Expert Chair Caning Repair
The Rattan Palm, the source of cane
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT CHAIR CANING:
“Caning” has come to be the general term for many types of seat weaving including Fiber & Natural Rush, Machine & Hand-Woven Cane, Seagrass & Danish Cord, Hickory or Oak Splint/Split Weaving, Shaker Tape, and even rawhide woven seats. Footstools, barstools, chairs, rocking chairs, canoe seats, headboards, cabinets, guitar amps, even decorations on ceiling fans have cane designs.
Cane is derived from the rattan palm, a relative of bamboo. The “top” side of a strand of cane is naturally smooth and silica coated; the “back” raw side is actually the cellulose fibers of the plant. It is native to Africa and Asia. Caning that most folks are used to seeing has small hexagonal holes in the seat
Chair Caning has always been a global trade. Rattan came over with the tea & spice trade and quickly replaced clunky upholstered European furniture. Woven seats were abundant in England and France in the 1700’s, then had a renaissance in the early 20th centry with the Bauhaus movement of modern architecture and classic Mid-Century Modern design. This chair is in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Cane, wicker, and rush are used on newer manufactured imports and are classic porch furniture, despite the problems that weather causes them! Many contemporary chair designers use bark, Shaker tape, and cane on their chairs.
As a general rule, cane needs to be kept indoors away from direct sunlight and heat vents. Rush and hickory splint chairs can be treated with shellac or tung oil to prolong their lives and to protect against stains.