Weaving Cane, Rattan, Danish Cord, Fibre Rush, Shaker Tape & Seagrass

Caning Calgary Specialty Weaving 
Since 1986     

Save Your Woven Treasure

FAQ - Cane, Danish Cord, Fibre Rush, Shaker Tape & Seagrass

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Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

What kind of woven chair do I have?

Backside of Hand Caned Chair Showing Holes

Is my woven chair hand caned?

Hand Cane - Traditional Seven Step Hand Caning (with drilled holes)

Holes are drilled around the perimeter of the chair frame and individual strands of cane are hand woven through the series of drilled holes.  If you look at the underside of the chair seat or the back of the chair you can see the cane woven through the holes. The photo on the left shows the back of a hand caned rocking chair and the photo on the right shows me finishing off weaving the back of a handed caned rocking chair before I complete the binding cane around the outside edge of the cane. 

hand caned curved chair
Pre woven cane chair showing spline

Is my woven chair pre woven and cane?

Pre Woven Cane 

Pre-woven sheet cane is set into a routed out groove on the top side of chair, held in place with a reed spline, no holes drilled in framework. The photo on the right shows the grove in a chair where the cane has been cleaned out and the photo on the left shows a pre woven cane chair after the new cane has been installed. Pre-woven cane comes in many different patterns and gauges. 

Pre woven cane chair showing grove
Backside of blind/French caned settee; no holes

If there are holes on the front of my caned chair why can't I see them on the other side?

Blind Hand Cane / French Cane

Blind Caning / French Caning is when the holes of a hand caned chair do not go all the way through the chair frame. Each individual strand of cane is cut to size, woven and then glued into the holes. Holes are then pegged to provide the finished piece. 

Blind Caned Double Sided Cane Settee

Why is there cane on both sides of my chair?

Double Sided Cane

Double Sided Caning is when both sides of the chair frame is caned. Double caned surfaces are also usually blind caned as well. 

Hand caned hanging medallion woven in sunshine pattern

Why does my cane chair look different then other chairs?

Hand Caned Hanging Medallion with Sunshine Pattern

Hanging medallions can be woven in a sunrise pattern or using the seven step hand cane method. 

Danish cord woven chair

Is my chair woven with Danish cord?

Danish paper cord is the material used to weave typical seats and backs found in many Danish, Scandinavian, and Mid Century Modern furniture designs. It is a very strong 3-ply fibre / fiber product and the weaving typically incorporates wrapping or rushing style weaving. The photo on the left shows the typical danish cord chair. If you turn the chair upside down you should see L-hooks where the material attaches like in the photo to the right. Some chairs have been woven and held in place with staples which as you can imagine is a whole lot of work to remove. There are extra charges associated with installing nails or hooks to replace the Danish cord material. The photo on the right shows a Danish chair woven in the rush pattern. Many of these chairs have slots where the material is woven through like the one at the top of this chair. 

Danish cord showing "L" nails
Danish Cord Wingback Chair Woven in Rush Pattern
Fibre rush woven seat panel

Is my woven chair fibre rush?

Fibre Rush / Fiber Reed

Fibre rush is a very durable one ply, twisted paper made to resemble real twisted bull rushes.

Stool woven with seagrass
What kind of grass is on my woven chair?

A seagrass seat has a cord like material made from twisted grass found on the coastlines of China. The seagrass is wrapped around the four dowels framing the square of a seat creating different patterns.
Laurie Blake Hand Caning an antique chair seat
How do you set your pricing for weaving chairs?

I haven't changed weaving rates for over ten years. I charge what I believe is a fair price, for quality workmanship, in a timely manner just like my website says. I keep my prices as they are so that repairing woven pieces is attainable for hopefully anyone. 

What are other names for cane chairs?

Sometimes people refer to cane as rattan or wicker.

Other names used for hand caning include strand cane, lace caning, traditional caning, hole to hole caning and natural strand caning.

Other names for Pre woven cane include cane webbing, pressed cane, pressed-in cane, machine cane, sheet cane and spline cane.

What is Cane?

Cane is the term for the material that comes from the outer skin of the rattan stalk. Rattan is a climbing vine-like plant native to Asia and Africa, it is most commonly found in Indonesia. Rattan grows in strong, solid stalks and can grow hundreds of feet high. Cane is the skin of the rattan plant, it is durable and flexible, the top of cane is glossy and non-porous. The back of cane is the porus side. The material is called cane, the process of weaving cane is called caning, and the finished product is called caned furniture. Some people refer to cane as rattan or wicker. Regardless of what you call cane the finished product is lovely. 

How do I clean cane?

Cane can be cleaned using a wood soap; an example being Murphy's Oil Soap and a soft cloth. Do not use the chair for two days to let the cane fully dry.

How do I stain cane?

Cane doesn't need to be sealed or stained as it will naturally colour with age. If you choose to stain the cane use an oil based stain on the top side of the cane not the porous bottom of the cane. The bottom-side is used to oil your cane to regain moisture. Caning Calgary would be happy to provide contact details for the businesses we know within Calgary. 

How do I oil or moisturize cane? 

Oil the cane on your furniture once or twice a year using a lemon or teak oil. Apply the oil to the bottom porus side of the cane and wipe off the excess after 15 minutes. 

How do I fix sagging cane?

Cane stretches when you sit on it which allows for the stress of even weight distribution. Over time the stretch will sag.  When the cane loses its ability to stretch it will begin to break along the chair from or within the sag. You can extend the life of your cane furniture by wetting the underside of the chair with a warm wet towel and then letting it dry to tighten the sag. Do not use the chair for two days to let it fully dry and tighten. 

Why is my caned chair breaking at the edge?

The inside edge of  cane furniture is often a sharp 90 degree angle and can damage or cut the cane material with time and use. This sharp inside can be smoothed to prevent this type of damage to the cane material prior to re-caning. 

How do I make my caned furniture last longer?

Avoid putting cane furniture in hot, dry or sunny rooms. Also avoid putting cane furniture near heat vents as it will dry out the cane and make it brittle. 

Never stand on a cane chair. Cane is extremely strong when weight is evenly distributed across the surface. 

Clean and oil the cane as required.

How do I clean Danish cord furniture?

How to Clean Danish Paper Cord with Soap Flakes (Try at your own risk as Danish Cord is Paper)

1. Pour boiling water over soap flakes. Make sure all flakes are completely dissolved
2. Allow mixture to cool slightly
3. While water is warm, use a soft cloth to gently wipe the paper cord. Do not get the seat too wet
4. Allow to dry and then repeat if necessary

How do I protect Danish cord?

Some people spray a scotch guard on the Danish cord surfaces to stop stains from absorbing. If something spills on the Danish cord use a damp cloth to clean the spill as soon as possible. Vacuuming once in a while is always a good practice. 

My Danish cord chair is breaking at the front and back edges can you fix the broken pieces?

The front and back runs of Danish cord tend to be breaking points of this type of furniture after long term use. Once these pieces of material break it is time to replace the full Danish cord surface. 

How do I clean fibre rush furniture?

On a regular basis use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean dirt and dust from the fibre rush seat. Use the brush attachment gently to clean in between the strands of fibre rush. 

Try to clean built up dirt by scratching the dirt from the surface carefully not to damage the fibre rush material. 

Never use water to clean fibre rush as it is a made from twisted paper. 

How do I shipped woven chairs for repair?

Most dining room chair seats or backs are removed by removing four screws, which screw up through a bottom or side of the frame and into the seat or back frame. Most chair seats or backs are not glued, and can be removed by tapping it with a mallet, once the screws have been removed. See Caning Calgary's shipping page for more details.

Do you offer chair weaving classes or instruction?

No I don't. Way back in 1986 when my mother taught my how to cane chairs she made me promise that I would only teach family my craft. I can't say why she made this request; she had her reasons and it was her skill. Regardless of what her reasons where I gave my word and my word is good. 

Caning Calgary Contacts 
 Mid Century Restoration