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Title: Seat Weaving
Author: Perry, L. Day
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                 SEAT WEAVING


                 L. DAY PERRY
    _Supervisor of Manual Training, Joliet,
     Illinois, and Instructor, Department
      Esthetic and Industrial Education,
  Summer Quarters, The University of Chicago_


               PEORIA, ILLINOIS

              Copyright, 1917, by
                 L. Day Perry


Woodworking shops in manual training schools far outnumber those for
other manual activities, and as a result, courses in woodwork have
come to be termed the stable courses in a handwork curriculum.
However, experience in woodwork alone is not sufficient, and needs to
be supplemented by other and more varied activities to give to the boy
a proper foundation for choice of vocation.

A definite way to produce necessary variety as applied to woodwork,
especially if woodwork is the only course offered, is thru the use of
such mediums as cane, reed, rush, splints and allied materials in
correlation with the wood. These materials add life to the problems
and generally arouse interest and enthusiasm in the work at hand. The
result is careful application to construction details, with resultant
appreciation of constructive design.

It would prove a difficult task to make a fair estimate of the value
such mediums have in manual training shops. Their use produces very
definite reactions upon boys who could not be reached by woodwork
alone, awakening them to a new interest in their work and making them
more workmanlike and exacting in construction.

There exists some element in such mediums which cannot be defined, but
which nevertheless stimulates the average or mediocre boy, as well as
the exceptional one, to produce the best work of which he is capable.
Experience with these materials utilized in correlation with wood will
prove the truth of these statements and demonstrate that they are not
only worth while, but necessary to any well-rounded course in wood.

The originals of the projects illustrated by the photographs were,
with few exceptions, constructed by boys of average ability in the
eighth grade. They indicate the character of work which may be
expected of boys in that grade, and, in a measure, the first two years
of high school.

Practically the entire emphasis is laid upon weaving as applied to
some form of seat, either as a decorative feature or as a necessary
part of the structure. These materials may be utilized in various ways
on varied types and forms of furniture other than seats, a few of
which are suggested. Experience with them will lead the worker to new
and interesting fields of a distinctly educational nature.

  Joliet, Illinois, November, 1916.
                                               L. DAY PERRY.

       *       *       *       *       *


Acknowledgments are hereby made to The Bruce Publishing Co., for
permission to re-use the material in Chapters I and II which appeared
in _The Industrial Arts Magazine_ in a modified form; to The
Periodical Publishing Co., for the photograph shown in the
frontispiece; to M. F. Gleason, Joliet, for the sketches shown in
Figs. 5, 6 and 8; to T. S. Moore, Joliet, for his cooperation in all
the photographic work; and to the instructors in the Joliet Department
of Manual Training who have assisted in working out a number of the

                                                    L. D. P.


  Foreword                                            3, 4

  Acknowledgments                                        4

  Chapter I.--Caning; The Seven Steps                    7
    Cane                                              7, 8
    Equipment                                         8, 9
    Beginning the Operation                          9, 10
    The Seven Steps in Caning                        10-14

  Chapter II.--Caning Suggestions                       15
    Irregular Areas                                  17-21
    Five-Step Caning                                21, 22
    The Design Element                               22-25

  Chapter III.--Reseating a Chair; Hand Caning          26
    The Process                                      27-31
    Refinishing                                      31-33

  Chapter IV.--Reseating a Chair; Cane Webbing          34
    The Process                                      35-40

  Chapter V.--Rush Seating                              41
    Historical                                       41-42
    Rush                                             42-43
    Other Materials                                  43-44
    Preparation of Materials                         44-46
    The Weaving Process                              46-49
    Rectangular Seats                                49-50
    Irregular Seats                                  50-51
    Suggestions                                      51-54
    Finish                                              54

  Chapter VI.--Reed and Splint Weaving                  55
    Primitive Methods                                56-57
    Bleaching                                        57-58
    Staining                                         58-59
    Other Materials                                  59-62

  Chapter VII.--Seats of Reeds and Splints              63
    Indian Splints                                   72-79
    A Rustic Chair                                   79-80
    A Woven Table                                       81
    Willows                                          81-82

  Weaving Materials: Where to Obtain                    84

      _Courtesy, Periodical Publishing Co._]



That caning has not been undertaken to any appreciable extent in
school shops is due to the fact that instructors are unfamiliar with
the weaving processes. Caning is not difficult. It, in common with
many other lines of activity, is best learned thru observation.
However, it may be undertaken by the average person after careful
study of printed directions and illustrations. If the worker will
closely observe his own work as it progresses, and follows
instructions carefully, he should have no unusual difficulty in caning
an area very acceptably in the initial attempt. Particular attention
should be paid to directions which tell of errors to avoid. Errors
creep in, in a very unobtrusive manner at times, and the amateur will
find them hard to detect.

=Cane.=--Cane is the name applied to a great number of plants which
possess long, slender, reedlike stems. The name should apply only to a
class of palms called rattans. These plants are found thruout the
Indian Archipelago, China, India, Ceylon, and the Malay Peninsula.
They grow in dense, dark forests and form a matted undergrowth which
makes passage difficult or impossible. These palms are trailing in
tendency, yet frequently grow to tree height. They then fall over and
lie on the ground. The stem is covered with beautiful green foliage,
grows to a length of 100 to 300 ft., and rarely exceeds 1 in. in
diameter. The stems are cut into lengths of 10 to 20 ft. for export.
The outer bark is stripped into widths varying from ¹⁄₁₆ to ³⁄₁₆ in.
These strips are put into hanks of 1,000 lineal feet each. The cane is
then ready for the cane weaver. A hank of cane costs from 60 cents to
$1. The width of the cane and its quality determines the price per
hank. It may be purchased from any upholstery supply house.

Cane is named from the narrowest to the widest in order: carriage,
superfine, fine-fine, fine, medium, common, narrow binder, and wide
binder. Cane from India has a very glossy surface, while that from
other localities is duller. The right side of the cane is easily
determined by this glossiness.

Cane for weaving purposes should not be confused with the popularly
called cane or bamboo of our southern states, where it forms the well
known cane-brakes. This cane rarely exceeds a height of 20 ft. It
grows rapidly and very straight, and to an appreciable diameter. Such
cane is used for bamboo furniture, walking sticks, poles, etc. The
ordinary domestic sugar cane, also, should not be confused with
seating cane.

  [Illustration: FIG. 1. THE CANING NEEDLE.]

=Equipment.=--The tools needed in cane weaving are few in number. A
special one is called the caning needle. This may be made in the
school shop. Fig. 1 shows a working drawing of the needle. Its length
is variable, depending upon the work at hand. It is desirable to have
a number of different lengths. The tool is made of good flexible steel
wire. This is flattened at one end, an eye cut in it, blunt pointed,
and slightly curved as indicated. The other end is inserted in an
ordinary small tool handle, extended thru and riveted. The riveting
prevents the wire from drawing out of the handle under a pulling

The other tools needed are a scratch awl, and a pair of scissors or
knife. A button-hook with the hook straightened or cut off may take
the place of the awl. A pair of dividers and rule are necessary for
marking. Several wood pegs are needed. These may be classed with the
tools. They are made from a ¼ in. dowel rod, or the equivalent. Cut
them about 4 in. long and point them as you would a lead pencil. The
amateur is inclined to use a number of pegs. Four should prove amply

=Beginning the Operation.=--Fig. 2 is a photograph of an upholstered
leg rest with caned sides. This rest will be used for our initial work
in cane weaving, inasmuch as the area for caning is rectangular. It is
not advisable for the beginner to have his initial experience on a
chair seat, for the area is usually of an odd shape, and arms, legs,
and back interfere. However, any rectangular area on which there are
no projections to bother may be used for the first trial.

  [Illustration: FIG. 2. LEG REST.]

It is assumed that the sides of the rest have been fitted. The rails
and stiles are then assembled with glue, without the posts. When the
glue has set the proper length of time, and the frame is cleaned and
sanded, the rails and stiles are ready to dimension.

Draw pencil lines entirely around the inner sides of the rails and
stiles, ½ in. from the edges. This distance remains constant, usually,
on all areas and with canes the various widths. With a pair of
dividers set at ¼ in. space off points on the pencil lines, starting
from the intersection of the extended lines on each rail. Fig. 3 is a
working drawing of a corner, dimensioned as suggested. It will make
clearer the directions. It is fundamental that the spacing be done in
the same direction on parallel rails, for at times the last space
will be a short ½ in. or whatever dimension is used. In such cases it
is necessary to redivide the last several spaces into divisions as
near ½ in. as possible. It thus becomes obvious why spacing must be
done in one direction as stated. This applies to all rectangular

  [Illustration: FIG. 3. SKETCH OF CORNER FOR CANING.]

With a ³⁄₁₆ in. wood bit bore holes thru the rails and stiles at the
points marked. Countersink the holes slightly on the underside of the
frame. This is not absolutely necessary but aids considerably in
locating the holes, and in other ways. In shops where power machinery
is available a vertical borer may be used for this purpose. It is best
to carefully mark the points for boring with a center punch. The twist
bit will then start accurately and the danger for getting out of line
will be reduced to a minimum. The dimensions given here are for
fine-fine cane. Use sandpaper to remove pencil lines and rough edges
left from boring; then clamp the frame over the edge of a table or
bench with a carriage clamp; sit while doing the weaving.

=The Seven Steps in Caning.=--Fig. 4 shows the seven steps in caning.
Refer to this photograph thruout the following directions. The numbers
on the photograph refer to the steps.

  [Illustration: FIG. 4. THE SEVEN STEPS IN CANING.]

_Step 1._ A hank of cane should be soaked for a few minutes in warm
water, or longer in cold. Do not soak it too long. Start a strand by
drawing one end thru a hole next to a corner hole, and let it project
about 3 in. below. Fasten with a peg. Then starting at the peg, pull
the entire strand thru the thumb and forefinger to prevent twisting,
and pull the end down thru the hole on the opposite parallel rail next
to the corner hole, and then up thru the hole next to it. See that the
right side of the cane is out on the underside of the frame as on the
top. Pull the cane reasonably taut, and fasten with a peg to prevent
the strand from slipping back and becoming loose. Draw the cane thru
the thumb and forefinger again; pull it across the frame and down thru
the hole next to the peg and up thru the hole next to it. Pull taut
and fasten with the second peg. This operation is repeated until all
holes have been utilized on the two parallel rails, except those on
the corners. Thruout the seven operations it is necessary that the
cane be kept from twisting by drawing the remaining part of the strand
thro thumb and forefinger.

_Step 2._ The second step is identical with the first, with the
difference that the other two parallel rails are used, and that the
canes run over the first set of parallel canes. If the first strand of
cane has not been entirely used up in the first step, the remainder is
used to begin the second step.

  [Illustration: FIG. 5. METHOD OF TYING ENDS OF CANE.]

_Step 3._ This step is a repetition of the first two. The canes of
this series run _over_ the first and second series and parallel with
the first. As each strand is used up bind the end by pulling it under
a cane, crossing from one hole to another underneath the frame and
cutting off about ¼ in. from the cane. Fig. 5 shows how this binding
is done. The loose end at the starting point is tied in this way, and
all subsequent ones should be tied as they come, thus avoiding
interference by many pegs, and insuring neat binding.

_Step 4._ The actual weaving begins with this step. It may be done
entirely by hand, without resort to the needle, but it is slow work.
The needle should be used. Start at a hole next to a corner on either
rail that has been used but _once_, working from caned side toward the
open frame. Go over and under the strands necessary to form the weave,
turning the needle from side to side in order to catch the canes
behind the point. When across thread the needle with the strand and
pull thru, being careful to avoid a twist. Pull the end down thru the
hole, pairing the canes. Pull the cane up thru the next hole; then
start the needle from the opposite side of the frame and repeat the
first operation, thus pairing another set of canes. Continue until all
canes are paired and all holes used. Soak the woven cane with a wet
sponge, and with two pegs straighten the strands of cane and force all
pairs together. Small, open squares are thus formed over the area
being caned. Unless the cane is soaked it will prove rather difficult
to pair the canes.

_Step 5._ This step is the weaving of one set of diagonals. Start the
strand at any corner hole. Use one hand over and one under the frame.
As the worker becomes skilful he will find it easier to give the cane
a slight curve and work with both hands on the upper surface. Use an
end of cane long enough for convenient handling; then pull the entire
strand thru the length of the frame, provided the area is not too
great. Care must be taken to avoid twisting the cane. The cane will
run easily, and partially under a cane at the corners of the squares,
if correctly done. Fig. 6 shows this clearly, as does the illustration
in Fig. 27. The second illustration is a photograph of a strip of cane
webbing, is approximately half size, and will supplement the freehand
sketch. The corners will bind, and the strand will pull with
difficulty if the cane is incorrectly woven. On parallel canes note
that the canes either run _over_ or _under_ the pairs.

  [Illustration: FIG. 6. FREEHAND SKETCH OF CANING.]

_Step 6._ This step is identical with the preceding one. The canes are
at right angles to the first diagonals. In this step and the preceding
one note that two strands run into the corner holes. This holds true
in all rectangular frames where a corner hole is bored. It permits the
strands to run in as straight a line as possible. If it is necessary
to turn abruptly to enter a hole it is obvious that an error has been
made by the weaver.

_Step 7._ Pull a cane of the same size as used in the other steps up
thru a hole, over the binder cane and down thru the same hole. A loop
is thus formed and the binder secured. Pull taut, then enter the next
hole, pull up the cane over the binder and down, and so on. This
operation may be repeated at every other hole when the holes are close
together. The two ends of the binder are finally overlapped and
secured, and the operation thus completed. At times, when the last
strands are woven, it may prove advisable to secure canes underneath
the frame by plugging the necessary holes; at least in instances where
the canes have a tendency to work loose.

  [Illustration: SUGGESTIVE PROJECTS.]



As weaving progresses difficulty will be experienced in inserting cane
ends in the holes, due to their becoming filled. Force the scratch awl
thru and turn it several times. This will effectively force an

In many instances long ends of cane remain from one series to another.
These generally, as previously mentioned, should be used in succeeding
steps. There is one limitation. They should be used provided it is not
necessary to carry them over more than four holes on the under side of
the frame. The fewer loose ends left, the better, for the caning is
thereby neater and better. It is generally advisable to use a full
length strand to avoid a number of loose ends.

The amateur will find his greatest difficulty in properly weaving the
diagonals at the edges; that is, immediately upon entering or leaving
a hole. Many commendable pieces of caning are spoiled by ragged,
improperly woven edges. Care must be taken to see that the cane goes
_over_ and _under_ the proper strand or strands at these points. Fig.
6 clearly shows how the diagonals should run. Study it carefully.

The addition of a binder is generally a matter of taste. Perhaps 50
per cent of modern hand caned furniture does not employ a binder of
any description. The series of regularly exposed holes are rather
pleasing and in no way detract. However, in chair seats a binder is
essential to protect the ends of canes, for they are subject to hard

Binders of reed or of wood called "splines" may be used on hand-caned
frames. If either is used a groove ¼ in. deep and ³⁄₁₆ in. wide is
cut coincident with the holes before weaving is begun. After the area
is caned the strips are fitted and glued in. Use little glue. Tap the
splines firmly with a mallet used over a block of wood, until they are
flush with the woven cane. Chapter IV gives the method in detail.

The size of the holes and the distance between them is determined
largely by the size of the cane used. Some prefer coarse meshed areas,
while others desire them closely woven. There is, however, what we may
term a standard mesh. The individual may vary the dimensions given to
suit himself. The Jacobean or early caning was invariably of coarse

  [Illustration: FIG. 7. WINGBACK CHAIR.]

Carriage and superfine cane require ⅛ in. holes and ⅜ in. spaces;
fine-fine cane requires ³⁄₁₆ in. holes and ½ in. spaces; fine cane
requires ³⁄₁₆ in. holes and ⅝ in. spaces; medium, ¼ in. holes and ¾ in.
spaces. Fine-fine and fine cane are the best sizes for shop use. A
small amount of medium binder is desirable.

One hank of cane will ordinarily be sufficient for a half-dozen areas
of approximately 12 in. by 12 in.

Most old pieces of period furniture utilizing cane employ a
particularly narrow split horizontally and vertically, and a wider
split diagonally. The opposite practice may be employed--a finer split
of cane being used diagonally than horizontally and vertically. Both
effects are pleasing.

In all illustrations of rectangular areas shown herein, corner holes
are bored and utilized in the cane weaving. These are not absolutely
necessary; in fact caned areas on many pieces of period and modern
furniture do not utilize corner holes. In such instances two diagonal
strands are run in each hole on either side of the corner. A
comparison of the areas, the one employing a corner hole, and the
other not, will lead the observer to conclude that the former appears
complete while the latter appears unfinished.


It is frequently necessary or desirable to cover up the cane on the
back or inside of an article. This is true of places exposed to view,
and is especially advisable on such pieces of furniture as the
wingback chair shown in Fig. 7. This chair of William and Mary design
was made in a school shop, is hand caned, and of mahogany. The exposed
cane is covered with strips of mahogany ¼ in. thick and 1 in. wide in
which a groove ⅛ in. deep and ⅜ in. wide has been run. This groove may
be made with saw, chisel, or combination plane. Fig. 8 shows a sketch
of such a strip. It makes a neat, pleasing cover. Many pieces of
so-called expensive furniture have ragged, exposed caning. This is
unsightly and is not to be commended.

Wherever it is found desirable to leave cane natural, it is necessary
that the frame be stained before caning is begun. Box fuming will not
permanently color cane. Oil stains make no appreciable impression if
rubbed off at once. But water, acid, and alcohol stains produce
decided colors. If the worker desires to color the cane approximately
the same shade as the article, the caning may be done on the white
wood and the entire article stained at the one operation. Cane may be
shellacked or varnished or left natural, as desired.

=Irregular Areas.=--Fig. 9 shows a close view of the back of the
chair illustrated in Fig. 7. This is a typical example of an
irregular-shaped area for caning. The principles of weaving remain
the same in areas of any shape, yet each requires slightly different
treatment. Each has its individual problem. It is necessary to skip
some holes altogether. This is never done in rectangular shapes. A
close inspection of the photograph will reveal many skipped holes.
This is necessary to keep parallel strands equidistant, and diagonals



To clearly understand how the holes are located on a wing of this
chair refer to Fig. 10. The left upright and lower rails are at right
angles to each other. The upper rail is curved and the right upright
slanted. Measurements are begun at the lower left hand corner and
proper distances spaced on the left upright. With the arm of a
try-square against this upright, points are marked on the opposite
upright in line with those on the former. This operation is repeated
on the lower rail and the upper curved one. Strands of cane will then
obviously run parallel. Inasmuch as there are five holes in the base
and eight in the top it is necessary that three vertical strands be
run into the slanting upright in any holes which will permit the
strands to run parallel to each other. The photograph of the caned
wing, shown in Fig. 11, should make very clear the foregoing
explanation. Experience with several unusual shapes is necessary
before the weaver feels confident of readily caning any area of odd

  [Illustration: FIG. 11. CLOSE VIEW OF WING.]

In weaving the diagonals it is frequently necessary to run several in
one hole in order to keep the canes as straight as possible. Just when
this should be done can only be determined by the worker. A diagonal
should never be permitted to swing to any great degree out of a
straight line. A close observation of the photograph of the wing will
reveal many diagonal canes in one hole, and several holes skipped

  [Illustration: FIG. 12. CANING OF FIVE STEPS.]

=Five-Step Caning.=--Cane weaving of five steps is not common. It may
be done in many cases where it will not be subject to hard wear. It is
neat in appearance and is much simpler than seven-step caning. The
presumption should not be made that this weave will in any way
supplant the regular weave, but in instances where decoration is the
object, and not service particularly, this weave will prove sufficient
and effective.

Fig. 12 illustrates a frame caned with the five steps. The distance
between holes was purposely made greater than usual, to show the weave
clearly. The first strands are strung in, in the same manner as
described in the seven steps. The second series of strands are
interwoven with the first. The over and under weave is used. Each
alternate row of each series is either over or under. The first
diagonal strands run _over_ the preceding two series. They are not
woven as in seven-step caning. The second diagonal strands run _over_
the first diagonals and _under_ the intersection of the other strands,
including every alternate first diagonal. This resolves itself into
simple over and under weaving. Note that but one strand of a diagonal
enters a corner hole. This is not true of seven-step caning, as
elsewhere indicated. It is advisable to utilize a wider cane in the
first two steps, than is used in the subsequent ones.


=The Design Element.=--Caning is not a fad. Cane was commonly used in
Carolean furniture in England about 1660, and has continued in use for
seating purposes thru the various subsequent periods. The application
of cane as used today on French furniture, as in panels, is
historically wrong. However there can be no valid objection to its use
in panels if no attempt is made to name it a true period style. Also
it must be conceded that period furniture was not always well
designed, and there can be no well sustained objection to the use of
cane in panels, provided it is in keeping structurally and
decoratively with the particular piece of furniture.

The introduction of cane at first was undoubtedly brought about by a
desire for something light, substantial and serviceable, and it
blended well with the oak of the period. Cane is much used on modern
furniture, and without doubt it adds to the beauty of the given
pieces. In many cases the decoration is overdone and instead of
improving the article the cane in reality detracts. Properly used, it
enriches by breaking up flat uninteresting areas, and lightening the
appearance of otherwise massive, cumbersome articles.

  [Illustration: FIG. 14. ROCKER WITH CANED SIDES.]


Under proper correlation with wood in school shops it promotes an
appreciation of constructive design in which the element of beauty is
a prime consideration. It is a practical medium in which the aspect of
design as an element of utility is paramount. It has distinct
commercial value, for the boys who have had training in the shops may
do chair seating outside and earn considerable money. By such work
they come to see a distinct relation between the commercial field and
their shop experiences. This is a point of view which is very
desirable in present-day industrial education.

Figs. 13, 14, 15, and 17 show pieces of furniture made in manual
training shops by eighth grade boys. These pieces comprise a group,
with the addition of the leg rest shown in Fig. 2 for a library or
living room. The cane in each instance adds materially to the artistic
effect of the problems; they have tone. The cane forms pleasing groups
well related to the wood mass. The cane is natural, the wood fumed and
finished flat. The two tones of color are in perfect harmony.

  [Illustration: FIG. 16. LIBRARY TABLE.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 17. TABLE. SIDES CANED.]

Fig. 16 shows a library table of oak constructed by an eighth grade
boy. The lines are very pleasing and the long vertical caned panel
adds a distinct note to the structure even tho purely decorative.

Many modifications of the standard weave in caning are in vogue, but
are more or less fads. A "rotary" weave is rather prevalent on certain
types of furniture, as is what may be termed the "spider-web" weave.
These are mentioned merely to suggest that caning is subject to
variation. However, the standard weave, of seven steps, will not be
supplanted to any appreciable degree, for it adapts itself to almost
all types of furniture both decoratively and structurally.

It must not be presumed that the method described in Chapter I is the
only one which may be employed in weaving this standard weave. There
are several methods of weaving which arrive at the same ultimate
result, but the one described is the simplest, and the most direct,
and withal the one best adapted to general use, particularly to
school-shop pupils.

  [Illustration: SUGGESTIVE PROJECTS.]



In many localities it is impossible to find a professional to reseat
caned chairs either by hand or with cane webbing. Many chairs in good
repair and worthy are relegated to the attic because of broken or
sunken seats. Upholsterers generally will not be troubled with such
jobs of caning for the work does not pay unless there is an amount
sufficient to keep them steadily employed. Usually they are not adept
enough to do such odd jobs as may come to them, even tho willing to do
the work, within a time consistent with sufficient money returns.

Chairs of ordinary size may be caned for a minimum of $1 and a maximum
of $2. If the holes have previously been bored, much labor is thus
avoided, and the charge is naturally made less. The professional cane
weaver has various ways by which he determines the cost for recaning a
given seat. Perhaps the most common method employed is that of
charging so much per hole. This is from 1 to 2 cents. The difficulty
in handling very fine cane is also a factor in deciding what to
charge. Usually a casual looking over of the chair by the expert is
all that is necessary to fix a price. No charge of less than $1 on a
hand caned seat will sufficiently remunerate the worker. Fig. 18 shows
a hank of cane and rolls of machine woven cane.

Any boy who has had instruction and sufficient experience in caning in
the manual training shop may readily undertake jobs of caning. The boy
who will investigate will find that he may work up a sizeable trade in
chair seating in a short time. In fact several boys will not overcrowd
a given field. Such work will pay the amateur well. He does not, nor
cannot expect professional wages. It is of considerable value from the
pupil's standpoint alone, that is, this correlation with his manual
school activities. The amount of pay initially is not the main
question; it is the educational value derived. He would undoubtedly
find willing help at his shop at any time a job of peculiar treatment
presented itself.

=The Process.=--Many chairs which the owners would wish hand caned
have no holes bored for the work. They previously held machine woven
cane. Fig. 19 shows a sketch of a chair bottom of ordinary or standard
shape. The area is irregular. The sketch shows the method of
determining the location for the holes.


As stated in the discussion of the seven steps in caning, the holes
are invariably ½ in. from the inner edges of the rails. In this
instance the line from which the holes for the front rail are located
is parallel with the front rail; it is coincident with the line on
which the holes are bored. The line on the back rail must be parallel
with it; the line runs thru the center of the center hole. The lines
on the side rails are parallel to each other and at right angles to
the first two. These four lines are shown as dash lines on the
drawing. Their function is simply to determine the location for the
holes to be bored on the lines ½ in. from the inner edges of the
rails. Those lines are shown in the sketch as full lines.


When the working lines are determined, the centers of the front and
back lines are located. The lines connecting corresponding holes on
the front and back rails must be parallel to the line connecting the
center holes on these rails. This rule applies to the locating of the
holes on the side rails. It also applies to any seat of odd shape. The
distance between holes will vary somewhat at different places on the
seat frame. This is the result of working to rule, and is necessary to
keep strands equidistant and parallel. At times respacing at several
places will be necessary. When it is, simply redivide into as nearly
the given dimensions as possible.

  [Illustration: FIG. 20. FIRST STEP HALF COMPLETED.]


After the holes have been bored and cleaned the seat is ready for
caning. Start at the center hole in the back. Pull the cane up thru
this hole and across the frame, and down the center hole in the front.
Work both ways on the frame. Fig. 19 shows a cane started in this
manner. It is best that the amateur work from the center, both ways.
He may begin otherwise when he understands the work better. The caning
operations on the seat to be shown are the same as those described in
the seven steps in caning. They never vary. The only new thing
involved here is the shape of the seat. Fig. 20 is a photograph of a
chair seat of an odd shape, an irregular ellipse. It shows the first
step half completed. Note here that the last strand skips two holes,
one at the front and one at the back. This is necessary to keep
strands as nearly the same distance apart as possible. Fig. 21 shows
the first step completed and the second partially so. It is not
necessary to start at the center with this series, altho it is
advisable with the beginner. Note that two holes have been skipped
here, as in the first step. Fig. 22 shows the second step finished and
the third under way. These strands run directly over those of the
first series. Pegs are always used to keep strands taut. Their proper
use has been explained. Fig. 23 shows the third step completed and the
fourth under way. This shows the actual weaving, and the method of
using the needle. It has been pushed thru in the manner previously
described; and is shown threaded, ready to be pulled back, thus making
the weave. The needle may not be used, but will do the work rapidly.
Handwork alone here is tedious. Fig. 24 shows the diagonal weave under
way. In Fig. 25 this weave is completed and the second diagonal
started. Fig. 26 shows the method of fastening the binder. This has
been described.



The first three series of strands should not be pulled very tight,
otherwise the final weaving will prove difficult. The finished seat,
when dry, should ring when struck sharply with the fingers.

The method of tying cane, preventing twists, etc., has been explained.
Reference should be made to these points, when anything is not fully
understood in this discussion of chair seating.



Note that many holes have been skipped in each series, especially in
the last two, and also that more than one diagonal of a given series
enters the same hole. In every case it will enter that hole which
leaves its course in as straight a line as possible. In rectangular
areas it is never necessary to run two diagonals into the same hole,
except at the corners. This applies to two diagonals of the same

=Refinishing.=--The refinishing of a chair is a distinct problem, and
one which the cane weaver should understand. He should acquire ability
for finishing along with skill in caning, inasmuch as a chair which
needs a new seat invariably is in need of refinishing. The method is
as follows: Remove the cane from the seat. If the finish is in fair
condition merely wash the chair with warm water and soap. When dry
sand the surface somewhat, wipe clean, and follow with a coat of good
varnish. In forty-eight hours rub with pumice stone and oil, and
follow with an application of furniture polish, well rubbed. A good
polish which may be made in school shops is composed of two parts of
raw oil, two parts of turpentine, one part vinegar, and a very small
amount of alcohol. Boiled oil may be used in the absence of the raw
product. Shake the container constantly when using, for the parts are
almost all merely held in suspension.

Should the chair be in poor condition, remove all varnish with any
good varnish remover found on the market. Apply as directed with a
stiff brush, running the solution well into all crevices. Later rub
off the softened finish with excelsior or burlap. A scraper, an old
plane bit, or a rather dull chisel will prove effective in corners and
recesses. Apply a second coat of remover if conditions warrant it and
clean again, then when the surfaces are dry, sand until clean and
smooth. Follow with a coat of oil stain of the color desired; then two
coats of varnish, allowing each coat to dry 48 hours. Sand the first
coat lightly, and rub the second with pumice stone and oil. A filler
is not generally necessary in refinishing. The ground coat may be of
shellac instead of varnish if the worker prefers it. The chair need
not be stained if it was finished natural originally.


In caning the seat special care must be exercised to avoid marring
the varnished frame. If the needle is used in the fourth step the
frame needs protection from it. Pieces of bristol or card board may be
placed under the needle on either side of the frame. The needle is
bound to mar the surface of the frame if this precaution is not taken.

In many instances it is policy to cane the seat after the old finish
has been removed; this to avoid any possibility of marring the seat
frame later. However, it is better practice to refinish the chair
first, and cane the seat last.

  [Illustration: SUGGESTIVE PROJECTS.]



The seating of chairs with machine woven cane is a much simpler
process than that of hand caning them. Under similar conditions less
time and skill are required on areas of like dimensions. Machine woven
cane, as its name implies, is a manufactured product made on power
looms or machines. Commercially it is sold under the name of cane
webbing. It is obtainable in widths ranging from 8 in., increasing by
2 in., to 18 in., and in rolls of indefinite lengths. It may be
procured in meshes of varying fineness, utilizing cane of various
sizes. In specifying open woven cane it is necessary that the
purchaser indicate his wants in essentially this way: Ten feet medium
open woven cane webbing, of No. 1 fine cane, 12 in. wide. A roll of
such cane has been referred to in Fig. 18.

Cane webbing may also be purchased in close woven, in both the plain
and diagonal weaves. The specifications for purchasing are identical
with the open woven except that the term close woven is specified
together with the character of weave. Fig. 27 shows cane webbing
approximately half size, in open and close woven meshes.

As in hand caning, any boy with proper inclination who has had the
necessary experience in the shops, may avail himself of the
opportunities for seating chairs in his community. The educational and
pecuniary advantages are identical to those mentioned in relation to
hand caning. The relative ease with which he may acquire skill in
handling the materials precludes satisfactory workmanship for
prospective customers.

The cost of jobs is readily determined, for the amount and cost of
webbing is easily ascertained, and experience soon determines the
length of time required. Cane webbing costs approximately as follows:
For 12 in. widths, 21 cents; 14 in. widths, 26 cents; 16 in. widths,
30 cents; and 18 in. widths, 38 cents. This cost applies to open woven
and is the charge per running foot. Close woven is sold by the square
foot at about 30 cents, regardless of width. It is possible to procure
special wide widths, but these are not generally found on the open

  [Illustration: FIG. 27. OPEN AND CLOSE WOVEN CANE.]


For example, a chair seat which requires a 12 in. square of open woven
webbing, and which has the groove made, may be reseated for 50 cents.
The entire job could be finished in about half an hour. This may be
made less if several chairs are to be reseated at a time. However, it
may be termed the minimum charge consistent with fair money returns.
There are instances when the seat frame requires grooving, and
inasmuch as running it in by hand is a laborious and tedious process
the worker must of necessity carefully estimate time before he
determines upon charge.

=The Process.=--The following may be termed the steps in inserting
cane webbing. No special difficulty should be encountered in properly
seating the frame at the first attempt.

_Step 1._ Fig. 28 shows a commercial chair seat with groove cut by a
router after it has been assembled. There are no angles on the seat.
The groove is standard, with dimensions ¼ in. deep and ³⁄₁₆ in. wide.
This groove may be cut by hand with a universal plane and chisel
before permanently assembling the parts. In fact this is a necessary
procedure in grade schools and other schools where special machine
tools are unavailable. The necessary tools for pressing in the webbing
lie near the frame, Fig. 28. These are a small mallet, a chisel, and
several hard wood wedges. The wedges are made in several widths, to
enable them to enter the groove at the abrupt curves, are 4 in. long
of ¼ in. stock, tapered to ⅛ in. on the faces.

  [Illustration: FIG. 29. INSERTING THE CANE WEBBING.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 30. TRIMMING THE EDGES.]

_Step 2._ The cane should be boiled in water for a minute or so, or
allowed to soak for several minutes in warm water until thoroly
pliable. Then lay it on the frame and cut it to the shape of the seat,
allowing half an inch excess around the entire piece. A pattern of
card or bristol board will prove of material assistance to the amateur
as well as the expert. The front line or edge of the pattern must run
parallel with the horizontal or vertical strands of cane. Pull out all
weavers at the edges of the piece of cane where they run over and
parallel with the groove. Then lay the webbing over the frame, and see
that the weavers run parallel with the front of the frame. With wedge
and mallet as illustrated in Fig. 29 begin at the front and force the
webbing into the groove. Insert on the opposite side next, then the
other two sides in order. The curves may be done last.

_Step 3._ The edges of the webbing will project up beyond the groove.
These are cut off as illustrated in Fig. 30 by means of a mallet and
chisel at the outer edge in the bottom of the groove. Run either
liquid or hot glue into the groove. An oil-can with large holed nozzle
is excellent for this purpose. The liquid glue should be heated if
used in this way so it may flow easily. This glue is to be recommended
for the amateur in that no great haste is required as in the case with
hot glue. A small stiff round brush will serve the purpose very well
in absence of the oiler.

  [Illustration: FIG. 31. INSERTING THE SPLINE.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 32. SKETCH OF A PORTION OF A SPLINE.]

_Step 4._ Fig. 31 shows the method of inserting the spline. Splines
may be had either of wood or reed, are curved on the upper edge and
wedge shape in cross-section. They are standard in width and thickness
and will fit a groove of the size indicated in _Step 1_. Fig. 32 is a
freehand sketch of a spline, showing particularly its shape in
cross-section. Wood splines, preferably of hickory, may be purchased
in 5 ft. lengths, and reed splines in lengths of 8 or 10 ft. Both
hickory and reed are recommended because of their pliability and ease
in handling. Steam or soak them in hot water until thoroly pliable;
then insert in the groove as illustrated. Note that the joint is made
at the rear of the seat. The mallet used is of rawhide and will not
mar the spline. A wooden mallet of small size is a satisfactory tool.
Cut off the extra length of spline with the chisel, force the spline
down nearly flush with the frame with mallet and wedge, sponge off the
excess glue from the surface, and allow the webbing to dry.

_Step 5._ The finished seat is shown in Fig. 33. As the cane webbing
dries it becomes taut, and irregularities of the surface, if not too
pronounced, will disappear entirely. Therefore, the worker need not
consider them primarily. Light sanding of the cane when thoroly dry
will eliminate the small hairlike projections on the surface. Singeing
the surface with a blow torch or gas flame will do the work more
effectively, but great care must be exercised to avoid burning the
webbing itself. The singeing must be done rapidly and the flame not be
permitted to remain at one spot more than an instant. Dampen the
surface to minimize the danger of burning.

  [Illustration: FIG. 33. THE FINISHED SEAT.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 34. CHAIR WITH CANED PANEL.]

The chair shown in Fig. 34 was made by an eighth grade boy. The slip
seat is upholstered, and a panel of cane webbing utilized on the back.
In instances of this character where the area is rectangular, splines
are cut, mitered, and fitted previous to inserting the webbing. The
splines are used dry. Manufacturers, in instances where the seat area
is all curved, generally fit the pliable spline, allow it to dry,
and then insert it with the webbing. This assures tight joints. This
procedure is not recommended for the ordinary shops for the simple
reason that the shrinkage is not appreciable.


The frame illustrated in Fig. 35 is purely supplementary to the steps,
but as with the Seven Steps in Caning, it should be used in
demonstrating the processes to classes. It materially assists in
making the processes clear to the students, previous to allowing work
on their projects, and assures a general understanding, at least, of
proper procedure. The different panels are lettered for convenience
and need no elaborate explanation:

_A_ is the open frame with grooves cut for the webbing.

_B_ is the webbing inserted with ragged edges exposed, ready for

_C_ is the webbing with edges properly trimmed and a spline inserted.

_D_ is the completed panel.

Inserts of cane webbing may be utilized on pieces of furniture other
than seats. These inserts could be used on every article illustrated
in Chapters I and II, with similar pleasing effects, and with less
labor. However, there is an obvious element in hand caning which
naturally and logically gives it precedence over the inserted cane.



Rush seating, employing either genuine rush or substitutes, may be
done to good advantage and with excellent results in manual training
shops. No equipment is needed to maintain such work. The addition of a
woven seat to a chair or stool constructed in the shops will
necessarily employ a new, interesting medium in conjunction with
woodwork; and materially increase the pupils' knowledge of materials
and possible combinations. And, as with caning, the resultant interest
in the work at hand more than justifies its introduction in manual
training shops. Rush seating employs a very simple weave. Different
materials employed in weaving naturally require different degrees of
skill, and the difficulties encountered are those resulting from
handling materials and not because of the complexity of the weave. One
may very readily undertake the rushing of ordinary seat frames after a
study of printed directions and illustrations. It should be understood
at the outset that, in discussing rush seating, materials other than
genuine rush are included in the term.

=Historical.=--In the British Museum in London is a seat of curious
shape of Egyptian manufacture, which, it is estimated, was made
previous to 4000 B.C. A small amount of rush still clings to the seat
frame. The relative date of the construction and weaving of the chair
seat would indicate that rush seating is by no means a modern art,
altho at present rush is extensively employed in furniture.

The use of rush in England dates no earlier than 1720. Several types
of chairs were made there between that date and 1870. In France rush
was used extensively in the seating of furniture of Normandy and
Brittany about 1750. Flanders produced rush seated chairs at an early
date, and many were constructed in this country in early colonial
days, prior to 1776, as well as later. Such chairs were undoubtedly
patterned after those brought over from Holland, France, and England
to the early settlements in America both before and after the
Revolutionary War.


In early times rush always served a function in the seats of chairs
and stools, and was very seldom if ever used on the better class of
furniture. The use of cane or rush on furniture for decorative
purposes only is distinctly a modern idea. Utility rather than beauty
prompted the introduction of seats of rush.

Modern furniture of excellent design and workmanship employs rush
seats. These are either woven over a separate frame and inserted or
are an integral part of the chair, being woven over the seat rails of
the chair itself. Fig. 36 shows a modern adaptation of a ladder back
chair with rush seat. The rush on this chair is woven over the rails.
Fig. 37 shows a flat view of the seat.

=Rush.=--Rush is the name applied to many fistular, stemlike plants of
similar or like growth. Properly, rush belongs to the sedge family.
The different species vary greatly in appearance; some are low and
slender, some are tall and leafless, and some are broad leaved. They
are found in wet places thruout the northern hemisphere, along banks
of sluggish streams, and in lowlands and marshes. The great bulrush
is common and familiar, while the chair-maker's rush is not as well
known. The plants most commonly known as rush are called by the names
of flag and cattail. In fact, flag and cattail are very generally used
for rush seating. The technical names of the different species of rush
are not pertinent or desirable here.

  [Illustration: FIG. 37. SEAT OF LADDER BACK CHAIR.]

=Other Materials.=--Materials other than rush may be used for rush
seating, as has been stated. Rush is rather hard to manage in that no
appreciable length may be handled because of the shortness of the
leaf. Twisting is necessary. Fiber, or similar materials, is to be
recommended for shop use because a great length is procurable, and the
twist is made. It is made of machine-twisted paper, and comes in long
indefinite lengths. It is tough, strong, and serviceable, and
procurable in spools of about one hundred pounds each. Fig. 38 shows
such a spool together with a bundle of rush. It is manufactured with
or without a flexible wire center and costs from 10 to 15 cents a
pound. It may be had in several colors and sizes.

Raffia is well known thru its general use in basketry and allied work.
In rush seating it has no conspicuous place, altho it may be utilized
to great advantage. Raffia is the leaf of a certain palm, cut in
narrow widths and varying in length from 2 to 5 feet. It is bought in
hanks by the pound, bleached or unbleached, and in colors. The natural
unbleached raffia costs about 25 cents per pound; colored about 75
cents. The hanks should not be untied, but as strands are needed they
should be pulled out from the head end of the hank. If improperly
handled, raffia will become badly tangled.


Corn husks, taken from close to the ear, may be used, particularly for
seating chairs of toy furniture. The husks near the ear are not as
coarse and brittle as those outside. The shortness of the husks
precludes their general use, altho they produce an excellent seat when
properly woven.

The materials mentioned by no means exhaust the list of available
mediums for rush seating, but will give considerable and sufficient
variety for shopwork. As the weaver comes to appreciate the limits and
advantages of the various mediums for certain grade work, he may
utilize local plants and grasses suitable for such work.

=Preparation of Materials.=--Rush--and in the term are included
cattail and flag--is common to almost any locality in our northern
states. It should be gathered when full grown and still green. It is
ready for cutting when the tips of the leaves begin to turn brown.
This is usually about the middle of August. The leaves are tied in
loose bundles for convenience in handling, and dried in the shade,
preferably a darkened room. They should remain here until thoroly dry.
Before using, soak the rush about ten hours in water. Less time is
required if warm water is used. When it is soft and pliable it is
ready for weaving.


Before weaving, the butt ends of the leaves are cut off about a foot
from the base. These are too coarse and stiff to weave properly. One
leaf may be used or two leaves may be twisted together to make a
strand. Three leaves make a coarse strand, two a medium, and one a
fine strand. A long, tight twist is necessary to produce an even,
smooth strand. The twisting is always done in one direction. One leaf
is recommended for beginners in rush seating, for adding to one is
much simpler than adding to several. The under side of the seat need
not be as smooth and as well woven as the top. In fact, twisting need
not be done underneath at all unless the individual worker so desires.

Raffia is easy to manipulate because of its pliability, even when dry.
Several lengths will need to be twisted together to produce a strand
of sufficient size. It requires little soaking to make it ready for
use. Raffia produces an even, smooth surface of pleasing appearance,
and is very desirable in a seat.


Fiber may be woven as it comes from the spool. However, it is better
to dampen it by plunging a quantity in water and removing at once.
When it dries after weaving, a slight shrinkage results, thereby
making a tauter seat than could be woven with dry strands. Inasmuch as
the fiber is paper, it cannot be soaked in water.

=The Weaving Process.=--With the frame ready and rush in proper
condition the weaving may be started. Fig. 39 shows an isometric
drawing on which corners are lettered and the rails numbered in order.
Fig. 40 shows another drawing on which the corners and rails are
similarly lettered and numbered, showing graphically the method of
weaving the first strand. The arrows indicate the direction of weave.
The operation is practically complete once around the frame. Reference
may be made to either drawing in the following detailed directions for

Start arbitrarily at any corner--in this case, _A_. A strand of rush
tightly twisted is laid over rail 1 next to the cap with its short end
turned down. The beginner may find it advantageous to tack the end in
place. Draw the strand over the edge and bottom of rail 1 and up at
the inner corner, then over the top and edge of rail 2. This binds the
loose end in place if it has not been previously tacked. Pull the
strand directly across the frame opening to the top of rail 3 at
corner _B_. Draw it over the edge of the same rail and under, then up
at the inner corner and over the top and edge of rail 1. Pull directly
across the frame opening to the top of rail 4 at corner _C_. The
operations at corners _C_ and _D_ are identical to those at _A_ and
_B_, and these repeat themselves indefinitely at each corner, or until
the seat is completed. This applies to square seats only. The end of
the last strand may be secured with a tack under the proper rail, or
twisted around a strand underneath the seat.


The strand is twisted as the weaving progresses. This may be done with
the palm of the hand and thigh, in much the same manner as a shoemaker
waxes his thread. If one leaf of rush is used to make the strand, new
leaves are added by tying the two ends in a square knot at a corner,
or wherever such joining will not show on the finished seat. When more
than one piece of rush is used for a strand the pieces should be of
uneven lengths initially. One leaf or piece at a time is then added.
The upper or top end of the leaf is used to begin the seating and each
leaf added is attached at its top end.

Some expert rush seaters do not tie knots in making strands, but add
leaves by twisting the end of the preceding leaf about the added one,
"like the color on a barber pole," as one old rush weaver remarked.
Adding by twisting only is difficult, and requires great patience and
dextrous handling of the material. In fact rush should be used by the
more skilful boys only. Others may use the excellent substitute,

Care must be exercised to keep the strands from overlapping
improperly at the corners. The strands should fit snugly where they go
over the rails. To assure this, tap them sharply with a mallet used
over a block of soft wood. This may be done at frequent intervals or
when several strands have been woven over each rail. Uniform tension
on the strand is desirable and this should be tight.

  [Illustration: FIG. 42. METHOD OF FILLING IN CENTER.]

As the work progresses the interior between the upper and lower rows
of strands is stuffed. This is done with the same material as that
used in the weaving. The butt ends of rush are used to stuff the seat
of rush; raffia is used to stuff a raffia seat; craft paper to stuff a
fiber seat; and so on. The packing should be done in a thoro manner,
for it builds up the seat and prevents its breaking down at the inner
edges of the rails, and sagging with continued use. A slightly curved
hardwood stick about 12 in. long may be used to advantage to do this
work. Fig. 41 shows a sketch of such a stick. It is ¾ in. in diameter
at one end and tapered to ½ in. by ⅛ in. at the other. Considerable
force needs to be exerted in packing, and caution used to avoid
breaking strands.

=Rectangular Seats.=--As stated, in weaving a square seat the initial
process is repeated at all corners until all openings are filled. In
rectangular seats the spaces on the short rails will fill before those
on the long rails. Weaving around corners is then manifestly
impossible. Fig. 42 shows a partly woven seat with the short rails
filled, and the process of filling up the remaining area under way.
The method is this: Go over and under a long rail, across half the
frame opening and up thru, then across the remaining distance, and
over and under the other long rail. Repeat until the seat is
completed. Fig. 43 is a sketch of a partly woven seat, illustrating
the method of filling in the center just described. It supplements the
photograph and makes the method clearer.

  [Illustration: FIG. 43. METHOD OF FILLING IN CENTER.]

It should be noted that the strands in crossing at the center must be
compressed one-half of their diameters. They will need to be tapped
sharply with a small mallet or hammer to produce proper crowding. Fig.
44 shows a stool seat of fiber woven by an eighth grade boy. Fig. 45
shows the complete stool. The seat is woven over a separate frame and
inserted. Fig. 46 is a child's chair of oak, with a seat of fiber
woven over the rails of the chair.

=Irregular Seats.=--The usual or standard shape of chair seat is like
the one illustrated in the drawing, Fig. 47. The front rail is longer
than the back, and the side rails are equal in length. Seats of this
shape are rather difficult to weave because special treatment is
necessary to fill up portions of certain rails.

  [Illustration: FIG. 44. COMPLETED TOP OF FIBER.]

With reference made to the drawing, the method employed in locating
lines for rushing, and for rushing such a seat is this: With the beam
of a square laid against rail 4 with its corner against the cap at
corner _A_, scribe a pencil line across rail 2. Similarly, mark the
same rail using the square against rail 4 at corner _D_. Stated in
other words, these lines may be obtained by determining the difference
in length between the front and back rails, and laying off one-half
this difference from each corner on the front rail. This distance is
indicated by the brackets in the drawing.


  [Illustration: FIG. 46. CHILD'S CHAIR WITH FIBER SEAT.]

Now tie with a string as many strands of rush as will be needed to
fill in this difference between front and back rails. Fasten them
underneath the rail at corner _A_. Then use one strand, twisted, and
weave around corners _B_ and _C_ and fasten under the rail at corner
_D_. The weaving is identical to that described in square seats. Weave
in each strand in the bundle at the same corners and tie under the
rail at corner _D_; or until the spaces marked off on the front rail
are filled. It may be necessary to add to or to remove strands from
the bundle if calculations as to number of strands necessary were
inaccurate. Tie all loose ends together at corner _D_, fasten securely
and cut off all extra lengths.

Start now as in beginning a weave on a square seat, weaving around all
corners in the regular way. The first strand around will effectively
bind the bundles of ends at corners _A_ and _D_.

=Suggestions.=--In using paper fiber or similar materials which come
in long lengths, a strand 20 or 25 ft. in length may be used at one
time in weaving. For convenience in handling it should be formed in a
loop and held together with a strong rubber band. The strand may be
unlooped a little at a time as the weaving progresses. In using rush,
raffia, and like materials, the strand is made as the weaver works, so
at no time is there a strand exceeding 5 ft. or so in length to
handle. No special expedient is therefore needed.


Raffia, fiber, etc., may be purchased from supply houses and in many
cases direct from the manufacturers. Rush may be gathered in many
communities by an energetic instructor and pupils, and properly cured.
In fact, gathering the raw material and preparing it for use is
desirable in many ways, and is to be encouraged. Ordinarily rush may
be obtained from manufacturers of rush seats. It costs 15 cents per
pound, dry.


Fig. 48 is a working drawing of a stool or seat. The constructed
problem would appear very similar to the one shown in Fig. 45. The
seat frame is fastened to the base with concealed screws. The upper
caps are temporarily fastened until the weaving is completed, when
they are removed and the frame fastened to the base as indicated. The
caps are then replaced permanently. Generally speaking, for initial
work in rush seating it is advisable to weave over a separate frame.
Such a frame is conveniently handled, and better work will result.

=Finish.=--Some agent to preserve a rush seat is necessary. Rush
should be coated with equal parts of oil and turpentine, followed by
two coats of tough, elastic varnish. The necessary time should elapse
between coats. Some manufacturers do not use oil, and apply varnish
only. Raffia and husk seats should be treated as rush. Fiber is
varnished only. A brittle varnish is to be avoided, for it will chip
off with a little use, and a seat is subject to hard wear.

  [Illustration: SUGGESTIVE PROJECTS.]



Reeds which are used extensively for basket-making and weaving in
general are procured from the species of palm described in Chapter I.
These reeds should not be confused with the term reed applied to
several distinct species of large water loving grasses. Such reeds are
usually designated under the name of grasses. There are a thousand
species of palm distributed over the tropical regions of the entire
world, but only a few are native in the United States, and these are
of no distinct commercial value. The rattan or cane palms of India and
the Malay Islands grow to an unusual height, and are imported into
this country in great quantities. These rattans and the trailing palm
of the species _Calamus_ have as main export centers Singapore and
Calcutta. These palms are stripped of leaves and bark and split into
round and flat strips of different diameters and widths. The outer
bark, when stripped into proper sizes, is known as chair cane; the
entire palm, with leaves removed, is commercially known as rattan; and
the flat reeds are frequently sold as flat rattan and pith cane.
Inasmuch as these flat and round strips, split from the palm plant and
exported under the name of rattan are called reeds, we shall refer to
them under that name in all discussions to follow. There are two
qualities of reed on the market sold under the names of China reed and
German reed. The former is inferior in quality and the latter is
superior, being strong, tough and durable. The Philippine Islands give
promise of producing a liberal supply of reed of good quality that is
claimed to equal the German product. The problem, however, is one of
gathering and marketing the product. The government has made a partial
survey of the rattan supply, and this justifies the belief that the
Islands will eventually compete with the world market.

=Primitive Methods.=--Briefly the primitive process of converting the
rattan, or raw material, into cane and reeds, or the finished product,
is this: The rattan stems are thoroly dried or seasoned, and the
nodules are pared off with a peculiar native knife. Then the rattan is
sorted into sizes and selection made as to grade. The sorting is based
upon external color and diameter of the rattan. The rattan is then
immersed in water, and the stem is rubbed vigorously with sand and
cocoanut husks to remove dirt and foreign substances. It is then
bleached by means of sulphur fumes, either in the stem or after the
peel and core have been prepared.

The method of preparing the peel and core is this: The peel, or outer
covering, is removed with a heavy knife; it is then stripped to
selected thicknesses and widths by drawing it by hand thru two knives
set at required distances apart. This peel is commercially called
cane. The core is then stripped into as many strands as necessary,
depending upon the diameter of the cores required. These are rounded
by drawing them thru a sheet of tin or iron perforated with holes of
different diameters. The rounded cores are called reeds.

Considerable rattan is still converted into the finished products by
hand processes thru these laborious stages. Machines have been
perfected which do practically the entire work. Particularly have the
Germans brought this industry to a perfected state. Still in various
sections of India, China, and the Philippines hand working of rattan
is a thriving industry; an industry seemingly peculiarly adapted to
the natives. The Philippine method of preparing the raw material
varies somewhat from the Chinese method in that the natives do not
bleach the rattan.

Reed may be procured in large or small hanks, in coils and in bundles,
with the cost determined by weight. Schools generally will find it
advantageous to buy it in small hanks, because of ease in handling and
for economic reasons. Round reeds are shown three-fourths size in Fig.
49, from No. 0 to and including No. 7, also winding, half-round and
flat reeds. Winding reed is thin and slightly rounded on one surface.
Half-round is as its name implies. Flat reed may be obtained in
several widths from ¼ in. to ½ in., and if of good quality, one
surface will show a decided bevel on the edges and appear much
smoother than the other. Thus the right side is determined. There are
many more sizes on the market than are indicated in Fig. 49, but those
shown should supply adequate, if not liberal variety for the ordinary
school shop. The cost of reed cannot be given with any degree of
accuracy at present. The price is determined by the quantity bought,
and by the quality and size. Under normal commercial conditions round
reeds will cost from 30 cents to $1 per pound for Nos. 1 to 8, and
flat reed about 25 cents per pound.


=Bleaching.=--Reed is procurable either bleached or unbleached.
Ordinarily it is better to buy the bleached product. However, if the
worker desires to bleach the reed, the method for small quantities is
as follows: In a tub two-thirds full of water dissolve ten pounds of
chloride of lime. Immerse the reed in this solution, weighting it down
to insure covering it all, and let it stand about 4 hours. Remove it
from the tub and wash thoroly in running water. The best way to do
this is to lay the reed on an inclined surface and turn a forceful
stream of water upon it. Chloride of lime has a bad effect upon the
hands in that it makes them sore and tender, so care must be taken to
properly rinse the reed. A little tallow rubbed over the hands will
materially offset the tendency to tenderness, and generally keep them
in good condition.

=Staining.=--Bleached reed takes stain much more readily and evenly
than does the natural or unbleached. It may be stained any color with
prepared stains, but ordinarily these leave the reed muddy in
appearance due primarily to the difficulty in brushing in or wiping
off the stain in the recesses which weaving leaves. Perhaps the best
agent for coloring reed, and at least a very desirable one, especially
after it has been woven, is naptha. The preparation of the stain and
the process of coloring is as follows: Obtain the necessary amount and
variety of colors ground in oil; mix the required colors with a little
naptha; then to determine the shade of color test with a reed. Reed
absorbs a given amount of color, therefore the shade will prove out
practically the same when tested with a small quantity of naptha, as
when tried out with a greater amount. Add the required amount of
naptha to the solution, avoiding thinning too much; otherwise the
color produced will be "sickly" in appearance. Five pounds of color to
about 3 gallons of naptha will prove about the right ratio. For
instance, to obtain a rich nut brown mix 1 pound of chrome yellow and
5 pounds of burnt umber with a small amount of naptha. Stir until the
colors are liquid, then gradually add 4 gallons or so of naptha, and
stir well. The intensity of the brown may be varied by using more or
less chrome yellow.

Coiled hanks of reed may be immersed in the solution, immediately
withdrawn and hung to drain dry above the receptacle, thus permitting
surplus stain to drain back into it. The stain may be used repeatedly,
and as it is very volatile it should be kept in a tightly corked red
can when not in use. It is also highly inflammable, and should be
used in a room in which there is free circulation of air. If colors
have been mixed properly and thinned to the right consistency, the
reed will dry rapidly and the color will be sharp and clear, free from
muddy effects.

A woven article such as a basket or woven top footstool may be dipped,
or the color poured over and allowed to drip dry. In some instances it
is good policy to wipe surplus stain off lightly. Then, in the case of
the footstool or similar project, if the worker so desires he may
stain the wood a darker shade than the top with a prepared stain. Reed
is very effective without stain; many of the stools shown herewith are
left natural. Reed may be shellacked or varnished. Because of its
porosity it soils very easily unless some finishing agent is used, and
a good grade of elastic varnish is recommended as a finish, especially
when the woven article is subject to severe use.

=Other Materials.=--Reed is not the only good medium adapted to
weaving, either in correlation with wood or when used alone. On the
stools illustrated several other materials have been used, as inner
hickory bark and Indian splints and fiber. Binding cane, rope, and
even willow may be utilized with success. Paper fiber was discussed in
detail in Chapter V and needs no elaboration. Fig. 60 shows a stool
partly woven with this serviceable material. Sufficient to say that
this fiber adapts itself admirably to almost all work where reed is
commonly employed, and in many instances is, commercially, supplanting

Inner hickory bark may be obtained of manufacturers of rustic
furniture either directly or indirectly. They may be obtained first
hand if hickory trees grow in the locality, thus enhancing the
educational value of weaving. In the spring or early summer when the
sap is up and the bark slips easily, a hickory tree may be cut down,
and the rough outer bark shaved with a draw knife from the top of the
log the full length of the trunk, leaving a surface from 8 in. to 10
in. wide. With a heavy knife split the inner bark on either side of
the shaved strip; then beginning at one end peel back the inner bark
the full length of the log. This process may be repeated until the log
is stripped. The thickness of the inner bark depends upon the size of
the tree and the species. Manufacturers of hickory furniture claim
that the pignut possesses a thicker bark than any other species, the
bark running from ¼ in. to ¾ in. in thickness, and they accordingly
use this tree in preference to others when available. The rolls of
thick inner bark are allowed to dry for several weeks. Then they are
placed in water, to remain until pliable. They are then split into
strips of proper thickness and width. Factories use a very simple
motor driven machine for making the strips, and any manual training
shop can devise some scheme for accomplishing this work. These strips
cut in indefinite lengths must be made pliant by a thoro soaking just
previous to use. In weaving they should be pressed close together with
the fingers or with the aid of a hammer, as there is an appreciable
shrinkage especially in their width upon drying. Such strips are used
mainly by builders of rustic outdoor and porch furniture for the
weaving of the backs, arms and seats of chairs, and have at present no
general use in school shops. Their use here should be encouraged. If
bought of the manufacturer these strips cost 40 cents per pound, dry.
They are put up in coils, and are ¾ in. wide and ¹⁄₁₆ in. thick. They
may be stripped into narrower widths by means of a hand stripper, soon
to be described.


Indian splints of ash and hickory may be obtained from dealers in the
raw products. These strips are cut from the wood of the tree in long
shavings in a manner similar to obtaining the inner hickory bark, and
stripped into desired widths and thicknesses. One kind of ash splint
is made in three weights or thicknesses, fine, medium and heavy, and
in strips 1½ in. wide. It is sold in coils of 200 ft. each at $8.00
for 4,000 ft. The strips are a number of feet in length. Hickory
splints are sold in coils of a dozen strands each. These strands are 8
ft. to 10 ft. long by ½ in. wide, and slightly less than ¹⁄₁₆ in.
thick. A coil weighs about three-fourths of a pound and costs 5 cents.


The ash splints particularly, need to be restripped to widths needed
by the worker. For ordinary purposes the hickory strips are right for
seating purposes. The stripping is done by means of a combination hand
stripper and gage shown in Fig. 50. A working drawing of it is shown
in Fig. 51. It is made of maple preferably. The cutters are of a watch
spring, pointed and sharpened as indicated. The end piece is removable
to permit changes of the cutters. To use, merely hold the splint flat
between the right hand and stripper, press the strand down on the
cutter and pull it across the cutters with the left hand. Two persons
may do the operation more readily and speedily than one. It is a good
policy to make several of these devices with cutters at different
distances apart so splints of various widths may be cut without
resort to a change of cutters.

Splints need to be soaked in water for a number of minutes before
using. They will be found to be somewhat less pliable than inner
hickory bark, and different in color, varying from almost white to a
light brown. Inner bark is a nut brown in color. The splints stain
well, and may be dipped in identically the same manner as reeds. Inner
bark needs no stain; in fact is more pleasing if left natural.


Ash splints are extensively gathered and prepared by the Indians in
certain sections of Canada and the northern states. There they are
woven into baskets of intricate design and beautiful colors, usually
in combination with other materials, as sweet grass. Splints may be
used for almost every purpose for which flat reed is utilized, and in
numerous cases is superior and preferable to reed.

In Fig. 52 is shown in order, two rolls of hickory splints, a bundle
of inner hickory bark strips, and a small hank of flat reed. These are
in the original bundles as they come from the dealers.



The discussion of the weaving processes to follow is confined, in the
main, to stools or seats. Fig. 53 shows several stools different in
design both in wood construction and in weaving. In two instances it
will be noted that weaving is done over a separate frame, one being
inserted between the rails, the other fastened on top, leaving a
little projection. Reference is made to several possible weaving
designs and the use of various mediums and combinations. The possible
combinations of materials are merely suggestive of possible other
ones, and the individual worker will find that many designs of varying
complexity may be worked out. An excellent method for working out
possible designs is that of using black and white paper strips ½ in.
in width. The design will show up very clearly because of the contrast
of the black and white. Experimenting with the weave on the seat
itself is rather tedious and unsatisfactory. The paper strips are an
excellent means to an end.

The stool top illustrated in Fig. 54 employs a simple over-and-under
weave, utilizing flat reed. The worker needs to decide at the outset
on the character of weave to be used unless it be of unusual design.
In this instance the weaver runs over _three_ and under _three_
strands, and the wrapping done in a series of _three_. To begin the
operation tack an end of flat reed under a short rail at a corner,
then bring the strand out and over the rail, across the frame opening
to the opposite rail, under this rail, across underneath the frame
opening to the bottom of the first rail. This completes the process
once around. Repeat three times; then wrap the strand around the two
rails, without running it across the top. Thus every fourth strand
across the top is omitted. It is not necessary to cut the strand; the
wrapping is continuous. Repeat these series of three strands until
opposite short rails are entirely wrapped. When a strand runs out tack
the end with the beginning of a new one underneath a rail. Use a one
ounce flat head wire tack for this purpose if available, otherwise a
one ounce cut tack will do. The weaving proper now begins.

  [Illustration: FIG. 53. WOVEN TOP STOOLS.]

Tack a strand underneath a long rail at a corner, then weave _over
three_ strands and _under three_. Repeat in the same manner three
times, then weave _over_ the series which were woven _under_ before
and repeat alternately until the top is entirely woven. In weaving the
top of this stool one strand is woven in the last series of three, and
to balance it a single strand is run in on the opposite side. The ends
of this strand are not fastened in any particular way; the weaving
holds them in place. The spaces next to each short rail may be filled
in a like manner if desired. Strands crossing underneath the frame
must be woven in some manner to produce a seat of maximum strength.
The character of the weave here is not pertinent; in this instance it
might take the same form as the top.

  [Illustration: FIG. 54. WEAVING IN SERIES OF THREE.]

Fig. 55 shows a stool top woven of inner hickory bark strips employing
what is termed a diagonal weave. Begin the wrapping on either the
short or long rails. In this instance we will assume that the short
rails have been wrapped; then the weaving will begin over the long
rails, and as indicated, at the upper left hand corner. The strands
have been numbered to make the description clearer. The "diagonal" is
determined at the edges of the upper rail. The method of weaving may
be expressed in the following manner:

    Strand 1--Over 1, under 2, over 2, under 2, and so on.

    Strand 2--Over 2, under 2, over 2, under 2, and so on.

    Strand 3--Under 1, over 2, under 2, over 2, and so on.

    Strand 4--Under 2, over 2, under 2, over 2, and so on.


This completes the series or unit, and this unit repeats itself until
the area is woven. For instance, the fifth weaver follows the same
course as the first; the sixth weaver follows the same course as the
second; the seventh the same as the third; and so on. The diagonal
effect will remain the same were the weaver to run over three strands
or more, providing the right start is made at the edges of the frame.
In using inner hickory bark care must be exercised to keep the strands
close together, for they shrink appreciably in drying. A brad hammer
with square face is an excellent tool to use for keeping the strands
snugly together.


A combination of half-round and flat reed is illustrated in Fig. 56.
The half-round reed is wrapped about the frame first, and in this case
every other strand is wrapped around the opposite rail, crossing
underneath the frame only. The diagonal weave is employed, and is
identical to the one just described in general effect. However, the
weaver runs over three and under three in the body. Note the
difference in the weave at the edges of the rails. When using
half-round reed it is necessary that every other strand be wrapped
completely around the rails, for otherwise it would prove practically
impossible to weave the area because of the thickness of the reed. A
winding reed as shown in Fig. 49 or binder cane could be run
continuously, inasmuch as either is relatively thin. Weaving with two
kinds of reed will produce an area of pleasing high relief.

  [Illustration: FIG. 57. DIAMOND DESIGN IN FLAT REED.]

Fig. 57 illustrates a stool woven in flat reed. The diagonal weave is
used running toward a common center, and it forms a diamond pattern or
design. Begin wrapping on the long rails, skipping every other strand
on the top as indicated. To weave this pattern it is necessary to
locate the center of the short rails and the center strand of those
running across the frame. In this instance the strands are even in
number, so the pattern does not begin at the actual center, but a
little to the right or left as the case may be. Beginning at the
center, count by twos, _over_, _under_ and _over_, _under_ and so on
to determine the number of strands to go over or under at the edge of
the frame. The first strand runs over _one_ at the center, and over
two and under two on either side. The second strand runs under _three_
at the center, and over two, under two on either side; the worker must
again count to the edge of the frame to determine the beginning weave,
until the unit of four strands has been woven. Then the unit repeats
itself _at the center_ and _at the edges_ of the frame. Beginning at
the right side of the illustration the weaving is as follows:

    Strand 1--Over 2, under 2, over 2, under 2, over 2, under 2,
      then over 1, and repeat across the other half of the frame.

    Strand 2--Under 1, over 2, under 2, over 2, under 2, over 2,
      then under 3, and repeat across the frame.

    Strand 3--Under 2, over 2, under 2, over 2, under 2, over 2,
      then under 1, and repeat across the frame.

    Strand 4--Over 1, under 2, over 2, under 2, over 2, under 2,
      then over 3, and repeat across the frame.


  [Illustration: FIG. 59. WOVEN DESIGN IN FLAT REED.]

These four strands comprise the unit, and it is repeated until the
frame is entirely woven. Complete half of the frame first, then weave
the other half, which is just the reverse of the first half. In
starting the weave for the second half, strand 1 is omitted, for it is
the center of the frame. After the worker has worked out the unit
according to the method described, he will find it good practice to
write it out graphically as above to use in weaving the seat. The unit
above applies to the particular stool, and will not hold good on seats
utilizing more strands, or fewer. Errors are easily made in weaving
this pattern for the reason that strands need watching at two places.
The seat of the stool at the top of the group shown in Fig. 61 has a
pattern identical with this one, except that the strands both ways are
close together.

The top illustrated in Fig. 58 is practically the same in design as
the one just described. The weavers run over the long rails in this
instance, instead of the short ones, and half-round reed is used for
the weavers, with flat reed utilized for the wrapping. The first
weaver of half-round reed runs _under_ the center strand, and the two
second weavers run _over_ three strands on either side of the first,
at the _center_ of the area. The combination of the half-round and
flat reeds produces a seat both pleasing and serviceable.

  [Illustration: FIG. 60. STOOL TOP WOVEN WITH FIBER.]

Fig. 59 illustrates a stool top woven with flat reed entirely, in a
design the very opposite in effect of that shown in Fig. 57; instead
of evolving a diamond effect the diagonals appear to radiate from a
common center. The method of weaving is identical to that of Fig. 57
in that the operation begins at the center of rails instead of next to
the posts. The first weaver is woven over the center strand at the
center of the top, and the second weaver, on either side, is woven
_over three_ strands, at the center. These three weavers practically
determine the design and effect produced. An error of no vital
importance exists in this particular stool top. It will merely
emphasize the fact that particular care is necessary to avoid

Fiber is the material used for the top of the stool shown in Fig. 60.
The diagonal weave is employed. The process of weaving has been
explained and needs no further discussion. The fiber is the same as
that discussed in Chapter V. It adapts itself admirably to this form
of weaving, and when properly finished with varnish makes a
serviceable seat, pleasing in every particular. The strands which run
across the frame in the wrapping must be some distance apart,
otherwise weaving would prove impossible. The thickness of the strands
preclude their being wrapped close together as in the case of thin
materials. In this case a space equal to the width of three strands is
left. The weaver runs over two and under two strands in the body.

While reeds and inner hickory bark shrink in drying, they will shrink
mostly in width and not much in length. Therefore it is necessary to
pull all strands, both in wrapping and in weaving, rather tight at all
times. Only by doing this will the worker be assured of an ultimately
taut seat. This applies also to the Indian splints now to be
discussed. As fiber is woven practically dry it needs to be pulled
particularly tight.

=Indian Splints.=--Fig. 61 shows a group of stools and a waste basket
constructed in eighth grade shops. The tops of the stools and the
panels of the basket are woven of hickory splints ½ in. in width. A
variety of patterns is shown, and these will suggest other ones. One
of the stools has turned posts and the splints are carried over the
sides of the rails. With slight modification of the structure, the
sides might be woven in a similar manner to the top. The panels of the
basket were woven over a separate frame, then they were cut to fit the
frames of the basket, and finally tacked on the frames. The edges of
the splints were covered with thin wood strips held in place with
brads. These panels should be inserted and secured while damp to
assure proper tautness, and to prevent as far as possible splitting
the ends of the splints in tacking them to the frames.


It is not advisable to tack splints onto seat frames, either as an
insert or slip seat, or on the rails of the structure itself. The
splints split easily when tacked, the strands are bound to pull
loose, and the seats break down under continued use. On such articles
as waste baskets, boxes, screens and the like, tacking the panels in
place is necessary and proper, for no appreciable wear or service
comes to them. The weaving on seats needs to be continuous over and
under the frame.


When a strand of usual length has been wrapped about the rails of the
seat a second strand needs to be added to continue the wrapping.
Tacking the strands to the under side of the rails, as in the case of
reeds, cannot be resorted to with splints for the reasons just
explained. Therefore some method of fastening strands to each other is
necessary. Fig. 62 is a freehand sketch showing a good method. As
indicated, a small rectangular piece is cut out of the used strand at
_B_, one inch from the end. A chisel or chip carving knife is good for
the purpose. Cut across the grain of the wood first to avoid splitting
the splint. The end of the new strand _A_ is notched as shown an inch
back from the end, and is then inserted thru _B_ and the two strands
thus secured. All subsequent strands are secured in the same manner.


Another method which works well and involves less labor than the one
just described is that of fastening the strands together with metal
staples. Any type of small hand stapler will accomplish the result.
The splints must be very pliable when the staple is inserted and
clinched, for if they are not, the splints are certain to split. Clips
used in Venetian ironwork are excellent for this purpose also. It
should be understood, for reasons very obvious, that these fastenings
are made underneath the frame.


After the wrapping of the opposite rails is completed, the weaving is
begun. The use of tacks here is also unnecessary and is inadvisable.
Fasten a new strand by overlapping the end of the old one for several
inches either on top or underneath the frame. The ends of each will be
hidden under cross strands or spokes. Fig. 63 is a sketch illustrating
the method of overlapping. _AA_ shows strands running _over_ the
weavers, and _BB_ strands running _under_. _D_ is the end of the old
or used strand, and _C_ one end of the new one. _C_ is pulled until
the end is hidden under _A_. It is advisable to overlap the distance
of a number of strands and not merely two as the sketch indicates. The
sketch merely shows the method. The end of the strand which completes
the weaving of the seat is secured underneath the frame by weaving for
a short distance in the usual manner.

Fig. 64 is merely Fig. 59 repeated as far as the weaving processes
are concerned. In this instance hickory splints are used, and the
rails are wrapped continuously across the top. Note the different
effects produced, by comparing the two figures.

  [Illustration: FIG. 65. WOVEN DESIGN. DIAMOND EFFECT.]

Fig. 65 shows a rather unusual weave. The effect is that of a number
of diamond areas over the entire surface, one of which is marked to
make the unit or design evident. This design need not begin at the
center, but may begin at the edge of the frame as in regular diagonal
weaving shown in Fig. 55. The strands comprising the unit are numbered
for convenience. The process of weaving is as follows:

    Strand 1--Under 1, over 2, under 1, over 2, and so on.

    Strand 2--Over 2, under 3, over 3, under 3, and so on.

    Strand 3--Over 1, under 2, over 1, under 2, and so on.

    Strand 4--Under 2, over 3, under 3, over 3, and so on.

    Strand 5--Under 1, over 2, under 1, over 2, and so on.

    Strand 6--Under 2, over 3, under 3, over 3, and so on.

    Strand 7--Over 1, under 2, over 1, under 2, and so on.

    Strand 8--Over 2, under 3, over 3, under 3, and so on.

    Strand 9--Under 1, over 2, under 1, over 2, and so on.

Nine strands comprise the unit. One half of the unit from strand 5 is
a repetition of the first half except that the order is reversed. Thus
strands 4 and 6, 3 and 7, 2 and 8, and 1 and 9 are identical in weave.
Repeat the unit until the seat is completed.

  [Illustration: FIG. 66. DESIGN OF INDIAN SPLINTS.]

The design produced in Fig. 66 is obtained by skipping certain strands
for rather unusual distances. This may be done in instances where the
pattern is begun at the center of the area. No strand should be
omitted its entire length however. Any number of designs may be worked
out, limited only by the patience and ingenuity of the individual

A design for a seat or panel not illustrated herein, but which is
particularly pleasing in its general effect, is produced by a unit of
six strands repeated indefinitely. The weaving is started as in the
diagonal weave and the process may be indicated as follows:

    Strand 1--Over 1, under 3, over 3, under 3, and so on.

    Strand 2--Over 2, under 3, over 3, under 3, and so on.

    Strand 3--Over 3, under 3, over 3, under 3, and so on.

    Strand 4--Under 1, over 3, under 3, over 3, and so on.

    Strand 5--Under 2, over 3, under 3, over 3, and so on.

    Strand 6--Under 3, over 3, under 3, over 3, and so on.

  [Illustration: FIG. 67. METHOD OF WEAVING SPLINTS.]

The isometric sketch of a stool, Fig. 67, shows the structure partly
woven. It will be noticed that the splints or reeds run both ways
underneath the frame as they do on top. As indicated previously these
strands underneath should be woven in some manner to assure a seat of
maximum strength for the material used. The diagonal weave was
arbitrarily chosen to illustrate the method of weaving the seat frame.
The weaving underneath is not shown on the sketch. If the rails on any
seat are run flush with the inside corners of the posts the woven
strands will fill the entire space. On the other hand, if they are
permitted an offset, a series of open spaces are left as shown on the
first woven seat illustrated. The sketch shows the rails flush with
the inner corner of the posts.

=A Rustic Chair.=--The type of chair which is particularly adapted to
splint weaving is illustrated in Fig. 68. The construction is simple,
and the necessary bending of pieces is readily done if a suitable
steaming chest is available in the shop. Such a chest may be made of a
6 in. gas pipe cut the required length and threaded at both ends. Cap
one end permanently. Have the cap for the other end removable, with a
gasket in it to prevent the escape of steam, and a suitable handle
attached for ease in removing. Set the pipe upon a standard, then make
the necessary steam connections at the closed end and the drain at the
other. Place the wood in the chest, screw on the cap, and turn on the
steam. The length of time the wood should remain in the steam depends
upon the wood and the size of the piece.


Suitable wood forms are easily made for bending stock. Their
construction needs no elaboration. When the pieces are removed from
the chest, clamp them over the forms immediately, and allow them to
remain clamped in this manner for several days in a dry, warm room. If
steam coils or hot air registers are handy the forms may be placed
over or near them to expedite the drying.

Rock elm is a good material from which to construct such a chair. The
wood may be procured in the round, of different diameters. The tenons
on the straight pieces may be made on the wood lathe; on the curved
ones with spokeshave or draw knife. The short thin pieces on the sides
should be fully housed. On a chair of this description it is good
policy to assemble the sides first. Finish both the frame and the
splints with a good paint composed of white lead and oil.

Another excellent material for chairs of similar design and purpose is
hickory. It is the best material for the construction of furniture for
lawns and porches where weathering is constant, and it is peculiarly
adapted to splint and inner bark weaving. If a person lives in the
right locality he may gather young second growth hickory saplings in
the fall. An instructor could very readily take his classes out on
such a wood-gathering expedition. The educational gain in gathering
raw materials to be fashioned into finished articles of use and beauty
will justify all efforts. In the fall the bark of the saplings will
adhere firmly to the wood. Trim and assort the different pieces in
accordance with plans, cut them into approximate lengths, and steam
and bend those desired. Sand each piece smooth, and proceed to
construct the chair according to previous plans. Glue and nail all
important joints to prevent any possibility of separation under any
weather condition. No finish of any description is necessary or
desired on hickory furniture. Weathering will naturally darken both
frame and splints, but will not detract in any way from the rugged,
pleasing appearance of the article.

Sassafras is a very desirable wood for rustic furniture, and well
adapted to splint weaving. The methods of gathering and finishing are
identical to hickory. It is much lighter in weight than hickory, but
is quite as serviceable. No finishing agent is necessary, altho the
worker may oil or varnish it at his discretion.

=A Woven Table.=--The table illustrated in Fig. 69 is a commercial
product, evidenced by the machine turned posts and crosspieces. In
school shops the posts may be made of rock elm rounds previously
mentioned, or square tapered, and the rails of rounds or squares. The
posts mortise in a frame underneath the top. The framework of the top
is made of ⅜ in. dowel rods housed in a 6 in. round piece of ¾ in.
wood, and radiating from it equal distances apart. The number of
spokes needs to be odd, and cut to even lengths. The weaving is done
with about a No. 6 reed, running over one, under two, over one, under
two, and so on. The odd spoke permits the weaver to run continuously
without skipping a spoke. A new strand is begun underneath the spoke
where the last strand ends. When the top has been woven to the ends of
the spokes a strip of braided No. 2 reed is nailed to each spoke with
a round head, galvanized nail. The braid is made in the usual manner,
as in basketry, with three series of strands of four each. When the
shelf has been constructed in the same manner as the top, and both top
and shelf have been fastened in their respective places, the table may
be stained with naptha by pouring the stain over it. This method has
been described in Chapter VI. Commercially, such articles are sized
before staining. However, staining direct is the proper procedure in
school shops. Use no shellac if the table is to be used on the porch
or in the open where exposed to the weather.

=Willows.=--Willows are imported normally from Germany, Holland,
Belgium and France. Because of their scarcity and demand for them,
willow growing is fast becoming a thriving industry in the United
States. Many experimental farms are under the direct supervision of
the federal government. These have demonstrated that willows can be
grown to advantage in many localities in this country. In many
instances manufacturers have abandoned rattan in favor of willows for
certain articles of furniture where rattan was formerly used
exclusively. Willow possesses all the attributes necessary for such
furniture, being light in weight, durable, and strong; and it takes a
good finish.

  [Illustration: FIG. 69. A WOVEN CENTER TABLE.]

Willow stems or rods are cut when several feet long. They are then
soaked in water and the outer bark peeled. The rods are then sorted,
bundled and shipped to the dealer or user. The peeling is generally
accomplished by hand with a peculiarly forked stick or rod.
Commercially there are what are termed dry peeled rods and steam
peeled rods, with the former in favor for furniture of the better
class. They sell for from 6 cents to 15 cents per pound, depending on
quality, length and method of peeling. Willow stems are used
extensively in basketry, and for porch and summer furniture. They
could be used effectively on such a table as shown in Fig. 69, but
cannot generally be utilized advantageously in school shops for
seating purposes only. However, they have very definite uses on some
structures, and an adequate supply should be kept on hand for use when
opportunity offers.

       *       *       *       *       *

Within the confines of this book a variety of materials has been
suggested, and many demonstrated, for seat weaving of various kinds
and for weaving on structures other than seats. These will ordinarily
afford sufficient latitude for classes of different grade in the
school shops, but the instructor or worker should not infer that those
indicated include all. Experience in weaving with these materials will
suggest new mediums and combinations without number, and
experimentation with new materials by both instructor and pupil should
be encouraged.

  [Illustration: SUGGESTIVE PROJECTS.]


The following firms and individuals can furnish the various weaving
materials indicated. They may undoubtedly be procured locally in the
larger cities.

    LUSSKY, WHITE AND COOLIDGE             Chicago, Ill.
    AMERICAN REED AND RATTAN MFG. CO.      Brooklyn, N. Y.
    HOOVER BROS.                           Kansas City, Mo.
    L. S. DRAKE, INC.                      West Newton, Mass.

    LUSSKY, WHITE AND COOLIDGE             Chicago, Ill.
    RESTMOER MFG. CO.                      Vancouver, B. C.

    THE FIBER GRAND CO.                    Grand Rapids, Mich.
    J. L. HAMMET CO.                       Brooklyn, N. Y.

    L. S. DRAKE, INC.                      West Newton, Mass.
    GUSTAV STICKLEY                        Eastwood, N. Y.

    C. N. SABA AND CO.                     84 Wellington St. West,
                                             Toronto, Ontario.
    DAVID HARDIN                           Patesville, Ky.

    LUSSKY, WHITE AND COOLIDGE             Chicago, Ill.
    AMERICAN REED AND RATTAN MFG. CO.      Brooklyn, N. Y.
    J. L. HAMMET CO.                       Brooklyn, N. Y.

    THE OLD HICKORY CHAIR CO.              Martinsville, Ind.


=DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION IN WOOD. By Noyes.= A book full of charm and
distinction. It illustrates a series of well-designed and attractive
projects, and gives suggestions for other similar projects, all
suitable for home use, together with information regarding tools and
processes for making. A pleasing volume abundantly and beautifully
illustrated. $1.50.

=HANDWORK IN WOOD. By Noyes.= A comprehensive and scholarly treatise,
covering logging, saw-milling, seasoning, and measuring, hand tools,
wood fastenings, equipment and care of the shop, the common joints,
types of wood structures, principles of joinery, and wood finishing.
304 illustrations--excellent pen drawings and many photographs. The
best reference book for teachers of woodworking. $2.00.

=WOOD AND FOREST. By Noyes.= A reference book for teachers of
woodworking. Treats of woods, distribution of American forests, life
of the forest, enemies of the forest, destruction, conservation and
uses of the forest, with a key to the common woods by Filibert Roth.
Describes 67 principal species of wood, with maps of the habitat, leaf
drawings, life-size photographs and microphotographs of sections.
Profusely illustrated. $3.00.

=CARPENTRY. By Griffith.= A well-illustrated textbook for use in
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foundations" to the completion of the "interior finish." $1.00.

=WOODWORK FOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS. By Griffith.= A textbook for high
schools, colleges and technical schools. It contains chapters on
woods, tools and processes, joinery, turning, carving, inlaying, wood
finishing, pattern making, and the use of woodworking machines. It is
a well-balanced and authoritative text, presupposing a knowledge of
elementary tool processes. Specially adapted to secondary schools.

Griffith.= Contains reliable information concerning organization of
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of material, records, shop conduct, the lesson, maintenance, equipment
and lesson outlines for grammar and high schools. The most complete
and thoro treatment of the subject of teaching woodworking ever
published. $1.50.

=ESSENTIALS OF WOODWORKING. By Griffith.= A textbook written
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on elementary woodworking. A clear and comprehensive treatment of
woodworking tools, materials and processes, to supplement, but not to
take the place of the instruction given by the teacher. The book may
be used with any course of models. 75 cents.

=WOODWORK FOR BEGINNERS. By Griffith.= A textbook for students in the
seventh and eighth grades. In a remarkably simple manner it presents
only the fundamental facts regarding tools and tool processes which
should be thoroly mastered by the grammar grade boy. It is technically
correct, well illustrated and is adapted for use with any course of
models. 50 cents.

Griffith.= A collection of 50 working drawings and working directions
of projects which have proved of exceptional service where woodworking
and mechanical drawing are taught in a thoro, systematic manner in the
seventh and eighth grades. 75 cents.

collection of problems in furniture making selected and designed with
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furniture design containing a collection of plates showing perspective
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furniture. Each perspective is accompanied by suggestions for
rearrangements and the modeling of parts. The text discusses and
illustrates principles of design as applied to furniture. Should be in
the hands of every teacher of cabinet making and design. $1.00.

=PROBLEMS IN FARM WOODWORK. By Blackburn.= A book of working drawings
of 100 practical problems relating to agriculture and farm life. Each
problem is accompanied by text treating of "Purpose," "Material,"
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schools, and to the boy on the farm. $1.00.

=PROBLEMS IN FURNITURE MAKING. By Crawshaw.= Contains 43 full-page
working drawings of articles of furniture. In addition to the working
drawings, there is a perspective sketch of each article completed.
There are 36 pages of text giving notes on the construction of each
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one on "Finishes." The last chapter describes 15 methods of wood
finishing, all adapted for use on furniture. $1.00.

=PROBLEMS IN WOODWORKING. By Murray.= A collection of 40 plates of
working drawings of problems in bench work that have been successfully
worked out by boys in grades seven to nine, inclusive. 75 cents.

=PROBLEMS IN WOOD-TURNING. By Crawshaw.= Contains 25 full-page plates
of working drawings covering spindle, faceplate, and chuck turning. It
gives the mathematical basis for the cuts used in turning. A valuable
textbook for students' use. 80 cents.

=WORKSHOP NOTE-BOOK--WOODWORKING. By Greene.= A note-book which
furnishes a few general and extremely important directions about tools
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drawings. It is essentially a collection of helps, ideas, hints,
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methods, and is an effective teaching tool. 15 cents.

=SHOP PROBLEMS. By Siepert.= Portfolios of plates--working drawings of
projects printed on tracing paper and adapted to be blue-printed for
students' use. The plates are taken from the Shop Notes and Problems
department of the _Manual Training Magazine_. The problems include a
wide variety of good design and adapted for shop use. Series I, II,
III and IV have been published. Price per series, 35 cents.

remarkably simple and carefully graded textbook on the fundamentals of
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=PROBLEMS IN MECHANICAL DRAWING. By Bennett.= A students' textbook
consisting of 80 plates of problems classified into groups according
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boys' book. It contains 35 pages of full-page plates of working
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=KITECRAFT AND KITE TOURNAMENTS. By Miller.= Authoritative and
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=BIRD HOUSES BOYS CAN BUILD. By Siepert.= A book of rare interest to
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=LEATHER WORK. By Mickel.= A manual on art leather work for students,
teachers and craft workers. It gives detailed descriptions of the
various processes of working, treating of flat modeling, embossing or
repoussé, carved leather and cut work. It is well illustrated with
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=BOOKS ON THE MANUAL ARTS.= A bibliography listing and describing 400
books mailed free.

_Published by_ The Manual Arts Press _Peoria, Ill._

Transcriber's Note

Variant spelling is preserved as printed.

Minor punctuation errors have been repaired.

The following amendments have been made:

    Page 41--trainig amended to training--... more than justifies
    its introduction in manual training shops.

    Page 84--the transcriber has added the omitted chapter heading,

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