I agreed to help a family member restore a chair with a splint seat and
I'd like to get it as close to the original as possible. The splint seat
is gone but we remember it was originally woven from quarter inch binder
cane in a diagonal pattern. According to _The Caner's Handbook,_ you
begin weaving splint seats by tacking or tying one end of the cane or
splint to the back of the chair rail, then wrapping it around the front
and back rungs to make the warp strands, then tacked or tied to the other
side rail. Warp splints are joined by stapling. _The Caner's Handbook_
doesn't elaborate on the tying method or on any other way to join warp
binder cane other than stapling.
The chair doesn't show any signs that the warp splints were ever tacked
onto the rails. I don't recall ever seeing any evidence of tying, so it
had to be hidden. I also don't recall any staples used on the bottom.
I've thought about notching and lashing the warp strands, but I don't
recall this used on the original seat. Nor do I recall seeing signs of
canes tied to the side rails.
Has anyone here run into this? Is the warp strand attached to the side
rails by lashing or by tying the cane itself? Can warp strands be joined
Thanks in advance,
Start by running your splint over front and back rails. First end is on
bottom, near back rail, clothespinned to the next piece. To splice, cut
small notches on side of splint a couple inches from end of current
piece and new piece. Overlap and tie with cord. Cut off tail end as
necessary so splices are all on bottom of seat.
Start horizontal weave at front on bottom. First end is pointed toward
front right leg so when weaver passes behind left front leg comig to top
it just touches leg. Splice weavers same as front to back splints.
Align each row as completed before starting next row.
Soak whatever weaver you use a few minutes before starting to make it
more pliable. It will also expand a bit during soaking, then shrink
during drying, making a tighter seat. The cord ties are useful mostly
during the weaving process. The overlapped sections being woven will
pretty well hold better than the cord once the seat is woven.
If you're using rattan splint - most common - or the fibrous inner
layer of hickory bark as the old timers did makes little difference in
technique, except the bark should be green.
A small spoonful of liquid fabric softener in the soaking water bucket
makes life easier, and leaves no visible effect.
A finish will make the seat prettier, but will also shorten its life.
Various books are available on seating chairs, often from basket making
supply houses which also sell rattan splint, weavers, and cane of all types.
Rush seating is all I've ever seen actually tacked to chair rails.
That's one beast I never mastered, but I've done several hundred splint
and cane seats in my past.
Kevin J. Cheek wrote:
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