Hand Cane and Press Caning

by Randy S Keeling

New ● Old ● Vintage ● Antique

Call me at ~ 503-684-5760
11740 SW Gallo, Tigard, Oregon (Near Portland) 97223
In the Incredible Fabulous Pacific Northwest, USA

Below is a list of our most common jobs. If your piece doesn’t fall under a listed category, or you’re not sure,
please don’t hesitate to call or email.
We can help!

Since 1975

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We Repair and Recane Furniture & Antiques with:

Hand Cane and Press Caning

  • We Recane it!
  • We Even Recane Canoe Seats! Hand or Press Caned!


We Repair & Do


In Tigard, Portland, Oregon, Near Washington Square,

New – Old – Vintage – Antique

Hand Cane and Press Caning

How do you – I repair caned chairs?

Looking how to fix chairs with cane seats?

Caning refers to seats woven out of very thin strips (usually 1/16″ to 1/8″) of the protective glossy outer bark of rattan. Traditionally when woven, they create a pattern of small octagonal shaped holes about 1/4″ in diameter, about the size of a yellow pencil. There are both smaller and larger meshes of this pattern, as well as some straight back and forth designs, and some with little square holes in them.

Primarily, there are two different ways cane is installed in furniture. The first and oldest method is called “hand caning”, which has ties back to Egyptian times. It is done in seats having a series of small holes drilled around the perimeter. The holes might be 1/8″ to 5/16″ and are spaced from 3/8″ to 3/4″. Then narrow strips of cane are woven strand by strand in and out the holes, back and forth across the chair creating the “caned” seat! A seat woven like this may take 8-20 hours to recane.

The second form of caning furniture is called, “press caning”. This differs from “hand caning” by the chair having a narrow groove going around its perimeter. With this method, the cane material is purchased pre-woven, pressed into the groove, and then a wedge shaped strip of molding called spline is forced down into the groove tightly holding the cane into it. This method is very similar to the way a screen is installed on a window.

In its natural state, cane has a light color I often describe as vanilla ice cream, hay/straw, or ivory. It may be stained or colored to give it a darker color if desired.

One of the most common questions I’m always asked is, “What can I do to make my cane last longer?” For most people, cane seats last between 5 to 15 years, while backs may last 3 times that. The biggest enemy of cane is dry weather. If you live in a dry climate, take a plant mister and spray the bottom of your cane seat from time to time. Dry the wood off around the cane with a towel and let the cane dry naturally. This will help keep your cane soft and pliable instead of brittle and dried out.



Beautiful Antique Oak Chair with Hand Caned Seat



Medallion Back Caned Chair

Below is an much rarer, harder to find medallion back caned chair. The chair is caned in the regular manor, then a hole is cut in the back where the insert is to be, and the medallion is then press caned into the back. These are not easy to do. I was contacted by someone in the Eugene, Oregon, area who had looked for sometime before she was referred to me. She found other caners, but no one wanted to touch it. It was picked up on Saturday by the owners, and they were very happy and pleased with it.

That goes along way in making me feel like I have done something good, saving a beautiful old piece, from a lesser fate. Now it will be enjoyed for many years to come.


Cabinet Doors

Very popular today are kitchen or bathroom cabinet doors that have cane panels placed in them! It is a great look, providing excellent ventilation. Boat and yacht builders have long known how wonderful the material is for allowing moisture or condensation to dry out of closed cupboards. We have also had many customers wanting cane material put into speaker cabinet fronts, instead of plain old grill cloth.

Below~ A set of teak cabinet doors with caning, from a yacht shipped to me by a customer in Hawaii. I would have loved to have gotten a picture of them put back into into their beautiful original boat home.

This was a really neat old buggy seat that we just recaned…

Since 1975

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We repair and recane a wide variety of furniture & antiques.
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Tap or click your furniture below to find out more.

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