What Is Seat Belt Webbing

What Is Seat Belt Webbing?

Did you know that cars did not always have seat belts? Early vehicles did not have any of the modern safety features that our cars have now.

One of the most essential safety features of a car is undoubtedly the seat belt. It keeps the driver and all passengers safe in case of an accident.

When you think of a seat belt, what do you picture? Is it the whole seat belt system or simply one part?

What Is Seat Belt Webbing

We always find that people are surprised when we tell them that seat belts are made up of different components, including the seat belt retractor, seat belt webbing and other parts.

All these components work together to ensure that the seat belt is flexible enough to allow us to move while sat in the car. At the same time, it has to be strong enough to hold our bodies in place during the event of an accident.

We take a look at one of the most important part of a seat belt: the seat belt webbing. We’ll find out what it is and how it is made.

What’s Seat Belt Webbing?

It sounds very technical but seat belt webbing is simply the part of a seat belt that is pulled around the body of a passenger or driver.

It is tightened, so to hold the person in place when an impact happens.

Seat belt webbing usually is black or gray in standard cars, trucks and other vehicles, but seat belt webbing can also be customized.

Seat belt webbing is manufactured with 100% polyester. The material and its particular weaving technique give the seat belt a strength which can support around 6,000 lbs (or 28 kNw) on impact.

The polyester fabric is ideal for cars because it means the seat belt webbing will not rot, shrink or mold.

However, with frequent use, seat belt webbing can fray and tear. It also does not fully withstand chewing by dogs or other animals.

If you notice that your seat belt is torn or it starts to fray, then you can either replace the seat belt webbing or you can get it repaired.

Whatever option you choose, it is essential that your seat belt webbing is in perfect condition to ensure that the seat belt works in the event of an impact.

How Is Seat Belt Webbing Woven?

While polyester is a good material for any number of applications, the right weaving technique is what makes a seat belt so durable and strong.

Seat belt webbing has been designed in a way that it has extreme tensile strength, which means that it resists the forces of gravity during an impact.

Seat belts were only introduced to cars and other vehicles in the 1950s. Originally, seat belt webbing was woven on shuttle looms.

These looms could weave around 200 picks per minute. With the advancement of technology and weaving techniques, manufacturing changed when most webbing would be made with needle looms up from the 1970s.

These new looms could achieve around 1,000 picks per minute, and our modern looms today can even weave up to 3,000 picks per minute.

Although our modern seat belt webbing is made from 100% polyester, the original material for the webbing was nylon.

However, nylon has the disadvantage that it stretches far more than polyester. Additionally, it can also wear much faster and tear easier.

This is not the kind of strong and reliable material that you want in a seat belt!

There have been a lot of modern studies around seat belt safety, and some researchers found that a less-energized yarn, like polyester, makes the seatbelt much more durable because the threads sit tightly together.

Our modern seat belts have around 300 warp threads for each 46mm of seat belt webbing. This is roughly 150 ends per inch.

You will find that seat belt webbing is woven either in a satin weave variation or in 8-shaft herringbone twill.

Another design success in seat belt webbing is that it has run-proof selvages. These are strong threads that run along the edges of the webbing.

This keeps the webbing in shape and it allows the seat belt to be much more flexible, which creates a comfortable fit while wearing it.

Other Components Of A Seat Belt

Seat Belt Re-Webbing: Can It Be Done?

Yes, you can get your seat belt re-webbed when your seat belt webbing is ripped, torn or frayed

If you do not want to replace your entire seat belt system, then just replacing the webbing is a more cost-effective option. Safety Restore is the nation leading seat belt company that specializes in webbing replacement services with great affordable pricing!

It is essential for the safety of all passengers in your vehicle that the seat belt webbing is in excellent condition.

Other Components Of A Seat Belt

Apart from the seat belt webbing, there are a range of other components that are part of the seat belt system.

Retractor For Seat Belt

The retractor in a seat belt system is the winding mechanism that winds up the seat belt webbing.

The seat belt retractor is where the webbing is pulled into. It is also responsible for locking the webbing in place when you break sharply or when an accident happens.

This mechanism is controlled by two sensors.

Seat Belt Tongue

The seat belt tongue is attached to the webbing. This does look slightly different depending on your vehicle and the manufacturer.

The seat belt tongue fits tightly into the seat belt buckle, and it secures the seat belt.

Seat Belt Buckle

The seat belt buckle is where the seat belt tongue is inserted into. The buckle is specifically designed to hold the tongue firmly, but also allow a quick release of the seat belt when needed.


Seat belts may have come in relatively late in the development phase  of cars and vehicles but they have saved thousands of lives since their introduction in the 1950s.

The seat belt webbing is one of the most essential components of a seat belt. It holds a person in place, and ensures that  we are safe when an accident happens.

Edward Cole
Edward Cole

Hi, my name is Edward Cole and I have been in the car customization industry for a decade now. I also specialize in repairs, so I have plenty of experience with looking after my vehicle and showing it off.

When your car is in pristine condition, with a fresh wrap around it, people notice. I cannot tell you how many compliments I have received through my car and its condition. People appreciate a customized car and it will give you a great deal of satisfaction to be driving the most envied vehicle on the road.

One thing that I have found to be incredibly popular in the car customizing industry - by both owner and admirer - is color seatbelt customization. Having anything other than the plain black seat belts like every other car will get you being the talk of the town in no time.

I have created my website in the hopes of inspiring some of you to customize your own vehicle and improve your self esteem. Taking care of your car is an extension of taking care of yourself. So, take a look around and see if you find anything you fancy - you could be steps away from a fresh new look.

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