This paper rush seat weaving tip is about how to begin weaving and “square up” the seat. We will discuss using any of three methods to attach rush strands in the gussets on a trapezoidal (wider in the front than in the back) chair seat.
Measure to “square up” the seat
First, measure the distance between the back rail between the corner posts or blocks. Then do the same on the front rail. With a trapezoidal chair seat, the front rail will be wider than the back.
After you’ve measured the front and back rails to decide how many inches of difference you have between the two, mark that difference on the front rail. So, if the back rail is 12″ and the front rail is 16″, make your marks 2″ out from the right and left corner posts or blocks.
Then you will know how many inches of “short rows” or strands you will need in the front gussets or pockets to “square up” the seat.
Determine best way to attach rush strands to rails
The next step is to decide how to attach the strands to the rails:
- Tack each short row or strand on both inside rails
- Tack only the left side at “foldover” point on inside rail
- Use cable ties on one or both inside rails
#1. Attach short rows with upholstery tacks
In the past, the usual method to attach these “short row” strands to the rails was to nail or tack each individual strand to the inside left and right rails, both at the beginning and end of the strands.
This results in damage to the wooden rails, especially if the seat has been replaced several times. The more replacement seats, the more nails or tacks are pounded into the rails.
#2. Fold rush and attach only on left inside rail
Many times during my 40+ years in the chair seat weaving profession, I’ve run across a simple, better method. With this method, you fold each strand in half and attach the rush at the fold, to the rail with only one tack or nail.
Of course, even with this doubling up method, you still have to end each strand on the right side rail with an individual upholstery tack. So even this way is not preventing all nail holes, only reducing the quantity of them.
I’ve practiced this paper rush seat weaving tip for many years, but then when zip ties or cable ties became so popular, I switched techniques again.
#3. Use cable ties or zip ties to attach short rows
Using cable ties or zip ties when you attach the gusset strands or short rows to “square up” your trapezoidal rush seats, results in no nail holes at all. Isn’t that wonderful?
Please make sure to leave the little connection tab to the inside of the seat, where it won’t be visible.
Then on the right side where you end the strands, just use a cable tie again or use a spring clamp to hold in place.
#4. Begin weaving around all four corners
Once you have all the short rows in place and filled in, and the back rail is the same length as the front rail, you are ready to weave around all four corners.
Note that each time you weave around the front corners where the short rows are, they will help secure the short rows in place.
Then eventually, after the other rows of weaving are holding in all the beginning and ending strands, you can remove the cable ties or spring clamps. Friction will keep all the strands in place and they won’t pull out.
If you’d like, you can leave the cable tie at the beginning as I’ve done in the photo below, or you can snip it off after the other weaving is holding those strands in place.
Well, hope you find this paper rush seat weaving tip helpful and will use it to speed up and improve your seat weaving skills.
What has your experience been with starting a paper rush seat? Please leave a comment below!
Until next time…