Mosden's
Antique Restoration and Chair Caning
Fort Bragg, California
Established 1970

Seat Weaving



Chair caning began in China around 5000 BC. Strips of bamboo were originally used to cover the chair seats. Over the years, numerous methods and materials have been developed, some uniquely American. Modern cane comes from the hard outer bark of the Rattan palm. All chairs should be in fine repair and have their final finish before beginning the weaving.

Seven Step Hand Caning

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Press Caning, also known as Prewoven Caning

With the advent of the machine age, pre-woven cane became prevalent. A groove around the edge of the seat contains the edges of the cane, held in place by glue and a reed spline. The hardest part of this type of caning is removing the old seat.
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Flat Reed

The American Indian first used ash splint to weave baskets. The ash splint then was used for chair seats, and became an authentic American folk craft. There are still folk artists who weave both baskets and chair seats with ash they have harvested and cut themselves. Due to the time consuming difficulty of harvesting, the price for commercially produced ash is extremely high. Flat reed, again a product of the Far East, is commonly used for these seats. Look for chairs that have rungs at the seat instead of flat wood. These chairs can be woven with flat reed, rush, or Shaker tape.
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Rushing

Rush is somewhat of a misnomer. Don't be in a Rush to do it as it is one of the slowest forms of caning, second only to the hand woven cane methods. Plan on using a lot of muscle if you want a rush seat. There is a lot of pulling and tugging involved. The original rush materials were the leaves of cattails. They were harvested in the fall, dried, rolled, and woven into durable seats. The modern, most available material is paper rush. Made of kraft paper, it comes in 2 lb. rolls, usually enough to do one seat.
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Shaker Tape

This type of seat originated with the Shakers. The cloth tape comes in a variety of colors. Shaker tape is easy to weave, but is the most expensive of the methods. A one inch foam pad the size of the seat and a needle and matching thread are needed in addition to the tape.
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Rawhide Weave

Rawhide woven chairs are typically done on Mule Back chairs often used in schools and churches of the early 1900's
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A Passion for Excellence, A Lifetime of Service Since 1970

©2020 Kit Mosden
Mosden's Antique Restoration & Chair Caning
Fort Bragg CA 95437