Identifying Chair Caning Supplies has always been a challenge for first time seat weavers.
Since beginning our mail order business in 1981, we’ve expanded our catalog many times, finally creating a separate catalog for each of our two divisions: Basket Weaving and Seat Weaving.
When the Internet came into wide use by the general public, it gave us an opportunity to finally provide pages and pages of detailed and illustrated information to help customers decide what they needed!
Seat weaving customers are different from basket weaving customers in one significant way. A large number of seat weaving customers are buyers due to a need to fix a chair that means something to them personally. They don’t just wake up one day and decide they’re going into chair repair and restoration.
Our seat weaving customers often find a chair in the attic, have furniture willed to them, or have decided to finally getting around to fixing the chair that someone put their foot through in 1978.
Their dilemma is frequently that they have no idea what the material is. Add to that the fact that if they do know what they have, it’s often known by a regional name that may not coincide with the actual name. “Cane” is a basic term that causes the lot of confusion.
Before the Internet, telephone ordering calls were a series of Q&As narrowing down the mystery of what the chair material was. (Shiny? Skinny? Bark-like? Flat? Curved on one side? Twisted? Green? Tan? Brown?) This was always followed by the “Eureka!” moment when both customer and seller agreed on what one could see and the other could not.
If that failed, customers sent samples from the old chair that they needed to repair. Battered envelopes frequently arrived containing the few remaining crumbles of dried cane scraps that survived the postage-cancelling machines.
Next we set up separate websites for the basket weavers and seat weavers with craft-specific supplies and how-to’s.
We think that the most valuable page of www.seatweaving.com is the Choosing Your Supplies page.
Here you can find images and descriptions for various kinds of chair frames and the types of materials that are suitable for weaving on them. There are visual explanations of the difference between caning with holes and cane webbing with a groove, plus charts to help the customer select the correct size and amount of materials for each project.
If you’re still not sure about the materials, go to this page and click on the individual buttons to view the supplies for sale.