Learning how to work with webbing is a useful skill, but many industrial design programs don't cover how to work with flexible materials. And if you've ever seen a production facility cranking out say, MOLLE systems for military bags, it's easy to get intimidated out of ever attempting to work with the stuff.
It is possible, however, for someone with average manual coordination to design and construct their own webbing projects using simple, affordable materials and a borrowed or thrift-store sewing machine that's been set up properly. For the design student on a budget, or the industrial designer who wants to dip their foot into the webbing pool without investing in expensive machinery, we put together this series of videos to help you get started.
In Part 1, we cover some basic materials, hardware, and terminology you'll need to know. Webbing comes in a lot of different types, and it's better to know exactly what you're working with. (It also helps to know exactly what the hardware parts are called, so you can Google for suppliers and variants.) Lastly we've included costs. Since local prices can vary, we've used the online supplier McMaster-Carr as a baseline.
Webbing types shown in video:
Lightweight Polypropylene - 1" wide - $0.25/foot on McMaster-Carr
Extra-Strength Cotton - 1" wide - $0.82/foot on McMaster-Carr
Ultra Abrasion-Resistant Nylon* - 1" wide - $0.93/foot on McMaster-Carr
*NB: Ultra Abrasion Resistant Nylon is not suitable for the methods we will use.
Hardware shown in video:
Plastic Squeeze-Release Buckle - for 1" webbing - $5.74/10-pack
Plastic Feed-Through Buckle - for 1" webbing - $5.68/25-pack
Nickel-Plated Steel D-Rings - for 1" webbing - $6.22/10-pack
*Slide-Bolt Spring Snap with "Strap-Eye" - for 1" webbing - $2.56/each
*Also called "Swivel Snaps" or "Snap Hooks"
All of the links above are to McMaster-Carr, an American website. If you are outside America and know of sources local to you, please help out our international readers and sound off in the comments. Also pipe up if any of these parts are known by alternate terminology in your neck of the woods; we're pretty sure you Australians refer to these things as like, "chadwozzers" and such.
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» DIY Webbing Tutorial on a Budget, Part 1: Materials & Hardware
» DIY Webbing Tutorial on a Budget, Part 2: Tools You'll Need
» DIY Webbing Tutorial on a Budget, Part 3: How to Set Up Your Sewing Machine for Webbing
» DIY Webbing Tutorial on a Budget, Part 4: Learning the Crucial "Box X" Stitch
» DIY Webbing Tutorial on a Budget, Part 5: Putting It All Together