You’ve probably seen it. You’ve probably used it. But, you probably didn’t know what it’s called. Webbing, the strong fabric woven as flat strips or tubes, is most often used in place of rope. Though cotton and flax were originally the major components of webbing, synthetic fibers are now much more common. Nylon webbing and polypropylene webbing are the two most common types, and they make appearances in dozens of industries.
Types of Webbing
Nylon, a silky thermoplastic, first appeared in the production of toothbrush bristles in 1938. It has high tenacity fibers, making it popular for use in seat belt, tire cord, and ballistic cloth production.
Polypropylene is highly durable, justifying its appearance in a number of manufacturing processes. It too is highly durable and lightweight, which is why it’s often used for seat belts, fasteners, and belts.
Uses for Webbing
Webbing is frequently used for rock climbing in slings, runners, harnesses, anchor extensions, and quickdraws as well as in hiking and camping gear.
Seat belts are the most obvious examples in automotive settings, but webbing appears in several other places. Racing harnesses are made from nylon and polyester as are window nets, HANS device tethers, and Hutchens devices in race cars.
You’ve probably seen it used in couches and chairs to provide strong, flexible backs, especially for outdoor furniture. It is also commonly employed to reinforce joins and flexible areas.
Another common use is for military belts, packs, and pouches. The British Army began using it after the Second Boer War because of its ability to carry vital supplies without adding much extra weight.
Belts, suspenders, sandals, and purses often employ webbing. Medical braces also frequently use the material.
Pet Collars and Leashes
This is perhaps the most immediately recognizable use. Nylon and polyester are most commonly used, though polypropylene appears occasionally.
The material’s popularity can largely be attributed to its versatility and durability. Its frequent use speaks to its usefulness.