Who doesn’t love the look of a beautifully cane-backed chair? Whether you intend to use it indoors or outdoors, this classic piece of furniture is a timeless design that adds character to any space.
But hey…before you get all the looks and oohs-and-ahhs of cane chairs, it pays to know the different types available. Once you get this knowledge under your belt, you can pick the perfect cane seat to suit your needs and space.
So buckle up, and let’s explore the different types of chair caning! But as usual, we begin with the basics.
- Pre-woven cane webbing, strand cane, and fiber rush material are the three popular types of chair caning.
- Pre-woven cane webbing is the easiest and simplest to install as the piece comes ready to be used.
- Strand cane is the ideal go-to if you’re looking for a traditional and more unique feel to your chair.
- Fiber rush material is the perfect option if you’re aiming for a relaxed and casual appearance.
What Is Chair Caning?
Perhaps you’re new to the caning scene and don’t really know what it is.
Well, we all begin somewhere, don’t we?
And to keep define it in the most straightforward terms, chair caning is a weaving technique that produces intricate patterns and designs in chairs. It’s quite similar to basket weaving, but with furniture!
It’s usually done by hand, and it takes skill, patience, and practice to get it right.
So boy, if you’re feeling brave, you might want to take it on as a DIY project!
The art of caning a chair seat began in 17th-century Europe and quickly became popular. It’s now a classic element of traditional design in many parts of the world.
And that’s it for the basics!
Now that you know what caning is, we’re sallying forth with the types!
Off we go…
Also Read: Why Are Egg Chairs So Expensive?
Types Of Chair Caning
If you intend to bring a touch of cane furniture into your home, these are the types of chair caning you should know:
- Pre-woven cane webbing
- Strand cane
- Fiber rush material
Wondering what these are?
Have no fear!
We’re here to explain them all!
Pre-woven Cane Webbing
Perhaps you haven’t heard of this type of caning before.
Well, it’s a good one, to begin with!
But how about press cane, sheet cane, or even machine-weaved cane?
Does any of these terms sound familiar?
If yes, then you guessed it – pre-woven cane webbing is all of these.
Yes, all of these are other names for the very same thing.
As the name suggests, these are pre-made and ready to be installed directly onto the chair frame.
The strands are tied together in a mesh to form a webbing, and they’re usually made of paper fibers or other materials like rattan.
In this case, the installation process is straightforward, and you can usually do it yourself.
In fact, many people use this caning type as a go-to for DIY projects since it’s easy to install and replace.
Well, that’s not to say that other types of caning are too difficult. It’s just that this type is the easiest type to use and gives you the best results.
In this case, you only need to fit the pre-woven piece into your chair’s frame and use glue to hold it in place.
Of course, you must first soak the pre-woven cane webbing in water for about 20 minutes to make it flexible before installing it.
While you can use it for the back of chairs, pre-woven cane webbing is usually used for chair seats.
It won’t need the back-and-forth running of horizontal and vertical strands that are typical for more intricate caning designs.
- Easier to install
- Gives good results
- Takes less time to install
- More expensive than other types of caning
- Not as durable in comparison to others.
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If you’re looking for a more traditional approach to caning a chair, then strand cane is the way to go.
Now, here’s where things get a bit more complicated.
But fret not!
I’ll explain it all!
This type of chair seat caning is much different from the previous one we’ve discussed!
Strand cane is hand woven and requires skill, patience, and practice to get it right.
Again, as with the machine-woven variety, you must soak the cane in water for about 15 minutes. That will keep it from breaking during installation and make it even easier to work with.
Of course, since you’re doing all the weaving here, the hand-caning process is more time-consuming than the pre-woven variety.
But then again, if you’re up for a challenge, this might be your best bet.
Here’s how to go about it…
Begin by identifying the center holes of your chair. Some seats will have one center hole, while others will have two.
Whether your seat has one or two center holes, mark the exact center and make sure it’s accurately marked.
You can use pegs for that and ensure that you pick center holes at both sides – one at the front and the other one at the back.
Once you’ve done the marking, insert the first strand through the center hole at the back of the chair, allowing at least 3 inches of the cord to go under the chair.
Then, secure the cord with a peg. You can then run the strand to the center hole at the front.
If your chair has two center holes, don’t worry!
You can either work with the right or the left one.
But then, if you choose the left hole in the back, use the left hole in the front. The goal is to ensure you get a perfect straight canning line.
Then, loop the strand around the center peg, switch to the next hole in the front, and run the strand to the corresponding hole in the back.
And that’s how you start your strand caning journey.
You have to keep doing the back-and-forth weaving until you’ve covered all the holes drilled in the front and back side of your chair. A caning awl or a bodkin can come in handy here. They’re all easy to use and will save time.
Repeat the procedure, but this time, working perpendicularly to the foundation layer you laid.
Continue until you achieve the desired shape and finish.
You may consider adding two diagonal cane rows for extra stability and support.
- The more traditional and unique look
- Harder to install
- Requires more time and skill to install
Fiber Rush Material
Fiber rush material is a type of caning that’s made from synthetic materials, such as paper yarn or plastic.
It’s perfect for those who want a more casual look and feel for their chair.
It’s also great if you’re tackling a tricky chair frame, as it easily slides into the chair’s curves.
Fiber rush material is installed by wrapping strands of the material around the chair frame in a spiral pattern, beginning from the bottom and working your way up.
Once you’re done wrapping, secure the material with a knot or another suitable fastener and then trim the edges.
And voila! You’ve got yourself a caned chair with an exciting yet easy-to-achieve texture.
- Simple and easy to install
- It gives a relaxed look.
- Available in different colors and textures
- Not as durable as other caning types
- Not suitable for intricate chair frames.
And that’s it! As you can see, various chair caning types are available, depending on your preference.
Whether you’re looking for an easy-to-install option or a more traditional approach, you’ll be sure to find a caning solution that suits your needs and style.