Own Webbing?

Making your own webbing means cutting it properly so the edges won’t fray. For example, those made of synthetic fibers can be singed to melt their ends after cutting or sewing the ends to prevent fraying on some types of webbing.

You also want to check which materials shouldn’t be soaked or washed often when making a webbing. Some of them can absorb water and eventually develop mildew. 



Was this article helpful? We just learned what is webbing for sewing, which are strong fabric strips for various applications. 

Webbings are often used as bag straps to even harnesses and seat belts. They come in synthetic and natural fibers, and they also differ in color, thickness, and width. 

Finally, use heavy-duty needles and threads when sewing webbing since the materials can damage ordinary sewing tools. 

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