Friday, August 13, 2010

What is Machine Cane?

Prewoven cane is known by quite a few names: press cane, loom cane, mat cane, sheet cane, machine cane, cane mesh, cane webbing, etc.

It got the name machine cane because it is woven on a loom, a "machine" vs. being woven by hand onto the chair seat. A huge misconception is that prewoven cane is "made by a machine", this is not true at all.

Rolls of prewoven came are 50ft. long so several pieces of cane are attached into one lone piece with overlapping and glued ends to reach that length needed for a full roll. These long strands are rolled onto bobbins and form the warp.

Workers will weave shorter cane strands horizontally for the weft.

Some imperfections will appear in the weaving due to the natural imperfections of cane as well as the piecing process. To repair these weak spots: Cut pieces of cane from the edge of the mat. Soak both the mat and the short pieces of cane. Using a tweezers and/or flat tipped awl, lift the pieces of cane on the mat and slide the repair piece into place, overlapping as much as possible to add strength. Use white glue to secure the new pieces of cane.

No loom can weave a diagonal strand so the diagonals are woven into place one at a time after the horizontal and vertical grid is removed from the loom.

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