Three chair caning design samples

Here are three different types of woven chair seats I did a while ago for clients that I think you might enjoy seeing.

Are you familiar with all of these three chair caning design samples?

See if you recognize them and name the weaving technique, too, just for fun.

rustic hickory rocker
Unmarked rustic hickory rocker with binder cane seat

#1. This first cane chair seat is a wide binding cane seat on an unmarked hickory frame rustic rocker.

I think it’s either an Old Hickory rocker, an Indiana Chair Company rocker, or a copy from another chair manufacturer of the time.

This rocker was most likely made in the 1920s or 1930s.

To be absolutely certain of its origin though, we’d need to see the manufacturer’s label.

There wasn’t a label anywhere on the piece, but nevertheless, isn’t she a beauty?

Back of a rustic hickory rocker with wide binding cane seat.
Back rustic hickory rocker with wide binding cane seat

On a wide binding chair caning design sample, the individual strands of cane are woven in a three-over, three-under twill pattern.

The pattern continues over the rails and is woven in a four-over, four-under twill on the bottom.

This larger pattern is faster to weave than weaving the smaller twill and since no one sees it, most weavers choose the larger pattern on the bottom.

By weaving on both the top, bottom and around the rails, the weaving pattern creates an empty pocket.

So, sometimes to take the pressure off the cane when someone sits in it, the weaver will decide to pad the inside pocket with the addition of a piece of foam to fit the seat.

Adding the foam square to the inside of the seat is usually reserved for only indoor furniture, however.

Wide binding cane (6MM) rustic chair seat on hickory frame rocker.
Wide binding cane seat on rustic hickory rocker

#2. Chair number two was a spline cane, machine-woven, pressed cane or cane webbing seat on a simple desk chair.

The spline cane chair on the left in the picture below has a routed-out channel on the top side of the seat. A sheet of machine-woven cane webbing is tamped down into the channel. Then it’s held in place with white glue or hide glue and a “V” shaped piece of rattan reed “spline”.

Because of all these various terms for the materials, this type of cane chair is referred to by many names and is sometimes very confusing.

So, what do you call this kind of chair seat weaving; “spline cane”, “cane webbing”, “machine-woven” or “pressed cane”?

Spline cane or cane webbing seat on the left and hand caning or hole-to-hole caning on the right.
Spline cane or cane webbing on the left, hand caning or hole-to-hole on the right.

#3. The third and final piece in our chair caning design sample is the traditional, hole-to-hole, strand cane, sometimes called, “lace” caning.

The chair on the right in the photo above is a hole-to-hole cane chair seat.

It’s called that because there are holes drilled around the perimeter of the wooden chair frame, going completely through the wood.

This is where the strands of cane are individually woven in a 7-step pattern going from one hole to the next, from hole to hole.

The first three steps of weaving, front to back and side to side, establish the foundation of the pattern. Then the fourth step begins the actual weaving.

Steps five and six are the diagonals; they go both from lower left to upper right and from lower right to the upper left.

The seventh and final step of the weaving is “sewing” the binder cord on the top side to cover the holes, giving the seat a nice and finished look. As a result, establishing the distinctive open-weave, hexagonal design we all know and love.

Well, how did you do on identifying the various chair caning design samples?

Were you able to correctly identify all three?

Please let me know in the comments below. And be sure to also take a look at the Weaving Basics Articles to learn about caring for your cane furniture and get more helpful hints and tips!

~~Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much ~~


Until next time, Happy Weaving!

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2 thoughts on “Three chair caning design samples”

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      Victoria it really depends on what kind of chair frame you have and what materials you need/want to apply to that frame. If you have a post-and-rail chair frame with a trapezoid seat (wider in the front than in the back), a simple 3×3 twill using 1/2″ flat reed would be the best to start out with. Then you can move on to the more complicated paper rush patterns, and even checkerboard seagrass on the post-and-rail frames. And if you have the type of cane chair with the groove around the top of the seat, the only type of weaving that can and should be used in that one is sheet cane or cane webbing. If you have the holes drilled through the frame of the chair seat, then the 7-step method of hand-caning would be the simplest pattern. Hope that answers your question. Have fun trying out the different patterns and weaving materials, the sky is the limit!

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