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 with a tack and all get a tack at the end on the right rail.
This method can severely damage the chair rails, especially after many replaced seats if every weaver uses this method.
#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.
If you can find the cable ties in a clear or opaque color it would be best to use those instead of black.
But since I only had the black ties in my shop at the time, I used what I had.
However, I was careful to make sure the black ties were well covered so they didn’t show through the strands of rush on the sides.
#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.
All the short gusset strands are doubled and folded over so one cable tie secures all the strands.
A spring clamp holds the ends on the right rail 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.
#4–Alternative 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.
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.
- 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
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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Happy Weaving Until Next Time!