Congratulations on your newly woven seat! Here are a few tips on how to care for your seat to prolong the life of the weave.
- Sit properly in the seat. It’s best to sit with your weight distributed evenly across the woven surface. Using the seat as a step stool is the number one reason people bring me strand cane chairs to repair! Some people might opt for a seat cushion to provide extra protection.
- Avoid extremes. Extreme sunlight, extreme heat, and extreme humidity are all culprits of damage to caned and woven seats. Extreme sunlight and heat can make the cane brittle and cause breaking. If a woven seat is exposed to prolonged moisture due to humidity or an unremedied spill, mildew can take hold. If your chair gets wet from a spill, rain, etc., soak it up as much as you can and try to set it out a soon as possible on a sunny, breezy day to dry.
- Keep your seats clean. Dust and/or vacuum rush seats. Cane and reed seats can also be dusted and vacuumed plus, if needed, gently washed with mild soap and water. Best to do this on a sunny breezy day so that they might be left out to dry. If you wash the seats, try not to sit on them for a couple of days or cane might sag. Speaking of sagging…
- Tighten those sagging seats. If you have a caned seat that is starting to sag, you can simply turn the seat over and place a warm damp towel on the underside of the weave. Leave it there overnight and it will tighten back up. Remove the towel and turn it over the next morning and let it fully dry for a couple of days.
Most of our woven seats do not have any finish on them. Cane, reed and natural rush all have natural protections to them and are best left to breath. Finishes can cause the product to become hard and brittle and sealing them off does not allow them to properly moisturize. Paper rush is the exception. We apply a coat of thinned shellac to the top surface as the first line of defense against spills. Occasionally, we apply a light tung oil finish to reed if the seat is going to be left on a covered porch.
We will match stains using only high-quality tung oil stains from Vermont if a seat is repaired that needs to match a set, but we try to encourage customers to let them age naturally.
Have a Seat and Relax!