When upholstering furniture that has an exposed staple line, double welt can be a handy helper. Of course, there are a couple of other options such as decorative nailheads or gimp, but if double welt cord is what you choose, then please allow me to give you a few pointers to make it look as clean as possible.
Many of our students are shocked to learn that double welt cord is attached using hot glue. Yep, hot glue. To many, that may sound amateurish, but trust me, it works. Hot glue was invented in 1940, and we have stripped plenty of decades-old furniture that still had the double welt cord held securely in place. A couple of goals you should have in mind when attaching double welt are (1) be sure the double welt lies flat, and (2) never let the hot glue show.
Be sure the double welt lies flat.
Many times, the furniture piece gives you extra challenges when attaching the double welt cord. There are many layers (webbing, burlap, foam, Dacron, fabric, etc.) that can quickly gunk up your staple line. Ideally, you only bring the fabric to the very edge, but if that isn’t an option for you, try this idea.
A little cardboard tack strip really makes a difference. Sometimes you may need to trim a little off just to be sure it isn’t visible below the cording.
Staple the cardboard tack strip along your staple line where you’ll attach the double welt cord.
As you can see, now you have a sharp, flat line to follow.
Never let the hot glue show.
I like to use this simple, yet effective tool, called a regulator when attaching double welt. The flat side helps press the welt cord in place. To lessen the chances of hot glue squirting out the sides, I count to five before pressing down too hard. This will help the glue be less runny. Don’t fret, if some hot glue squishes out; the regulator has a pointy side that can be used to push the glue back underneath the welt cord.
Doesn’t that look nice? It’s really quite easy; you just need to know the right tricks!
Another bonus tip: if you have sharp corners to make, pre-bend the cording a few inches from corners and curves. It makes a huge difference.