How To Cane A Chair Seat By Hand In 7 Easy DIY Steps

Grandmothers might have taught you once how to cane a chair seat by hand. Maybe you found these lattice-looking chairs at a flea market, or you spotted a picture of a caned chair online.

Whatever the reason is, caning a chair seat by hand is an activity not known by many. No matter how traditional or old the action can look, it only proves how popular this task is that you even searched for it online!

how to cane a chair seat by hand


Steps Of Chair Cane Weaving

Chair caning itself might seem like the most complex task in the world. Nevertheless, you can easily pass through this challenge once you get the gist of it.

To start with, you need to prepare some materials. These tools can lessen the difficulty of this task and help you with the whole process.

Put nose pliers, a pressed cane groove cleaner, a straightener, a dental pick, and a cane needle. You can put these materials on the side to aid you when you need one. However, nose pliers and a dental pick ease the process as you can use them to access hard-to-reach spots.

You might also find the benefits of using a sizing cane. It can tell you what size of cane you need to buy to become compatible with your chair’s holes.


Step #1. First run vertically

Prepare your cane first before starting the process itself. Doing this prevents a stiff and dry cane that you won’t find pleasing in the long run.

Once the cane is ready, choose the longest strands to use initially. You may find them easier to weave in the first three steps because using longer strands avoid knots.

To start, find the center hole in the front and back of your chair seat. If there are two centers, you are free to choose which one you’ll go to first. You can mark them with a peg or a pen.

Insert one cane end on the center and hold it in place. Once it is in the bottom, you can take it and bring it to the hole beside pulling it through the top. Repeat this process as the vertical strands fill the chair seat.

For a tip, ensure that the “correct” or glossy side of the cane is facing you. You might also want to avoid putting canes in the diagonals in this step because it can ruin the process.

Gently tug on each strand so the cane won’t become saggy. Cane strands are woven wet, so tight strands may break when they dry themselves.


Step #2. First run horizontally

Like what you did on the last step, repeat it here but horizontally instead. Put the first horizontal strand on top of the vertical one of the previous step.

For a square chair seat, don’t put canes on its four corners. These places are saved for use in the later steps.


Step #3. Second run vertically

For the second run, put another set of vertical strands over the strands from steps one and two. Adjust them slightly to the right of the first vertical cane strands.


Step #4. Second run horizontally

The real work starts here! Ensure to follow the steps carefully since this step can be slightly confusing, especially for beginners.

Run the cane strand below the first horizontal strands. Weave them over the second vertical strands then under the first vertical cane strands.

Be careful not to misalign the canes in this step. You can use a caning needle but avoid destroying other cane strands while using it.

Before going to the diagonal runs, tie the loose canes underneath first. Regain the strands’ flexibility again by damping them using a wet cloth.

Tie the strands by looping the ends twice and cutting them after. Don’t cut the knot, only a few excess strands.


Step #5. First run diagonally

You are free to choose wherever you want to start. However, it is preferred to start on the left corner hole in the chair’s front. This hole is also that one left unwoven from the first steps.

Now, weave over the vertical strands and under the horizontal ones. Wherever hole you may end up, put the cane under the hole and pull from its right.

This action then initializes the formation of an ‘X’ on the seat. It will create the first strand here and the next ones in the coming step.


Step #6. Second run diagonally

Run the cane over the horizontal strands and under the vertical ones. You can now complete the whole ‘X’ formation.


Step #7. Finish the border

You’re almost finished with the caned chair seat. You only need to add a border or a binder.


How To Clean Chair Cane Seats

Your chair cane seats also need care and love like your regular chairs. Here are some tips and advice for you to ensure the quality of your chair cane seats: Caring For Chair Cane Seats.



For the record, how many people know how to cane a chair seat by hand? You won’t know for sure, but now you’re one of them!

Doing this project may entirely be a challenge but seeing the finished product is satisfying. You only need to remember the seven steps and go through them, and this task is only a piece of cake.

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