Let’s do a review here of the variety of ways to begin “squaring up” a trapezoidal seat before I show you the fourth method to start a paper rush seat, OK?

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#1–Standard Way-Use Upholstery Tacks

The most common way to start a paper rush seat is to use galvanized upholstery tacks to secure the gusset strands to the side rails. Strands start on the left rail and all get a tack in the end on the right rail. (Forgive that pun!)

This method can severely damage the chair rails, especially after many replaced seats if every weaver uses this method.

Paper rush gussets tacked to side rail

Paper rush “short row” gussets tacked to rails, both beginning and ending strands


#2–Alternative Start Using Cable Ties

Another way to start the paper rush strands in the gussets is to secure them individually to the side rails using nylon cable ties.

Paper rush start using cable ties only

Paper rush start using cable ties only on both side rails


#3–Alternative Start Using Cable Ties
on Left Rail Only

This third way of starting the paper rush strands in the gussets uses nylon cable ties only on the left rail. And the strands are doubled and folded over so one cable tie secures all the strands.

A spring clamp holds the ends until later on when the clamp can be removed. Then the tension of the horizontal woven strands will keep the end strands in place without the spring clamp.

Paper rush weaving start using cable ties

Rush start using cable ties only at the beginning of the strands. Spring clamp holds the ends


#4–Alternative Paper Rush Start Using the
“No-Damage-Side-Rails” Technique

As promised, here’s the fourth and final (until I discover another), way to start weaving the gussets strands of a paper fibre rush chair seat.

All these processes and steps are called, “squaring up the seat,” which is what you have to do to a trapezoidal seat before you can weave around all four corners evenly.

first paper rush strand using no-damage-rails technique

Joining paper rush strand using “no-damage-rails” hog ring technique


I’ve coined the phrase, “no-damage-side-rails,” for this technique because there’s no need to use tacks or anything else on the rails to start the paper rush gusset weaving.

Steps for the 4th Way to Start a Paper Rush Seat

Use this terrific starting method with hog ring clips and hog ring pliers on any antique chair and/or chairs with rails already peppered with tack and nail holes that you don’t want to damage further.

paper rush hog ring pliers and clips

Hog ring pliers and clips for joining paper rush strands


  • Just tie a bit of jute or string in a circle around the back rail, one on each side
  • Measure the length of rush needed to go around the two front rails and cut to length
  • Start on left side by looping the rush end over string, pull down a bit and attach end to weaving strand with hog ring
  • Weave rush around both corners in pattern sequence
  • Secure end on the right the same way as you did on the left
  • Take the folded over rush strand through the jute circle and then attach the end to the weaver strand using the hog rings
  • Continue in this manner until side gussets are filled and front and back rails are equal measurements


paper rush start "no-damage side rails"

Jute and hog ring application


Left rail ending paper rush weaving using the "No-damage side rail" technique

Left rail ending paper rush weaving using the “No-damage side rail” technique


First paper rush strand completed using no-damage-rails technique

First paper rush strand completed using “no-damage-rails” technique

Then too, you can double the length of the strands, looping the centers through the jute circle. Then you won’t need the hog rings on the left at all, only on the right to secure the ends.

All the bulkiness of the starts and ends will be absorbed within the gussets and will be covered up by the weaving throughout the remaining part of the seat.

Stuff and pad as usual with cardboard triangles in the gussets both on the top and bottom of the seat.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little series on how to start a paper fibre rush chair seat. Do you have any alternative ways you’d like to share with us? Please leave a comment below!

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