Types of Chair Caning – Which One is Right for Your Repair?

chair caning repair

Chair caning is a craft that requires skill, patience and practice. It can be a good way to supplement your income or learn a new craft.

There are several types of chair caning repair to choose from, including hand cane, pre-woven press cane and rush. The type you choose will depend on your needs and the condition of the seat.

Hand Cane of Chair Caning repair

The hand cane process, woven by hand, has been used for centuries on chairs and furniture. It has a natural look that is very appealing to the eye and helps to add texture and feel to the piece.

There are several types of cane chairs that are crafted with this technique, including the traditional hole-to-hole hand cane. In addition, there is a sheet cane, also known as press cane, where an entire rattan cane mat is pressed into a grove in the wood seat.

Usually, the Chair Caning repair frame was designed to accept this type of caning, so you can not simply take a chair that was not designed to be hand-caned and turn it into a hand-caned chair. The frame must be drilled with holes that can accommodate the strands of cane needed to weave them into the seat.

In order to properly do this, you must have the proper tools available. Van Dyke’s Restorers carries several different caning tools that can make the repair process much easier, like a Tightener Tool, Awl, Caning Needle, and Groove Cleaner.

To begin the caning, remove a few strands from the hank of the Chair Caning repair and soak them in warm water until softened. This will help to give the strands of cane a pliable, flexible shape that they can easily twist into place. You may need to replace a few of the strands in the water periodically so that you always have a supply ready for work.

Pre-Woven Press Cane

Pre-woven press cane is a machine-woven product that comes by the foot in varying widths. It is soaked in water before being used and then pressed into a groove on the seat. It can be stained and finished with oil-based stain, tung oil, or polyurethane.

The spline is also a reed product that is cut to match the size of the groove and hammered into place with a hammer. It is important to make the groove 1/16″ deeper than the spline needed for it to fit.

Once the spline is in place, use small wedges to tap the cane into the groove. This can be done from the center outwards or side to side to get all of the edges deep into the grove.

Next, press the cane pattern into the groove front and back making sure it is centered on the chair seat. Continue pressing until the entire chair seat is pressed into the groove.

This will create a tighter fit as the cane dries and tightens. It is recommended to leave the cane in place for 24 hours to allow it to dry thoroughly.

After the cane has dried for a couple of days, it is time to stain or clear coat it. This will keep it from getting dirty, help with the color of the cane and add longevity to the product.

Rush of Chair Caning repair

Chair Caning repair rushing is a type of seat weaving technique that uses natural cattail leaf rush, bulrush, or human-made paper fiber rush varieties. The rush is woven around the four seat rungs or dowels of chairs and forms four distinct triangles in the seat pattern.

Originally, the material was harvested from bull rush cattail leaves growing on marshy riverbeds or duck ponds. The leaves were then dried and twisted into the long strands of seat weaving that we use today.

The rush seat weave pattern is similar to that of a wicker chair and can look somewhat rustic, but has been used for over a century in more sophisticated furniture designs. It also looks very refined with its quartered pattern.

There are two types of rush:

  • Genuine
  • Pre-Twisted. 

Genuine rush

Genuine rush is woven from hand-twisted marshland bulrush or cattail leaves and is more expensive than fiber rush. It is usually larger in diameter and a little less consistent on the top & bottom surface.

Pre-twisted rush

Pre-twisted rush can be woven to mimic Genuine Rush and is a heavier kind of rush. This is much easier to weave and has less twist inconsistencies than Genuine Rush.

Both of these types of rush are very durable & will stand up to the elements for many years. They are not very affordable to replace, but they are a great choice for repair or restoration.

Wide Cane

Chair caning repair is a craft that dates back many centuries. It is still made with the same materials and techniques used in centuries past.

Another type of chair caning repair is the wide cane, a mesh of interwoven strands used on applications where the outside of the caned area has holes. This cane is wider and heavier than a regular cane, and it can also be used as a border trim around the edge of a caned seat to cover holes.

It can be sold in sheets, as a pre-woven sheet that is set into a groove on the top side of the chair and held in place by a reed spline. It is less expensive than hand-woven cane and much quicker to replace.

Reed spline comes in three sizes: 7 1/2, 8 1/2, and 9 1/2 inches. It is also available in a wedge-shaped reed for temporarily holding cane webbing into the groove around the outside of a caned seat.

Splint of Chair Caning repair

Splints are used for injuries that cause instability, such as fractures or dislocations. They help protect the injured bone, soft tissues. Joints from further damage and improve mobility while waiting for orthopedic treatment.

Splinting is often performed by physicians, physician assistants, nurses, technicians, or emergency medical technicians (EMTs). It is an important part of the treatment process for unstable injuries that may involve bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues.

A splint is a piece of rigid support that rests on the injury or part of the body and holds it in place. It can be made from a variety of materials, including foam, metal plates, wood, or plastic.

Using a splint can prevent further damage to the injury, reduce swelling, and decrease pain. Splints can also help the injured person recover faster from an injury.

You can make a homemade splint from a wad of cloth, a tennis ball, or other stiff material. The object should be large enough to hold the injured area. But not too big so that it causes additional pressure on the injury.

When applying a splint, be sure to attend to any bleeding, if necessary. Apply a bandage, a square of gauze, or a piece of cloth to the injury before placing a splint.

Keep the splint dry when you are outside and especially in the shower or bath. Moisture under the splint can cause itching and skin irritation and could increase the risk of infection.

Shaker Tape Chair Caning repair

Shaker tape is a cotton cordage material available in several colors. This sturdy, flexible, and resilient weaving material is used to weave the seat of chairs that have broken wicker or reed frames. Tape can be woven in a checkerboard, herringbone, or diamond pattern to replace the original chair seat.

To calculate the amount of tape needed for your project. First measure the width and depth of the seat-front rail to the back rail. Multiply this measurement by 9 for 1″ tape or 5.5 for 5/8″ tape to determine how much yardage is needed.

Once you have the number of yards, select a color from our wide range of options. We offer 5/8″ and 1″ tape in many colors, plus webbing for basketry and straps for tote baskets.

Ready to begin Chair Caning repair

When you’re ready to begin, tack one end of the tape on the underside of the back post, slightly inside, about 1″ down from the top bent rail. Pull the tape up and over and wrap until the bottom bent rail can no longer take more rows of tape.

For a smooth, uniform appearance, use the same color for the warp on the front and back of the chair. If using two colors of tape. Make sure you use the darker color for the warp on the front rungs where the seat will soil more than on the side rungs.

Once you’ve woven the first row of tape. Turn your chair upside down and continue to weave another row alternating the over-one, under-one pattern. This creates a checkerboard or herringbone pattern when two colors are used.

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