chair caning

pseudacris_cruciferNovember 29, 2008

We have a variety of old wooden chairs that have been been re-upholstered a time or two. The seats are wearing out and they are ready for some attention. Recently my wife got a book on chair caning, and would like to try it. The only catch is that our chairs do not have any holes for caning. They have had cushions, old plywood, wooden paneling, etc as seats. Is there a way to do caning on these chairs? Drill holes in the chair? Make a frame the size of the seat and drill/cane that?

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There are two types of caning -- pre-woven and not (for lack of better terms). By far the easier of the two for a beginner is pre-woven. This is installed in a groove running around the hole in the chair and set in place with glue and a spline. It sounds like what you might have is the type that originally had a leather panel?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 12:07PM
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You could drill holes around the edge of the seat for cane...but do a little research first to see that the chair you have is not one meant for a slip seat.
Weaving a cane seat is certainly not rocket science....but tedious...very tedious! It requires the caner to lean over the chair at an uncomfortable angle, the cane cuts your fingers as you pull it through the weave....but it's certainly not difficult to do.....just takes some time.
The prewoven is much quicker to do but requires you to be sure the seat is evenly positioned and that the tension is even before you pound it into the groove...but you can complete a seat in less than an hour.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 10:51PM
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I have caned chairs for years--if you can weave, you can cane a chair. Cane comes in different widths, the larger the chair, the wider the cane. The width of the cane you use is determined by the size of the holes. There are several good books around that are good references.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 10:22PM
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Hi there!

It's hard to tell from your description of the chair you have, whether it was once intented to have cane webbing or machine woven cane in it or not. Is there a big hole in the center with a routed out groove around the inside framework of the seat? Perhaps that groove still has a piece of spline or something that looks like wood in it? If your chair was never intended to have spline cane, cane webbing or machine woven cane in it, then you probably should look around for that type of chair or one that already has the holes drilled around the perimeter to do the traditional hand or strand caning. If you are an expert at woodworking, it is possible sometimes to convert a formerly upholstered chair seat into either a hole-to-hole cane seat or a machine woven cane webbing seat, but it's difficult. You would be much better off buying a chair that was intended to be caned, using either of the two above mentioned varieties. You can find out a lot more information through our chair caning group and eventually your wife just may even want to join our group, The SeatWeavers' Guild. Good Luck and Happy Weaving!


Here is a link that might be useful: The SeatWeavers' Guild

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 11:08PM
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