In Part 1, we covered materials and hardware.
In Part 2, we covered tools.
In Part 3, we showed you how to set those tools up for webbing.
In Part 4, you learned the crucial Box X stitch.
Now it's time to put it all together and create your own projects. To demonstrate a project from start to finish, and explain some things you'll want to keep in mind as you work on yours, I'll make a dog collar from scratch. Whether or not you own a dog, watching this project being made will be useful, because a collar uses the most common webbing hardware parts: Squeeze-release buckles, a webbing slide for adjustability and a D-ring you can shackle things to. Using these same techniques you can make plenty of non-dog-related items, like the box-carrying harness I showed you in the first video. Once you understand how it all comes together, you can design your own items and start making them.
Hit the jump for some review tips.Things to remember:
- With cotton webbing, always keep the unfinished edges inside your project, and even sandwiched between two other layers if possible. If your machine can handle three layers of cotton webbing, you can double-fold it and stitch the end shut to prevent fraying.
- Always ensure that your hardware has been slid onto your webbing, prior to sewing, in the correct order. If you don't, you'll be getting your money's worth out of that stitch ripper tool.
- When fastening hardware inside of a webbing loop, sew as close as you possibly can to the hardware (while still keeping the two layers compressed) to make that loop as tight as you can. If your loop is too loose, the hardware will have excessive play. That play can in turn cause the webbing to fray at the edges of the loop.
- Study the design of existing webbing-based items to see how they were constructed. A lot of times you'll find smart little details, like the example I showed in the video with the end-tab being on the inside of the collar.
- Think about which direction any forces or friction that might act upon your webbing are coming from, and ask yourself what would happen if a joint failure were to occur at a specific point. Design your object accordingly. The good news is with a Box X stitch you're probably not going to experience a catastrophic failure, where the entire joint gives way at once, but it's just good design to anticipate and plan for it.
To state the obvious: If you've never done this before, sure, your first few projects are likely going to suck—but so what? If you really want to work with webbing, the best way to get good at it is to do it over and over again. Using a sewing machine is like using any other tool—get the reps in, and your confidence and competence will grow.
If your object failed, refine the design, examine your technique, and go back to the drawing board.
For someone like me whose only design school instruction was in working with rigid materials, it's really satisfying to be able to create things out of webbing. (And even more satisfying that it can be done fairly cheaply.)
The first one of you that makes something cool out of webbing, puts it up on their Coroflot page with good images and lets me know about it, is going to get a handsome Flotspotting write-up!