Trying to find a good swing seat, that can be locally made, for the swing sets my colleagues and I install in developing countries has not been easy. First, we tried bringing plastic seats from the USA with us. Not practical. Second, we tried locally made seats with metal frames and wooden inserts. Concerned about safety. Third, we tried wooden seats with A-shaped connectors on the end. Possibly safer, but still. But on a recent trip to Otavalo, Ecuador, I found a design that I like a lot better than all of the above. The swing seat is made with a 4″-wide heavy fabric strap with metal connectors on each end (think of the straps used in trailer tie-downs). This design is used widely in the Otavalo area of northern Ecuador.
Once we had purchased the strap, it was easy to find a fabricator who could finish the swing seat.
The strap can be purchased for a couple of dollars per seat, so the only real cost is for what you have to pay the fabricator. The seat has no hard edges (like the plastic seats you see in the USA), so it is much less likely to cause a minor accident. I brought home one of the “new” swing seats, and hope to use the design for some of the installations that we make in the Navajo Nation.