Chair Caning Tip — Cathryn’s No Knot Tying System!

Ever since I began caning chairs way back in the 1970s, I have never tied knots on the bottom of the cane chair seats. I stumbled across a chair from the late 1880s that had been done in this manner and figured out how they did it without tying knots. This type of weaving makes for a very, very neat under side of the chair seat and the only knots you might end up with are the ones from the binder when you run out an have to add new lengths.

Here’s my process: Let the tail hang down from the hole about three inches, then when you come through that hole again with another strand, you can pick up that tail with your weaving strand and bring the end up as you go into the next hole.

This is what I call “sandwiching” the tail between the weaving strand and the bottom side of the chair frame and also taking it a bit into the hole. The tail in this case, will always be pointing upward into the hole.

Or if the hole size is small and getting crowded, then I will stop it just back a bit from going into the hole, “sandwiched” up next to the bottom wood frame. You can even pull the end of the old tail completely through the hole to the top side and then cut off if you like. But be very careful when making the cut, so you don’t damage any of the other strands in the hole, or cut the wrong one by mistake!

Sometimes the binder cord is the strand that catches all the very last stragglers, but most of the time I can get them with the diagonal strands.

blankThis only works though, when you have a tail hanging down from a hole and you are going downward into that same hole then into the one right next to it.

For example if you are coming down into a hole that does not have a tail, but the tail is in the next hole and you want to go into that one from the bottom, it won’t work. The two ends are going in the opposite direction and will be fighting against each other.

Here’s a picture of the completed chair bottom–sans knots!

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