Applying Flexible Metal Tack Strip

General Usage: Flexible Metal Tack Strip is used in upholstery to hold fabric in place when a straight cardboard tack strip will not work. It is generally used around corners and curves as well as for tight corners; if, when closed, two metal tabs touch each other then the tack strip will not seat properly and will pull out. In this instance, stop the tack strip short of the tight curve and hand close the area.
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Materials and Supplies:

  • Flexible Metal Tack Strip - #CS60/L, CS60/M, CS60/M
  • Upholstery Air Stapler - #NSG10
  • Staples - #NS33/E or NS34/E
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Regulator - #MH26, MH28
  • Scissors
  • White Rubber Mallet - #MH44
  • Upholstery Batting
  • Safety Glasses - #SG01 or SG02

Step-by-Step: Applying the Tack Strip

1. Place the flexible metal tack strip on the edge of the area to be covered. Put the ''hole'' side of the tack strip against the edge of the piece or against the welt cord. Th e ''teeth'' side of the tack strip will now be open to the outside of the piece. (Photo 1)

  • Keep in mind that the strip will be slightly wider when it is closed - it will push the fabric tight against the edge/welt cord.
  • If you are not using welt cord, be sure to back off slightly on the placement of the tack strip so that it does not extend past the wood once it is closed.
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2. Secure the tack strip. One side of the staple will hit the hole while the other side of the staple will hit the space. (Photo 2)

  • Staple both sides of the hole at the start and end of the strip and in any areas that would cause stress on the metal, such as close curves.
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3. Double check all staples to make sure they hit wood and that the tack strip is seated tight. If the staple crimped over or is loose, remove it and re-staple the area.
4. Close the tack strip halfway by bending the ''teeth'' side to the ''hole'' side. THIS STEP IS VITAL. (Photo 3) four
5. Cut a piece of Batting to fit inside the area, trimming it to the back of the metal so that no material falls into the teeth of the tack strip. (Photo 4) five
6. Secure the face fabric, in a few places, by temporarily placing fabric in the teeth and hand closing. Be sure the fabric is in its final place before moving on to the next step. (Photo 5) six

7. Completing a small section at a time, trim the face fabric 1/2'' bigger than the outside edge of the welt cord.

  • Using the necessary tension to keep the fabric in its final place, lay the fabric over the tack strip and the welt cord. Trim the fabric along the outside of the welt cord. Th is will leave a 1/2'' lip of fabric to tuck into the tack strip. (Photo 6)
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8. Working in 3-4'' sections, tuck the face fabric into the tack strip using a regulator to get the fabric tight against the back wall of the tack strip. (Photo 7) Hand close by pressing the two sides shut. (Photo 8)

  • At this point it is still possible to open the tack strip and adjust the fabric if needed
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9. Once the area is completed and the fabric is pulled correctly, close the tack strip for the fi nal time using a white rubber mallet. (Photo 9) Hit the hand closed tack strip on a slight angle top force the fabric into the teeth and to close the teeth.

  • DO NOT close the tack strip with the mallet until you are sure the fabric is correct.
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Helpful Hints:

  • If you are using a fabric with a nap, use a small scrap piece, face side to face side, between the face fabric and mallet to keep from crushing the nap.
  • You will know the tack strip is closed if you cannot run a fingernail under the edges. Th e fabric should be smooth and tight.
  • If, for some reason, the tack strip needs to be opened aft er being closed with the mallet, pry it open with the fl at end of the regulator. Open each tooth individually with the sharp end of the regulator. If the teeth are damaged or loose, the tack strip will need to be replaced.