How to Choose the Right Webbing

Item # X-HT-300381

Webbing can be a bit of a mystery for any DIYer. There are several varieties of webbing, including nylon, polypropylene, polyester, acrylic blends, etc. In addition to that, webbing comes in both flat and tubular form. No wonder it can be confusing figuring out which exact kind of webbing you need for your project. To make things easier for you, we’ve created two helpful charts explaining the properties of all the webbings Sailrite® offers as well as the recommended uses of each one.

A variety of webbings available at Sailrite.

First, let’s briefly discuss the varieties of webbing available at Sailrite. The types of webbing we sell are: nylon, polyester, Dyneema®, polypropylene, Polyfab™, Sunbrella® acrylic and 2-inch seat belt webbing, which we stock in both nylon and polyester. All our webbings are offered in flat versions, but we also sell tubular webbing in nylon and polyester. Tubular webbing is hollow, stronger than flat webbing, and you can insert a rope or cord through it. People often insert bungee cord inside tubular webbing when making tethers so the webbing retracts and shrinks up to avoid a tripping hazard. This is not required, though, and tubular can be used the same as flat webbing, if desired.

Depending on what you are using it for, knowing the properties and qualities of various webbings is crucial to the success of your application. Due to the nature of various webbing fibers, different webbings have different characteristics. Polyester, Dyneema and acrylic webbing have a higher UV resistance than nylon and polypropylene. Acrylic and polypropylene have a lower abrasion resistance than all the other types. Some webbings float in water, others do not.

There are other factors you might need to consider as well when it comes to choosing webbing for your application. Do you need a webbing with a high breaking strength? Is the sewability of the webbing a concern? If you don’t have a heavy-duty sewing machine, some webbings might be too much for a basic home model to handle. Consider if you are folding the webbing in half to sew loops or handles, or if you’re sewing webbing onto two or more layers of fabric.

Webbing is used in a variety of sewing projects including a shade sail, dog collar and leash, and as a support strap on a bimini frame.

Once you figure out what you need in a webbing, use our charts to determine which webbing type has all the properties you’re looking for. Do you need a webbing with a moderate to high UV resistance, but strength is not a concern because you’re making support straps for your bimini? You have your choice of polyester, acrylic or nylon. Are you sewing tote bags or duffle bags and are looking for a soft webbing that will feel comfortable when held or slung over your shoulder? In that case, you’ll want nylon.

Our charts allow you to search by either the type of project you want to make or the type of webbing you have. You can refer to either one or both to find the best webbing for your project that meets all your requirements.

Once you pair your webbing project with the right webbing type, check out Sailrite’s other webbing related blogs and how-to tutorials for expert instructions and advice. Are you making adjustable webbing straps for your bimini or dodger? We’ve got a great how-to video with step-by-step instructions and a full materials list (300172XHT). Do you need to sew webbing loops for towing or lifting purposes? Our “How to Sew Webbing Loops” blog (300336XHT) takes an in-depth look at how to sew webbing with the right thread and enough stitching for adequate load bearing force so your stitches don’t rip out while you’re hauling or pulling something.

If you still have questions about which webbing is right for your DIY, don’t hesitate to call or email us. We’re always happy to help our customers find what they need to turn their project dreams into reality. With Sailrite in your corner, there’s no limit to your project possibilities.