I have a fairly nice couch, about 8 years old, but just today I noticed that there was a sharp protrusion coming out the side. It has not yet punctured the fabric, but it seems like a strong wind might cause it to do so.

I turned the couch over, and pulled out some of the fabric staples so I could get a look in there, and I do see a straight piece of metal heading out the side and causing the protrusion. It's the same kind of metal as the springs, though like I said, it's straight, not coiled, which would lead me to suspect that it is supposed to be in that general area. Though obviously it shouldn't be protruding, so I wonder if it got "dislocated" so to speak.

There are two main problems: 1. I don't actually know where it should go (or how it should get there), and 2. it's really quite difficult to get at. I can see it, behind a piece of wood, but I can't fit my hand in there. How can I fix this?

Here's a picture of the problem:

protrusion on side of couch

And here are two views from underneath/inside the couch:

views from underneath and inside

  • A picture (however obscured) could really help us understand the situation. Dec 19, 2016 at 3:07
  • @DanielGriscom I've added pictures.
    – soapergem
    Dec 19, 2016 at 4:35

3 Answers 3


One of your spring wires is slipping sideways and poking your upholstery. The spring wires are held to the sinuous springs by metal clips; apparently that wire's clips are loose and are allowing the spring wire to get out of place. (Has someone been jumping on your couch?)

Your first step is to get access to the underside of the couch. Yes, you have to take off the dust cover fabric that covers the bottom of your couch and keeps your cats from hiding there, but there's nothing to be done.

With the dust cover off, you can try to slide the spring wire back into place. My guess is that's going to be very difficult, as those clips are pretty strong (although apparently not strong enough), but if it works then good on you. If not, then you'll have to cut the excess spring wire off, close to the nearest sinuous spring. The wire is quite hard (much harder than copper wire), so you'll need a good pair of cutters to handle it, otherwise you'll damage the cutters.

Now, you need to tighten the metal clips on that wire, and probably on all the wires unless you mind risking another wire going walkabout. Here, you'll need a strong pair of pliers or vice-grips. The goal is to prevent that spring wire from sliding further.

Finally, reattach the dust cover (which doesn't need to look good, unless your guests are in the habit of lifting up and examining the bottom of your couch).

  • Do you know of any tools to detach those metal clips? I was thinking about detaching them, and then either re-attaching them or buying new ones to attach in their place, but dangit those things are really stuck on there!
    – soapergem
    Dec 20, 2016 at 2:18
  • I'm guessing that there aren't specialized tools for removing these, as the manufacturers need to easily and quickly install them, but they don't care about removing them. I'd stick with what you have, and tighten them as necessary. Dec 20, 2016 at 2:40
  • Thankfully, I was able to shimmy the spring wire back into place using a nice pair of vice grips. It took forever though! Those things really aren't meant to move. I honestly have no idea how it got off-kilter in the first place.
    – soapergem
    Dec 21, 2016 at 13:15
  • 1
    I'm still thinking someone was jumping on your couch... maybe The Couch-Jumping Burglar... Dec 21, 2016 at 14:23

Take it to an upholstery shop seems like the obvious answer if you don't feel up to tackling it. They should know where it should be, how to get at it, and how to put it back and make it stay put.

I would guess (lacking any pictorial evidence) that the straight spring section is probably supposed to be tied into the top or bottom of the coil springs, probably with several other straight sections making a grid, or defining an edge.

In many cases you have to remove parts of the covering to get at the underpinnings of a couch. Putting it back neatly is one of those jobs that most of us don't do as well as a professional upholsterer, unless we happen to be avid amateurs (and I'm not, though I have done some VERY simple work, and yes, I can easily tell it was not done by a pro.)


I had the same problem and used zip ties to hold it together. A year later it is still holding.

  • How did you employ the zip ties? Dec 19, 2016 at 12:35
  • A bit more information on how you secured the zip ties would make this a answer that would get some up votes.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 19, 2016 at 14:06

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