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TUESDAY TIP OF THE DAY–Today’s blog post is about a situation that new chair caners encounter frequently and it’s a question I’m asked many times during the chair caning classes I teach.

How tight is too tight when you are caning a traditional, hole-to-hole, strand cane chair seat?”

I have always set up the first four rows or steps a little on the loose side, because as you weave the diagonal steps, #5 and #6, the tension on the previous steps gets tighter. And keep in mind that the entire woven cane chair seat tightens as it dries, too.

So a good rule is to put the at least the first foundation steps in looser than tighter to allow for the change in tension when the actual weaving steps of #4, #5 and #6 are added.

Proper chair caning strand tension

Proper chair caning strand tension

Because if you put the strands in too tight, you run the risk of the cane as it dries, actually breaking the framework of the seat.

The wood will split right down the center of the drilled holes in the seat frame, causing the seat and the chair to fail. Then not only does the cane seat need to be rewoven, but the chair frame has to be screwed and glued back together.

But on the other hand, you don’t want to put weave the steps in so loose that there are loops hanging down underneath the bottom of the seat, either. So there’s a fine line there that just comes with experience and by following your teacher’s expert advice.

Good luck and let me know what experiences you’ve had with weaving hole-to-hole chair caning, either too tight or too loose. Happy Weaving!

Cathryn Peters signature

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