Pressed Cane has a grove on one side of the frame & is finished off with spline and glue. It looks similar to Hand cane, but the difference is Pressed cane is woven on a loom in sheets. Pressed cane is also called machine cane, prewoven cane, cane webbing, sheet cane, and spline cane. There are several patterns or sytles of pressed cane from traditional common to fancy weaves. The fancy weaves include Modern Closed Weave, Modern Open Weave, Swedish Modern, Danish Modern, Radio Weave, Star Weave, Fine Fine Radio, Herringbone Fine Weave, X Weave, and Closed Wicker Webbing.
This type of chair has a series holes drilled through the perimeter of the frame. Most common pattern is the Six-way or common pattern, this pattern is has an octogon (8 sided) pattern. This pattern delivers the most durability and strength for a hand caned seat. Other Hand cane patterns include the Daisy & Buttons, Snowflake, Spiderweb, Diamond, Sun Ray, and Star of David. Fancy hand cane patterns are best suited for backs of chairs. Hand caning is very tedious and time consuming, when completed it creates a beautiful woven seat.
Rush is the wrapping rush materials in a figure eight around the frame of a chair. Rush materials can be Paper/Fiber (Paper Twist), Natural (Seagrass), or Cattails/Bulrush. Most newer or less expensive chairs are woven with Paper or Seagrass Rush. Paper rush is a man made twisted kraft paper material, while Seagrass is a natural twisted material. Seagrass is a twisted rope made in China and has a look similar to genuine cattail rush. The material when new has a slight green color, but will age to tan color. These two types of Rush materials are available in several different sizes.
More expensive well made furniture and old antique chairs tend to have a Cattail Rush seats. Bulrush or Cattail leaves are especially difficult to weave, time consuming, have a larger material cost and the material is subject to availablity, therefore it is a very costly process. The leaves are rolled and twisted to form the rows of rush. New seats start out green. As the leaves age they will turn to a straw color and will continue to change into a brown color.
Rush is woven into a distinct triangle pattern, but can also be woven in a Scandinavian pattern. The Scandinavian pattern drops towards the back and is more comfortable to sit on. Not all rush seats are a perfect square sometimes the shape is different, it could even be round.
Wicker is not a type of material, but rather a type weave. There are numerous types of materials used in wicker. First identify the type of wicker furniture, natural is made of rattan reed, can be natural or painted. There is also paper fiber wicker, a paper tightly rolled and woven in a wicker pattern. Paper fiber was popular in antique wicker furniture from about 1910 to 1940, this type of wicker never should be in an outdoor setting because it is very sensitive to water. Finally there is all-weather wicker, looking like real wood, it is made of synthetic materials such as plastics or resin. These are the common types, but there are several other types of materials used in wicker furniture. Each type of wicker has its good and bad points. Most wicker is assembled on a rattan frame, but some types of newer wicker have a wood frame.
Binder cane is rattan and commonly found on porch rockers. Binder cane can also be called Slab Rattan or Porch Cane. The binder cane looks like strand cane, but it is available in several wider widths from 4mm to 6mm and wider Slab rattan. Binder cane can be woven with a count of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8. The smaller the count the closer the weave will become. The most common weaves for binder cane are herringbone/twill pattern, diamond weave or reverse diamond weaves. Other patterns available for binder cane include zig-zag, common basket weave, porch weave, checkerboard, and checkerboard. Most rockers backs have the same pattern on the front and the back. Binder cane seats may have a different weave on the top than on the underside.
Splint is a flat reed that can be woven, around the rungs of chairs, in the following patterns; herringbone/twill pattern, checkerboard, diamond, and reverse diamond. Flat reed is cut from the inner part of of he rattan plant. The flat reed splints are flat on both sides, the top is smoother than the bottom side. the flat oval reed splints are flat on the bottom side and oval on the top side. Ash splint when new is whitish in color and is easily stained.
Splint materials are available in ash, hickory or oak, ash being the most common. Colored splint is also available. If working with a set of chairs with colored or dyed splint reed, the reed needs to be ordered at the same time for both seats. Just like any other type of natural dyed materials, the dye lot may be different if ordered at different times. Different dye lots of reed can possibly cause the set of chairs not to match.
Danish cord is a high quality machine braided paper cord/rope. It orginated in Denmark and became popular in the 1950's and is very durable and beautiful. There ae several ways to weave Danish Cord the checkerboard pattern is very common. Other patterns are possible, but can be difficult to weave.
Seats with a double rung on the sides take a long time to weave, because the material must pass through and around the lower seat rail on two sides.
Most Danish Cord seats are woven around Danish nails, but less expensive chairs are sometimes stapled on the inside of the seat rail.
It comes "laced" or "un-laced", relatively speaking, "hard" or "soft". It makes for a very strong, tight seat.
Furniture with blind cane have a series of holes around the perimeter of the caned area. It is very delicate and not known to be very strong. The holes are only drilled half way through, unlike the hand cane where the holes are drilled all the way through. This type of caning is generally located on the backs and arms of furniiture. Blind can is general woven with two sizes of cane. The caning must be pegged to hold in place while weaving. Each strand is cut to size, pegged, and glued in place before starting the next step. Because of this the process is costly due to the high level of diffuliculty and time involved.
Shaker Tape is a cottom strapping that is woven around rungs with a foam insert for comfort. Shaker furniture makers frequently seated their chairs with "Shaker tape" or woven fabric. Most original Shaker chair seats produced for the "outside world" after 1870 featured woven seats. Sometimes Shaker tape is preferred over rush, splint or cane, because it does not dry out and break, and is stronger and longer lasting, comfortable and colorful. Shaker tape is available in several colors and available in two widths. Weaving can done in one color or a second contrasting color can be added to depending on the look that one is trying to achieve. Dual colors are needed to create a beautiful checkerboard design, diamond weave, or reverse diamond weave. While Shaker Tape may be long lasting and comfortable it is very expensive.
Seagrass is a strong rope-like product made from twisted grass to resemble rush. It is used for chair seating in place of genuine rush. Hong Kong Grass is a course grass that requires no twisting when it is wrapped around a seat frame. Because it is hand made the size and texture will vary. Patterns available rush, checkerboard, zig-zag, herringbone/twill patterns to name a few.