6 Things You Didn’t Know About Caneing a Chair

If a chair isn’t upholstered in leather or fabric, it’s probably been cane. Caneing is an ancient tradition of seating craftsmanship that dates back centuries. It involves weaving thin strips of rattan or bamboo reed into intricate patterns, and the results are stunningly beautiful pieces of furniture. But while many people are familiar with the look of cane chairs, few know anything about the process itself. In this blog post, we’ll explore 6 things you didn’t know about caning a chair—from the tools used to the techniques involved—to give you a better understanding of this fascinating art form.

What is caning?

Caning is a process of weaving strips of rattan, reed, or other materials into the seat of a chair. The strips are wetted and then tightly woven around the frame of the chair. Caning adds strength and support to the seat while also providing a comfortable surface to sit on.

Caning is often done by hand, though some chairs are machine-woven. Hand-woven caning is more likely to be found on antique chairs or high-end furniture. Machine-woven caning is less expensive and can be found on mass-produced furniture.

Caning can be done in a variety of patterns, including basket weave, herringbone, and diamond. The type of pattern used will affect the strength and durability of the seat as well as the appearance. Basket weave is the most common type of caning and is known for its durability. Herringbone and diamond patterns are less common but offer a more elegant look.

The history of caning

The word “caning” is derived from the Latin word for reed, which is “canna.” Caning has been used as a means of punishment and torture for centuries. The first recorded use of caning as a form of punishment was in China in the 8th century. Caning then spread to Japan and other parts of Asia. In the 17th century, caning became popular in Europe as a way to punish criminals and political dissidents. Caning was also used as a form of corporal punishment in schools.

Caning continued to be used as a form of punishment throughout the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. However, it began to decline in popularity in the mid-20th century. This was due in part to the increasing use of alternative methods of punishment, such as incarceration. Caning is still used today in some parts of the world, such as Singapore.

How to cane a chair

If you’re looking to add a unique touch to a piece of furniture, caneing is a great option. It’s a fairly simple process that can be done at home with the proper supplies and a little bit of patience. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cane a chair:

1. First, you’ll need to gather your supplies. You’ll need strips of cane, adhesive, scissors, and something to use as a cutting surface.

2. Next, cut the strips of cane to size using the scissors. Make sure they’re long enough to wrap around the entire circumference of the chair seat or back.

3. Apply adhesive to one end of each strip of cane and begin wrapping them around the chair seat or back, overlapping the edges as you go.

4. Once all the strips are in place, trim any excess cane with the scissors and allow the adhesive to dry completely before using the chair.

Different types of cane

Different types of cane are available to suit different chairs. There are three main types of cane: round, flat and half-round. Round cane is the most common type and is used for chairs with rounded backs. Flat cane is used for chairs with flat backs and half-round cane is used for chairs with both rounded and flat backs.

The size of the cane also varies, from fine to coarse. Fine cane is used for smaller chairs and repairs, while coarse cane is better suited to larger chairs. The number of strands also affects the appearance and strength of the finished product; more strands results in a stronger, more durable chair.

Caning patterns

When it comes to caning a chair, there are a few different patterns that you can choose from. The most popular pattern is the herringbone pattern, which is created by weaving the cane in and out of the holes in the chair seat. Another popular option is the diamond pattern, which is created by weaving the cane diagonally across the holes in the chair seat. There are also a few other less common patterns, such as the zigzag pattern and the spiral pattern.


Caneing a chair can be an intricate and complex job, but you don’t need to be a master craftsman to get the job done. With enough knowledge, patience and attention-to-detail, anyone can cane a chair with satisfying results. Hopefully this article has provided you with new insights into how it’s done. Now that you know more about caneing chairs, why not give it a try yourself? With these tips in mind, your next project should look like it was done by a professional!