Which Tack Strip Should You Use and When

Which Tack Strip Should You Use and When

Upholstering the outside panels can be daunting process for beginners.

Outside panels are the last panels to be completed, and it is at this point you'll be eager to get a clean looking, professional finish. 

Upholsterers have a secret weapon up their sleeves -- and that secret weapon is called back tacking! 


Back tacking is a method of cleanly attaching an outside fabric panel to a frame without seeing any tacks or staples!  Yes, you heard that right. It is often called blind tacking, for that very reason. 

There are three main back tack strips -- cardboard, metal and flexible metal. 

But which method of back tacking should you choose and for which type of panel?

Cardboard tack strip

Cardboard tack strip is used on the top of outside panels, such as the top edge on the outside back or the top edge of the outside arm.

It is mostly used on a straight edge, but it can be gently bend around a subtle curve.

Once the top edge is attached with the cardboard tack strip, you will use another back tack method on the sides. 


Metal Tack Strip

After attaching an outside fabric along the top with cardboard tack strip, you can use metal tack strips on the right &/or left of the panel. 

Metal tack stripes are used on straight edges as they cannot bend sideways, however they can band inward and outward.

Metal tack strips can be cut to length with a hacksaw blade or tin snips if necessary.

Flexible metal tack strip

Flexible metal tack strip can be used along any edge of outside panels. 

It is the most flexible tacking strip, both literally and in its actual usage! 

Due to it's flexiblity, you can use flexible metal tack strip on any curved panel including wings and rolled arms. 

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