Porch Nook's "Object Lessons" is a series of short articles sharing my vintage and antique finds over the years, containing just enough information to make you dangerous at the local flea market.* Happy hunting!
Cane furniture is making a comeback and timeless as ever. With its airy nature, it becomes the perfect candidate for adding texture and elegance to your home. If you know me, you know I can’t walk away from a vintage** piece where the original hand cane is intact and as strong as when it was first created.
The more I learn about the caning process, the more I appreciate the artform. It isn’t just a material; cane is a timeless pattern instantly recognized and a perfect example of what can be achieved with a delicate hand, patience and experience.
While strolling through a flea market or scouting weekly auctions, I generally come across three caning techniques.
Along the top of the seat and the edge of the weave, a strip of cane is used to cover the holes. This strip of cane is then looped down and through these holes.
Also called “Pressed Cane”, this process involves a pre-woven cane supplied in sheets. Ideal for those interested in repairing a piece of cane furniture at home. Sheet caning kits, like this one, can easily be found online and provide most of the tools you need.
The sheets are installed by pressing them into a continuous groove in the wood of the chair’s seat.
Along the top of the seat and the edge of the weave, a strip of cane is used to cover the cut edge of the sheet. Unlike hand cane, this strip of cane has no loops holding it in place. Rather, you will see only one continuous strand of rattan framing the weave.
Also called “Blind” or “Continental Cane”, French cane can be a little trickier to identify. Individual cane strands are placed by hand into drilled holes; however, these holes do not go all the way through the wood framework.
Instead, each length of cane is cut to the exact length of the framework and held into the holes using glue and plastic pegs until set.
Having to wait for the glue to set between each weaving step makes this a time intensive and delicate process.
Cane chairs have a history which gives them a sense of prestige and uniqueness. You, too, can elevate the atmosphere in your own home with this timeless trend. Check out Porch Nook’s collection of cane furniture.
*For the sake of transparency, Porch Nook in not an antiquities dealer, nor do I specialize in antiques. However, for many years I've gained experience acquiring and selling old stuff and hung around a lot of people who also like to acquire and sell old stuff. I gotta tell'ya, they're my kind of people...smart, creative, not shy and will tell you what's what.