Machine Cane

THANK YOU for your interest in Machine Caning Workshops!

Please read carefully (maybe even twice or thrice).  There are many things to consider when learning this tedious skill.

Look for the wooden spline at the border of the cane and chair frame

Machine woven cane became popular when manufacturing processes required a more efficient method to make seats than the tedious hand woven process.  This type of caning is also called “sheet caning” or “pressed cane” because you buy the cane already woven in a big sheet of webbing and install it like a screen in a door.  Because of the manufacturing process, you may find flaws in the cane which need to be patched once you finish installing the seat.  The most difficult part of machine caning is getting the old seat out of your chair!  The rest is simple once you get used to working with the delicate material.

Machine/Pressed Cane Classes

1.  Individual Machine Cane Tutorial:  $40/hour.

By appointment only!  Call 828-707-4553 to schedule.

A messy and tedious process

2.  Machine Cane Seat Removal:  $75

By appointment only!  Call 707-4553 to schedule.

It can take longer to remove the old seat than it does to install the new seat.  It helps with simplicity of class planning to separate removal and installation because every chair is different and you’ll need a break after you’re done removing the seat!  This is a good opportunity for us to help you measure your chair for proper sizing of cane and spline.

Old seats take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours to remove, depending on how stubborn they are. We will get you started and you may continue to dig away at your chair in the studio until it’s done, but you may have to finish at home.  If you want us to remove your seat for you, we will do so at $40/hr.

3.  Installing a Machine Cane Seat

BYOC!  Bring your own chair. If you don’t have a chair to learn on, we can pick one up for you at cost. Please let us know ahead of time so we can go shopping at the antique store!

Class size: 2-3 people

Class Length: Approximately 4 hours

Cost: $175…All tools/materials provided.

**if you already have cane, how old is it? Where has it been stored? What kind of condition is it in?  Stop by with your materials before class so we can check it out.  It is a bummer to find out halfway through the process to discover you have the wrong stuff.

Before Class:

Bring in your chair to the studio a month in advance so we can measure it, order appropriate materials, and inspect for structural issues like a break along groove.  Orientation should be scheduled by appointment! If the chair has a mate or is part of a set, please bring another chair so we can try to match the rest of the set as much as possible.

  • Removal of old cane should be done before class. Please take our cane removal class if you require our help in removing the old material.  Or we can do it for you at $40/hour.
  • Save your old seat if you removed it yourself and want to match a specific material/pattern/color.
  • Refinishing must be done before you install the seat.
  • Structural Repair must be done before you install the seat.

Machine woven cane must be soaked before installing. Therefore it must dry before you handle it!

After Class:

The cane webbing must be soaked in order to install it. When you are finished with the class, your chair will be fragile because the cane and the glue are still wet.  Please allow 24 hours to dry before you take it home with you if possible.

Special Considerations:

  • This class does not include coloring your seat…this is a weaving class.  We aren’t set up for ventilation from toxic chemicals in our studio.  Staining of cane is very difficult and we (along with many furniture refinishers) choose not to bother with it.  Cane mellows nicely after just a few years.  If your chair was manufactured and has a dark stain, it was probably applied with a spray varnish in an industrial setting.  It is difficult to duplicate age!
  • If your chair has a curved back or the broken cane shares a seam with other panels of cane, please consider an individual tutorial.

Curved backs are more difficult to install than flat seats!

4.  Machine Cane Tutorial: Advanced Methods

Individual tutorials are your best option if your chair has a curved back, shared seams, or for non-standard weaves like radio weave or Danish weave.

These special chairs require more time and attention to detail and are not appropriate for a class setting.  Save your sanity and do not learn on this chair…or let us fix it for you!

Cost:  $40/hr. by appointment only!