How Do I Cane a Chair

A lot of wooden chairs are transformed into cane chairs that make use of cane for the seat cover and the back cover. Sometimes, the cane is also used as a decorative accent for other parts of the chair. While creating a cane chair may seem complicated and challenging, it is actually easy with just a little practice. Here’s how you can cane a chair.

Cane type and material. First, you need to know the various types of cane and cane materials that are used for caning chairs. Some chairs are created so that it will be used with cane sheets. These chairs are usually from the 1860s onwards. Cane sheets are sheets that have cane strands already woven into sheets through a machine. This makes it easier for furniture makers to cane chairs, since the cane sheets will only need to be attached to the frame of the chair. There are also strand canes that are made from a wide variety of materials ranging from rush, leather, wood, and sea grass. Strand canes are usually made of rattan, however.

Sheet cane
. To apply sheet cane, you need to clean the chair frame. If the chair had been caned with sheets before, you need in removing the residue of sheet cane from the chair frame. Because glue is used to attach the sheet cane, use a utility knife to scrape away the pieces of sheet cane that is still attached to the chair. Next, place the sheet cane in warm water for at least four hours to soften the sheet. Use spline to force the sheets into the chair’s grooves. Make sure that splines are also used to keep the sheets in place, both at front, in the middle, and on the edges of the chair grooves. Be sure that the sheet canes you are using are several inches bigger than the chair. Use the utility knife to trim the sheet after attaching it. Once the chair is trimmed, use strong wood glue to keep the sheets in place.

Weaving. If you will weave cane strands, you need to determine first the type of weave pattern to use. There are many to choose from, and experts will even create their own weaves sometimes. For beginners, however, start with simple weave patterns. As you learn more about weaving, you can try more complicated styles.

Double grid
. The most important factor to consider when weaving a cane chair is the positioning of the strands. Be sure that the shiny side of the strands are facing the front of the chair, and that the grooves in the rattan strands are being woven in a single direction. Otherwise, the snags in the rattan will create a rough pattern. To start the weave, place the strand in the hole in the front near the center. Use a peg to keep it in place. Stretch the thread and then loop it onto the next hole. Again, use pegs to keep the threads in place. Do this until the entire chair is covered then add a diagonal weave to create a double grid pattern. Use binders to lock the weave in place.

With these steps, you should be able to cane a chair easily. Once you have mastered the basics of attaching the sheet cane or threading the strand canes, you can move on to creating more complex weave patterns.


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