Three chair caning design samples

Are you familiar with these three chair caning design samples below? Did you know there were three different chair caning methods and design patterns, not just two?

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

See if you recognize them and name the weaving technique, too, just for fun. Let me know in the comments below, just how well you did on this little quiz.

rustic hickory rocker
Unmarked rustic hickory rocker with binder cane seat

#1. wide binding cane seat

I wove this wide binding cane (6MM) seat on what I believe to be an Old Hickory rocker, made by the Indiana Chair Company, or it’s a copy from another chair manufacturer of the time.

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

However, we would need to see the manufacturer’s label to be absolutely certain of its origin and age.

I couldn’t find 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 this wide-binding cane seat example, the individual strands of cane are typically woven in an over-three, under-three, (3×3) twill pattern on the top side of the seat.

The pattern continues around the rails and is woven in the same manner on the bottom using a 4×4 or 5×5 twill.

Bottom view of wide binding cane seat using a 4x4 twill weaving pattern.

This larger 4×4 pattern is faster to weave than the smaller 3×3 twill, and since it’s on the bottom of the seat and no one sees it, most weavers choose the larger pattern on the bottom. Some weavers even boost that count up to 5×5 twill pattern.

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

So, sometimes, to relieve the pressure on the cane when someone sits in it, the weaver will pad the inside pocket with a sheet of foam cut to size or use crumpled paper or Excelsior, finely spun wood shavings to pad the seat.

Adding non-waterproof padding materials to the pocket is usually reserved for furniture that is used indoors and not exposed to the weather elements.

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

#2. spline cane, machine-woven, pressed cane, cane webbing

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 the various terms for the materials, this type of cane chair is sometimes referred to by many different names and can be confusing.

So, what do you call this kind of chair seat weaving; “spline cane”, “cane webbing”, “machine-woven” or “pressed cane”? Let me know in the comment section below.

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. Traditional, hole-to-hole, strand cane, “lace” caning

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

It’s called hole-to-hole because holes are drilled around the perimeter of the wooden chair frame, completely through the wood.

Horseshoe shaped chair frame with holes drilled around perimeter to weave the cane strands through.

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

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

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

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!

What are your thoughts about this blog post?

Leave your comments below and share with your social networks!

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

Happy Weaving, until next time!

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2 thoughts on “Three chair caning design samples”

    1. 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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