Because of the expense of weaving with genuine rush, which is the common marshland plant we know as cattail, this gallery will actually feature other materials woven in the diagonal cross pattern associated with rush. However, to help you see the difference, we start with side by side photos of seats woven with cattail, seagrass and fiber rush.
We used this round seat woven in a diagonal cross pattern with sea grass on a different page but wanted to show one more thing about it. This was a brand new seat from the round frame to the woven seat. We can certainly reproduce something the already exists, in some cases we can also make a modification to create something new. Just ask!
The seat used above as a sample for seagrass was one of the set of six chairs pictured to the left.
This set is a late twentieth century reproduction of the classic ladderback style popular a couple hundred years earlier. Originally a hardwood such as beech or hickory with a seat woven in cattail would have been typical.
These are both "Wishbone" chairs designed by Hans Wegner. They were originally sold in a variety of finishes, these are both representative samples. One is a pale waxed finish, the other is a white paint. Both have the diagonal cross pattern weave using danish cord.
We did not do the weaving on the rocker to the right!
This is offered to illustrate that weaving isn't necessarily as easy as it might look. No doubt this weaver set out to do a good job but simply gave up and tried to figure out a way to get the job done easier and faster. They succeeded, sacrificing only the aesthetics of the job!
This little stool had a worn fiber rush seat and a worn finish on the wood. The customer liked the way it looked and wanted us to return it a closely as possible to the way it might have looked originally. We think it turned out well! We stripped, refinished, rewove, then coated the fiber rush with a protective coat of shellac, which also gave it a warm glossy appearance.
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These two chairs were refurbished then rewoven with fiber rush seats. Whenever considering reweaving, always consider also re-gluing and any work that could make the finish look better and last longer. New seats on these chairs could have been enough. But once you can see the improvement gained through refurbishing, that has to be a consideration!