WHAT IS CANE?
Cane is the outer bark/peel/skin of the Rattan vine. Rattan is a solid but porous pole that grows in the rainforest of Indonesia. It is an organic sustainable product that is used in seat weaving, Nantucket Baskets, DIY, and home decor. It is known for its flexibility and ease of use. Cane has growth marks and many blemishes that enhance its natural beauty. The cane that is used for hand/laced cane comes in many sizes.
WHAT IS REED?
Reed is the inner core of the rattan plant. It is a natural cream color available in Flat, Flat Oval, Round, & Half Round Reed. It is very pliable and flexible but must be soaked in water for 15 to 20 minutes. Reed is very easy to stain, paint, or finish with Tung Oil. Wicker Furniture is made from Reed. Reed splint is very popular as a sustainable product for basket weaving, seat weaving, costume design, and crafting.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SIZE STRAND CANE TO USE?
Hand cane or strand cane is used when there are individual holes in the frame around the perimeter of a chair seat or back. The 7-step hand cane weaving method is generally used. Hand cane is available in half bunches (500ft) or full bunches (1,000ft) and needs to be soaked for no more than 10- 15 minutes per strand before weaving. Half bunches will cane 1-2 seats while a full bunch will weave 3-4 chair seats. Binder strands (strips of cane that go around the perimeter to cover the holes) are included with both half and full bunches at no extra cost. The following chart will help you determine the size of the cane needed for a hand-caned seat or back. The most important measurement for the determination of strand cane size is the distance from the center of one hole to the center of the hole next to it. Good idea to check several holes in your seat. When in between measurements use the smaller you try to use a cane size that is too large, the holes will fill too fast and you will not be able to weave your diagonal strands. The cane gets in its own way. Sometimes, you will not notice this until you have woven half the chair. Always recommended to use the correct size and check before starting.s,of the two sizes.
|Center-to-Center Spacing||Cane Size Needed|
|1/2”||Fine Fine 2.25mm|
|3/4”||Narrow Medium 2.75mm|
|3/4” (larger holes)||Medium 3.0mm|
WHY CAN’T I USE ANY CANE SIZE?
If you try to use a cane size that is too large, the holes will fill too fast and you will not be able to weave your diagonal strands. The cane gets in its own way. Sometimes, you will not notice this until you have woven half the chair. Always recommended to use the correct size and check before starting.
WHAT IS BLIND OR FRENCH CANING?
Blind or French caning is when there are holes for hand caning but they are not drilled all the way through the frame. Each strand of cane is individually pegged/plugged at every hole. A peg is to be used in every hole while the cane is stuffed down in to each hole. Blind or French caning is extremely time consuming and costly. Mostly done on backs to prevent the cane and knots from showing on the chair back frame.
WHAT IS CANE WEBBING & REED SPLINE?
Cane webbing or machine cane or prewoven cane is a woven mat that is made in several mesh patterns and widths and is pressed in to a chair frame that has a groove around the perimeter. Reed spline and glue is used to hold the webbing in the groove. Reed spline must be ordered with every piece of webbing. To measure for your reed spline, measure the width of the groove and select a reed spline slightly smaller than your groove. For example, a ¼” groove calls for a #3 (3/16”) spline. Splines are sold in a minimum of five feet. Spline does not need to be soaked. Cane webbing is manufactured on a machine loom but the diagonal strands are still inserted by hand. Webbing is available in widths from 12” wide up to 36” wide. Cane webbing is also available in 7 mesh patterns and is sold by the running foot or inch with minimum of one foot. To determine the proper webbing mesh, measure the distance from the center of one hole to the center of the hole next to it. If it measures 1/2″ then it is Fine 1/2″ mesh webbing, if it measures 3/8″ than it is 3/8″ Superfine mesh and so on… When measuring for cane webbing, measure left to right from spline to spline and round the number and add two inches. Then do the same for your front to back measurements. It is recommended that webbing be soaked for 4 hours before pressing in to a groove. A set of 5 wooden wedges is needed to install the webbing. Twenty four hours after installation, your cane webbing is ready to be stained and or clear finished with an oil based stain, tung oil or polyurethane.
FOUR RUNG DOWEL CHAIR SEATS
Any chair with 4 rungs around the perimeter is suitable for the following materials to be woven in to the seat: Wide binding cane, fiber rush, fiber splint, flat reed, flat oval reed, Shaker tape, Hong Kong sea grass, pretwisted natural rush, natural rush cattail, and ash splint. Of course, within a set of chairs you would need to match the materials. Always recommended to send sample for matching.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WIDE BINDER CANE & FLAT OVAL REED?
Wide binder cane has a glossy bark or skin on one side and has a slight rise on the topside. It is our most durable product for outdoor porch chairs or rockers. Binder cane comes in 4mm, 5mm or 6mm (1/4”), 6-8mm slab and 8-10mm slab. Slab is a wider, thicker more unevenly cut version of binder cane. Binder cane is sometimes called shaved edge rattan. Flat oval reed is the same size and shape as the binder cane, however reed is from the core of the rattan and does not have skin on it. If reed is used outdoors on a porch, which we do not recommend, it needs to be sealed with a polyurethane finish.
WHAT IS FIBRE RUSH?
Fibre Rush is a twisted brown Kraft paper that resembles a paper bag. Paper/ Fibre rush is available in Brown (paper bag color), and White. The rush is sizes are 3/32”, 4/32”, 5/32”, 6/32”, and 7/32”. The two most popular sizes are 5/32” and 6/32” in the Kraft brown color. We highly recommend sealing fiber rush with a clear shellac after weaving. Fibre rush does have a dye lot, when purchasing this product, always order the recommended amount in order to avoid color mismatch. Three pounds are needed to weave an average size 16" square chair seat. Also, Fiber rush is not recommended for outdoor use. Paper Fibre rush is not soaked prior to weaving, however, it can be dampened with a spray water bottle. Ladder back chairs with the 4 triangle pattern on the seat are very popular in dining room sets.
WHAT IS FIBRE SPLINT?
Fibre splint is a flat kraft brown paper product. It is available in 3 widths, 3/8”, 1/2", and 3/4". The average 16" chair needs 3 pounds. Shellac is not required to finish fibre splint. The product can be misted with water, but never soaked.
WHAT IS SHAKER TAPE?
Shaker Tape is a 100% Cotton and is available in 5/8” and 1” widths. It is sold in a full 75-yard roll or by the yard and is available in 13 colors. One color can be woven in a solid weave, or two colors can be woven to create a checkerboard or diamond shape pattern. To determine the amount of tape needed for a chair seat, multiply the widest length by the widest width. With that number, then divide by 5.3 (for 5/8” total yardage) or divide by 9 (for 1” total yardage). If you choose a solid one-color pattern on the seat, that total yardage number is what is needed. For a checkerboard or diamond shape pattern, you would get one half of each color of the total number. It is always good to add a couple yards to the final amount. Also recommended, that a darker color is used for the front to back warper on a seat. A foam insert is also recommended on adult size chair seats.
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