Durability of Materials
Now that you have spent hours of love, sweat, (and maybe tears) caning your chair, you want to know, "how long will it last?" That's hard to say. As with anything in life, how something is used, and how well it is taken care of, determines its longevity. However, here are some general figures based on observation and experience:
Hand Cane - 20 to 25 years
Fibre Rush - 20 to 50 years
Natural Rush - 50 to 75+ years
Cane Webbing - 10 to 20 years
Determining cane size: measure the diameter of the holes and the distance from center to center. An average chair (72 holes) will take 250'
Diameter Center to center Choose this size 1/8 .5/16-3/8 Carriage 1/8 .3/8 Superfine 3/16 7/16-1/2 Fine-fine* 3/16 1/2-9/16 Fine* 1/ 4 9/16-5/8 Narrow Medium* 1/ 4 5/8-3/4 Medium* 5/16 3/4-7/8 Common *Most commonly used
Pricing -- Hanks Cane size Hank length Price Fine-fine 1000' $32.00 Fine 1000' $35.00 Narrow-Medium 1000' $38.00 Medium 1000' $40.00 Common 1000' $45.00 Extra Long Strands (12' and longer) add $10.00
1/3 Hanks Cane size Price Fine $13.00 Narrow-Medium $15.00
Binding Canesimilar to strand cane, but cut wider and thicker. Used for binding around hand caned seats or as a seating material on any chair with rungs or rails around the seat or back.
4mm narrow 500' $18.00 5mm medium 500' $20.00 6mm wide 500' $22.00 Extra Long Strands (12' and longer) add $15.00
Cane Webbing (Prewoven Cane)
used in chair seats or backs with a groove around the edge. Secured with a spline in the groove. To determine size, always measure from groove to groove, at the widest points, and add 2" extra. For example, a 14"x16" seat would need a piece of cane 16"x18".
Width Price per Foot Each Add'l Inch 12" $5.25 43¢ 14" $5.75 48¢ 16" $6.00 50¢ 18" $6.50 54¢ 20" $7.25 60¢ 22" $7.75 65¢ 24" $8.25 69¢
Fits in the groove with glue to hold prewoven cane. Measure the width and depth of the groove. Or send a sample if possible.
All spline 30¢ per foot
Flat Splint Reed
Made from the core of the rattan plant. It is most commonly used in a herringbone pattern on chairs with rungs or dowels around the seat or back. Average chair (approx. 14"x16") requires 1 lb. (1 coil).
3/8" or 1/2"wide $8.50 per pound
Fibre RushA very durable one ply twisted paper made to resemble real twisted bulrushes. Average chair requires 2 lb., however, be sure to order enough for all chairs because the color may vary slightly in each shipment.
size #4 1/8" diameter size #5 5/32" diameter size #6 3/16" diameter
(most popular size)
All sizes: 2 lb. $10.00 4 lb. $19.00
Twisted Seagrass (Hong Kong Grass)
A two-ply rope of twisted grass made for hundreds of years by the Chinese. It resembles Genuine Rush in color. Because it's hand made, it varies in size and texture. Average chair requires 2 lb.
#3 (most common size) 2 1/2-3 lb. coil $10.00
Pre Twisted "Real Rush"
A natural twisted rush material. The closest thing to genuine rush seats available without hand twisting the bulrushes or cattails yourself. Average seat requires 2-3 lb.
1 lb coil $9.00
Books*In my opinion
Making Chair Seats - Ruth Comstock
4 booklets in one: Cane, Rush, Seagrass and Splints
(best for splints and seagrass)*
$7.00 Comstock single booklets:
$2.50 Seagrass $2.50
Chair Seat Weaving for Antique Chairs - Marion Burr Sober
HandCane, Fibre Rush, Genuine Rush, Ash Splints & Shaker Tape Weaving
(best for handcane and fibre rush)*
$7.75 Sober single booklets:
$3.00 Fibre Rush $3.00
Chair Seat Weaving for Antique Chairs - K. C. Parkinson
Herringbone Weave $3.00 New England Porch Weave $3.00
The Caners Handbook - Miller/Widess $21.95 The Craft of Chair Seat Weaving - Stearns $21.95
How to Buy and Restore Wicker -Thomas Duncan
(Best book on restoring wicker available)*
Soft wood wedges
much better than hardwood wedges
$3.50 Glue syringe
used to insert water for spline removal
$2.95 Rush Shuttle
useful in weaving fibre rush and seagrass
$5.00 Caning pegs
tapered hardwood, much better than golf tees
$2.50/dz. Caning Glue
a liquid hide glue, originally made from rabbit skin (or hide) but now made from fish oil. A high tack, slow setting, and water soluble glue. Best for prewoven cane, but also excellent for fine furniture as well.
4 oz. $4.95 8 oz. $8.95
Spline chisels: #1 - 1/8 wide, #3 - 3/16 wide $15.00 Caning Awl $2.00 Weave Rite Tools
(originally for basket making, but excellent for chair caning as well)
$8.50 Curved spline chisel $19.95
Gallons $40.95 Quarts $19.95
We recommend Waterlox brand of tung oil finish for all types of caning, seatweaving and even basketmaking. Brush it on for splints and fibre rush. Wipe it on hand cane, prewoven cane, and binder cane. We don't use a finish on Hong Kong grass.