Areas of furniture that are woven such as chair backs, headboards, chair seats, along with many other kinds of furniture, are referred to as cane furniture. The term "cane furniture" was supposed to be for furniture with woven rattan. Stores and manufacturer  use the term to refer to furniture woven from other materials such as leather, firmly twisted paper along with many other materials.

Cane-chair seats and chair backs are subject the most use out of all types of cane furniture. All of that use and abuse causes breakage and damage to the caning. Older, antique or vintage-cane-chairs, older than 50 or 60 years old, are typically hand woven. Reweaving rush or cane requires skill, knowledge and an understanding of weaving. Newer, more modern cane-chairs are machine woven making replacement easier provided there is a groove that holds it.

Caning Supplies

  • Sheet cane - also known as cane webbing or pre-woven cane.
  • Spline - A long cord made to hold it in place. Measure the width of the chair groove to figure out the size of spline.
  • Caning wedges - hold the spline and cane in place when the glue is drying
  •  Supplies can be found online and some craft and fabric stores.
  • Glue

Removing the Broken Caning

Lift and pry old spline from the groove with a screwdriver and pliers.

Slice it with a utility knife if it is stuck firmly in the grove.

Scrape out the excess dried glue and remaining bits and pieces  from the grove with a flat blade screwdriver.


  1. Measure across the seat from one groove to the grove on the opposite side; measure both front to back and side to side. Write down the measurements.
  2. Cut a sheet cane to 1 inch larger in all than the measurements from the grove directions.
  3. Fill a bathtub, basin or even a kiddie pool with warm water. Put the pre-woven-cane material in the warm water and let it to soak for one hour.
  4. Remove it from the water and let some of the excess water to drip off.
  5. Place the woven sheet over the seat opening in the chair. Let the edges to be uniformly 1 inch bigger than the chair seat opening all around.
  6. Put a caning wedge over it and into the grove, strike the wedge with a mallet until it is seated in the grove.
  7. Pull it taught and drive another wedge into the groove directly across from the first wedge.
  8. Repeat on all sides of the chair or other furniture.
  9. Using a wedge, follow the line of the groove and tap the caning material in place. Do not let it dry. If it starts to dry, lightly mist it with plain water. As cane dries, it will shrink.
  10. Take the caning wedges out of place once it as been tapped into the whole groove.
  11. Soak the spline in water for 20 minutes.
  12. Run a 10 to 12 inch line of glue in the groove.
  13. Firmly push the spline into the groove on top of the sheet cane.
  14. Use a  wedge to force the spline into the groove, continue to glue and place spline, tap it down, all in one continuous line around the groove. If it is not possible to fill the groove with one unbroken line of spline, end the spline at the corners.
  15. Cut the spline with a utility knife or scissors once you have reached the end.
  16. Cut away excess cane with a utility knife.
  17. Let it to dry for two to three days.
  18. Once it has completely dried, sand down any rough spots with 320-grit sandpaper and apply a thin coat of spray lacquer.

Do not let cane-chairs to become too dry. Dry caning is brittle and breaks. Weekly, mist it with water from a spray bottle to keep it-chair seats and cane-chair backs in good condition.