WEDNESDAY WICKER WISDOM– Use wooden tension rods when setting up the warp on a binder cane seat


Porch cane or wide binding cane chair with woven seat and back

Have you ever been weaving a binder cane or porch cane seat and gotten to the last few rows and found that it’s nearly impossible to get those rows finished because the weaving is so tight? Want to throw up your hands in disgust and you are frustrated beyond belief?

Or maybe a binder cord chair has come in for repairs and its front seat dowel is so bowed (or it’s broken), that it needs to be replaced? Have you ever seen the back of a porch cane rocker that has the sidebars so bowed that it looks lopsided and strange, contorted all out of proper shape?

Well, here’s the answer that will solve all your problems weaving that porch cane chair seat or back! Use a round tension rod wooden dowel when you set up your warp or foundation strands!.

round dowel cane tension rod

1/2" round wooden dowel for binder cane tension rod

Put the wooden dowel rod (that you can purchase from any hardware store or big box store), horizontally across the seat before beginning to weave. Depending on how tight a weaver you are, you might want to use two rods that are a smaller dimension, instead of just the one, attach on each side using twist ties. Experiment on a few footstools before actually working on a customer’s chair though, to get your tension right.

wooden dowel caning tension rods

Using two 3/8" wooden dowel caning tension rods

Then just begin setting up your warp or foundation strands from back to front, taking care that you are going OVER the tension rod each time.

tension rod cane setting the warp

Setting the warp cane strands over the tension rod and seat framework

Make sure to pull the cane strands taught, but not tight as you go around the tension rod and the seat framework. Keep the tension the same each time, otherwise you will have bulges and inconsistent lumpy seat.

tension rod setting cane warp

Binder cane warp is almost complete, weaving around tension rods

When you have woven about half way through the seat with the horizontal strands then you can pull out those tension rods, because they have served their purpose by giving you ample slack to finish weaving those last few rows without problems!

wide binding cane last rows

Weaving the last few rows on the bottom of wide binding cane stool

And now you can enjoy your completed wide binding cane chair or footstool, without pulling out all your hair during the weaving process! What method do you use to make the weaving easier on a similar porch cane chair seat? Please leave your comment below.


Footstool with diamond design in dyed wide binding cane

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