Chair weaving, also known as chair caning, is the process used to create the seat and back of a chair. Some chairs use weaves as decoration or embellishment rather than a structural element of the chair. For example, material can be weaved around the legs of a chair to add décor to the chair, but is not required for the chair to function. In order to perfect chair weaving, some of the best tips for chair weaving include wetting the caning materials, weaving with the barbs, using golf tees and gluing or lacquering.
When caning a chair, it is easier to work with the caning material by soaking it in water for about five to 10 minutes before weaving the chair. Typically, caning material is a type of reed, which is a type of woody material. While working with the strips being used to weave, or cane, it is best to keep the caning material moist by using a spray bottle filled with water.
Caning strips typically have a smooth side and a rough side. It makes it easier to complete the chair weaving process if the strips are weaved using the smooth side. Pushing the smooth side of the caning strip in first makes it easier to slide the strip in initially and to weave the strip under and over, which is part of the overall weaving process. If the rough side is pushed in first, the bumps on the rough side can prohibit the caning strip from sliding in easily, and may even break or damage the strip, rendering it useless.
In addition to the caning material and chair pieces, golf tees are a tool chair weavers keep on hand during the weaving process. Golf tees make the perfect tool for holding the caning in place during the chair weaving process. Push the golf tees into the spaces between the caning strips to the strips in place while the remaining strips are weaved together to complete the chair caning process.
Applying glue or lacquer to the chair when it is complete helps to give the chair a finished look and feel. The glue or lacquer also serves as a functional material because it holds the caning strips in place and prevents the strips from moving or shifting. The glue or lacquer also strengthens the strips, which adds durability to the chair and prevents the caning material from breaking, cracking or becoming damaged in some way.