The traditional hand woven cane pattern seen in the illustrations on the Standard Cane Weave page is found in the vast majority of cane seats and backs. However there are some other interesting weaves and materials occasionally used. Most of the time, whatever was in the chair should go back in the chair, but occasionally a change to one of these other weaves or materials can be a good choice. The first series of photos below illustrates how design of the cane can be used to complement the design of the chair.
One change we strongly encourage people to make (or not make) is when plastic cane is in view. Plastic cane is cheap in every sense of the word. Its primary use is for outdoor furniture. However even there sun exposure causes rapid degradation. Any way about it, plastic cane is short lived and looks like plastic not natural cane. We will want to replace it with the natural material. Paper cane is also available. It is not strong enough for a seat and we see no reason to use it when natural cane is available. The one interesting alternate material is cording, which was a poor-man's answer to the high cost of re-caning. Cording is not often seen, but an example of it from a chair that went through our shop is in the box just to the right. Otherwise the variations that can be seen are all in the weaves, not the materials. Below we illustrate the range of patterns that can be used.
These chairs were someone's discards. To see what they looked like when they came in, visit our page about decorative finishes. You can probably imagine these in the covered patio of a nice home in what has been called, "The Gay '90s," that is, the 1890s. But you couldn't imagine them there the way they look on this page. These chairs had obvious potential to one with an eye for design. To illustrate that potential, three alternative ways of approaching the finished design of these chairs were developed–both in terms of the finishing of the wood and what was done with the weaving of the seats.
This chair represents what most people will ask for when thinking about refinishing a piece of furniture. Remove the worn and ugly old finish, or paint in this case, and apply a new wood tone finish with the standard cane weave. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you couldn't see the two photos to the right and could only see the photo to the left you would think that looks quite nice and might be willing to pay to have the work done. However, virtually without exception, when people see these three chairs they express how much they prefer one of the chairs to the right.
Of the three chairs, this is the one most people really like. It is amazing how the finish can transform a fairly plain and cheap looking piece of furniture into something that looks rich and elegant. Since our focus on this page is on specialty hand cane weaves, what should be noticed is how important the appearance of the seat is in completing the effect of the design for this chair. The seats on the chairs on both sides would not have created the impact that is created by the seat on this chair. We used the standard cane pattern but blackened every other diagonal strand and the binders to create this look.
Although in some ways the "Country French" look created on this chair doesn't possess the elegance of the chair in the middle, it is the most expensive to create. What is important to notice is how the weave on the seat works with the design of the finish. The standard cane weave would not have complemented this finish as well. Even with a better color for the diagonals, say the red used to highlight the chair, the woven pattern used on the chair in the center would have made this chair look too busy.
This rocker dates from the 1890s or early 1900s. The wood variety is maple and the bird's eye pattern that was so popular during that era is pronounced and striking on this piece. The woven pattern is another unique pattern, for which we haven't learned the name. It may have been someone's creative innovation which we simply copied. The honey colored finish is created by using a blond shellac. It all works together very well.
This rocker illustrates both our ability to repair woven items and our ability to reweave entire backs and seats. The weave seen on the back of this rocker is called the "Snowflake" weave.
The rest of the photo is unusable, unfortunately, but the point on this page is the variety of hand woven cane patterns available. This is know as the "Star of David" pattern.
This bentwood rocker has a cane woven seat with extra strands of cane woven through it to create this unique pattern commonly seen on these chairs. The pattern has a practical use as well as an aesthetic appeal. With a very large woven seat the load bearing capability of the chair is compromised. The extra strands add strength as well as an appealing look. Call this the"Tic Tac Toe" pattern!
It is unusual to find rattan chairs with a woven back like this. It is also very unusual to find chairs with a box weave/radio weave pattern used. It is a great challenge to the weaver to keep all the lines straight and perpendicular. It is also very difficult to weave through the very narrow slot between the rattan frame and the woven back. To offer some perspective on what must be done to make this work, to the right we provide a photo of the back when it was 75% completed.
We wish we could show you pictures of pieces of furniture with all the patterns that could be woven. However, we haven't had the opportunity to create all the possible patterns on pieces customers want us to weave them onto. So, as a next best thing, we have created samplers, which we offer below to display some of your choices when you need to have your next seat or back rewoven. These do not represent all the possibilities but do make clear that there are many!
Daisy And Button
Double Double Victoria
The Spiderweb pattern, pictured here, is identical to the Star of David pattern, pictured well above, which uses larger strands of cane to fill in the star.
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Six Way, the standard weave, for comparison