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Specialty Handwoven Cane, Pre-Woven Cane, and Rattan Furniture Repair

Caning is a method of weaving chair seats, backs, and other furniture, whether the piece is new or the weaving is being restored with material derived from the rattan plant.

Many of the seats, backs, and shelves can be removed and mailed to Caning Canada for caning. Check out our shipping page for more information.

The rattan vine is native to Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia.  The vines typically grow 100 to 300 ft in length.

Before export, the rattan stems are cut to uniform lengths, and the bark is removed in narrow strips. The rattan vine looks similar to bamboo. Rattan is a solid flexible vine which needs support, whereas bamboo is hollow and holds itself upright.

Some folks confuse furniture or chair caning with wickerwork. To clarify, chair caning is the craft of applying rattan cane or rattan peel to a piece of furniture, such as the backs or seats of chairs. Wicker or wickerwork is the craft of weaving materials such as natural willow or rattan reeds and other man-made and paper-based cords like Danish cord or Fibre rush.

Cane is durable and typically left in its natural state and will colour beautifully as it ages.

Cane is a beautiful eco-friendly material, providing a light and airy feel for a room while still being modern and stylish.

Cane is traditionally woven into different webbed patterns utilizing various weaving methods, as detailed below.

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Hand Cane - Traditional Seven-Step Hand Caning 

(with drilled holes)

Handwoven cane

Holes are drilled around the perimeter of the chair frame, and individual strands of cane are hand woven through the series of drilled holes.

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

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Pre-Woven Cane

Pre-woven cane

Pre-woven sheet cane is set into a routed groove on the top side of the chair, held in place with a reed spline, with no holes drilled in the framework.

Pre-woven cane is also referred to as cane webbing, pressed-in cane, machine cane, sheet cane, and spline cane.

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Binding Cane or Rattan

Binding cane or rattan is used to weave Danish midcentury modern furniture.

We need a photo of your binding cane piece to provide an estimate, as we need to estimate the amount of material required, the attachment technique, and the weaving method. 

Binding cane or rattan weaving
Binding cane or rattan weaving
Binding cane or rattan weaving

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Riempie Chairs

Riempie Chairs

Riempie chairs can be traced back to the traditional 17th-century Dutch, Flemish, and English chairs.

Riempies or readily available leather straps were used in place of cane or reed strips which had to be imported.

Now I don't do leatherwork. However, I have found that weaving the Riempie chairs with two different gauges of cane provides a clean, textured, yet beautifully finished seat that is well suited to the chairs. 

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Hanging Medallions Woven in Cane Sunshine Pattern

Cane woven in sunshine pattern

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

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Rising Sun Cane Pattern

Cane woven in raising sun pattern

The rising sun pattern forms a sun ray with tight holes at the bottom and wider-spaced holes along the sides and top of the ray.

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Setting Sun Cane Pattern

Cane woven in sunsrt pattern

The setting sun pattern forms a sun ray with tight holes at the top and the sides of the ray and wider spaced holes at the bottom. 

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Blind Cane / French Cane

Blind or French caning

Blind Caning / French Caning is when the holes of a hand-caned chair do not go through the chair frame. Each strand of cane is cut to size, woven, and then glued into the individual holes. 

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

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Cane Furniture Care & Use

Cane woven in sunshine pattern

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

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

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.

The 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.

The 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 retain moisture.