How To Cane A Chair Seat With Rush

Michaels Chair Caning Service January 2012
Michaels Chair Caning Service January 2012 from


Caning a chair seat with rush is a traditional and eco-friendly way to create a comfortable and stylish seating surface. Rush is a natural material that is derived from the cattail plant, making it a sustainable choice for chair seating. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of caning a chair seat with rush, providing step-by-step instructions and tips to help you achieve a professional result.

Materials Needed


First and foremost, you will need rush to cane the chair seat. Rush can be purchased from craft stores or online. Make sure to buy enough rush to cover the entire chair seat, as well as some extra for any mistakes or repairs.


You will also need a chair with a seat that is suitable for caning. Choose a chair with a solid wooden frame and a seat that is in good condition. Avoid chairs with intricate designs or curves, as they can make the caning process more challenging.


To cane a chair seat with rush, you will need a few tools, including:

  • Cane awl
  • Cane pegs
  • Cane clamps
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Rush

Start by soaking the rush in water for about 30 minutes. This will make the rush more pliable and easier to work with. After soaking, remove the rush from the water and let it dry slightly, so it is damp but not dripping wet.

Step 2: Remove the Old Seat

If your chair already has an existing seat, you will need to remove it before caning. Use a screwdriver or pliers to carefully remove any screws or fastenings holding the old seat in place. Once the old seat is removed, clean the chair frame and make any necessary repairs.

Step 3: Create the Warp

Start by creating the warp, which is the foundation for the rush caning. Measure and cut several lengths of rush, ensuring they are long enough to go from one side of the chair seat to the other. Attach the rush to the chair frame using cane pegs, spacing them evenly along the edges of the seat.

Step 4: Weave the Rush

Once the warp is in place, you can start weaving the rush through it. Take a length of rush and thread it over and under the warp strands, working from one side of the chair to the other. Repeat this process, slightly overlapping each row, until the entire seat is covered. Secure the rush by tucking the ends under the warp strands.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

After weaving the rush, trim any excess material and secure the ends with cane clamps. Let the rush dry completely before using the chair. This will ensure that the rush tightens and becomes more secure over time.


Caning a chair seat with rush is a rewarding and environmentally friendly DIY project. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can transform an old chair into a beautiful and comfortable piece of furniture. Remember to take your time and be patient, as rushing the process can lead to mistakes. With practice, you will become more skilled at caning and be able to tackle more complex projects. Enjoy the process and the satisfaction of using a chair that you have restored and caned with your own hands!





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