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Danish Paper Cord Chair Repairs

Danish Cord Overview

Danish paper cord is a twisted paper cord that has been used to weave seats since the 1920s. 


Danish modern furniture gained popularity after World War II in Denmark and other European countries.


Mid-century and modern Danish cord chairs are woven with the standard basket weave pattern using Danish hook nails or a no-nail technique. 


The other pattern Danish cord is woven with is the traditional rushing pattern. 


Chair frames are designed to accept a specific style of weaving and gauge or size of cord and are therefore not interchangeable. 

What is Danish cord made from and what colours are available?

The Danish cord is a robust 3-ply paper product estimated to last up to 60 years with regular use and proper care. See below for Danish paper cord care and maintenance. The cord is slightly waxed to resist dirt and stains. Beige Danish cord is in its natural state, white Danish cord has been bleached, and black Danish cord has been dyed.


I have found recently that there is a heightened demand for the black Danish cord which some folks request to modernize the look of their Danish cord pieces and provide a seat material that is less likely to show staining over time. That being said the traditional beige Danish cord is beautiful as well and is more suited to some decors. 


Please scroll down to find out how to clean Danish cord and fibre rush, as well as other papercord. 

Danish Cord Hook Nails

Danish Hook Nail or "L" Nails

Danish Hook Nails or "L" Nails

These nails are referred to as Danish hook nails or "L" nails.


Danish hook nails are designed specifically for Danish paper cord woven furniture. The Danish hook nails are imported from Denmark. 


If your chair has staples or other fasteners it's okay. Caning Canada can supply and install the Danish hook nails for a small fee prior to restoring the Danish cord.


Read on for further details.

Double Rail Danish Cord Chair

The CH 23 dining chair was one of the first chairs Hans J. Wegner designed exclusively for Carl Hansen & Søn in 1950 at the age of 35.


The CH 23 chair incorporates many sophisticated details, the most notable for a seat weaver is the double-rail woven seat.


Double Danish cord has an extra step in the weaving process where the weaving wraps around two rungs and all the Danish cord material is pulled through the vertical wraps.


It's so hard to pick a favourite Danish cord chair to repair however the CH 23 is definitely top ten. 


Talk about providing a Danish cord chair with a new life. 


Just look at those beautiful chairs. 

No-Nail Danish Cord Chairs

Some mid-century modern designs do not use Danish hook nails to attach the Danish cord to the chair.


Examples are the Yugoslavian folding chair, the Hans Wegner CH 25 Lounge Chair or Easy Chair, and the Skovmand & Andersen Danish cord chair.

There are different weaving techniques and patterns used for the no-nail Danish cord weaving. Most chairs are designed to accept a specific pattern. 


Danish cord and seagrass as a material can be interchanged however the material sits differently and have a different feel to them. If your personal tastes are intrigued by exploring different materials and patterns let's chat about it. 


Caning Canada prefers the look of the no-nail Danish cord pattern for the rawhide conversions and sometimes the ladderback chairs. 


It really does amaze me how changing material or pattern on a chair modernizes it and shows a person's design taste.

Danish Cord Woven in the Rush Pattern

Some chairs are woven in the rush pattern using Danish cord material. 


Rushing pattern Danish cord mimics traditional rushing with the Danish cord material.


Often these chairs have extensive slots that the Danish cord must be fed through which makes weaving these seats more labour intensive.

Examples of this style of Danish cord chair include the CH 24 Wishbone or “Y” Chair designed by Wegner and originally released in 1949 and the Model 316 Chair by Peter Hvidt & Orla Mølgaard Nielsen for Søborg Møbelfabrik 1958.


Danish cord chair repair is very time-consuming. The variations of Danish weaves are specific to the chair style and dimensions. Another consideration is that the rushing pattern uses approximately twice as much material as a basket weave pattern.


A properly restored piece is truly beautiful.

New Cord vs. Vintage Cord

Danish Cord Furniture - Care


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.


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

Moller Chair 71 - Pleather Chair Revived to Black Danish Cord

Pleather Chair Revived to Black Danish Cord

How can I Renew my Tattered, Torn, or Worn Out Pleather, Strapped, or Upholstered Danish Chairs?

If you would like to breathe new life into your fabric, strapped, corded, or pleather upholstered Danish chairs with Danish cord, look no further as Caning Canada provides this service.


The new life service includes:


1. Removal of the upholstery or pleather and all the fasteners.


2. Supply, pre-drill of staggered and correctly spaced Danish hook nails.


3. Supply and expert weaving of the Danish cord.

Stapled Pleather

Stapled Pleather

Layers of Strapping

Layers of Strapping

Pre-Drilled, Staggered, and Correctly Spaced Hook Nails

Pre-Drilled, Staggered, and Correctly Spaced Hook Nails

What Other Fasteners are used to Attach Danish Cord to Chair Frames?

Danish Cord Fastened with Tack Nails

Danish Cord Fastened with Tack Nails

Tacked Danish Cord Chair Renewed

Tacked Chair Renewed

The Three-Strand Gardner Danish Cord Weave

How the three-strand Gardner weave came to be is best explained with a short story. 


The lovely Paul and Julie of Pentage Winery located in Penticton, BC invited Caning Canada to stay with them while we wove their set of Moller chairs. 


Paul and Julie were undecided whether they would have the chairs restored with the traditional beige Danish cord or the black Danish cord.


Julie was drawn to the traditional beige cord as it sets off the grains in the wood frames so beautifully and Paul was drawn to the black Danish cord as he wanted to extend to the longevity of the cord from 60 years to 80 years and had concerns about the seats showing stains.   Please remember that they own a winery, so his concerns are very valid. 


Their reds offer deep wonderful flavours and cards games can get intense. 


As we grew to know Paul better we learned that he has the drive to make pretty much everything around him more efficient and last longer.

David and I are open to trying new things however were very reserved about giving the three-stand Gardner a try. 

I may be a bit of a purest. 

Paul was very persistent and convinced us that if for no other reason than to prove that it could be done it should be done as the front and back rails are where the cord typically breaks over its lifetime. 


David dreamed about how the weave would be woven, the new spacing requirements of the Danish hook nails and material to produce a smooth and beautiful piece. 


If you, like Paul would like to be part of the Danish cord life extension project using the three-strand Gardner technique Caning Canada can do this for you with an extra charge to figure out the correct spacing for your chair and material and to reposition the Danish hook nails on the front and back rails. 


Please note that Caning Canada will not be weaving Danish cord seats in 50 or 80 years unless we find the fountain of youth on our travels and offer no guarantees for the longevity of the weaving materials.  With proper care and maintenance, the Danish cord is estimated to last 40 - 60 years.