“Caning” is a general term for chair seat weaving, there are at least 8 types of weaving each involving different types of materials, techniques, and TIME!
GETTING AN ESTIMATE:
1. Email pictures of your chair to firstname.lastname@example.org for general estimates. Please show front, back, sides, & underneath and send in ONE email.
2. (Preferred) Bring your chair in for a more specific estimate. We are open Mon-Fri 10-6 and Sat 11-4. Feel free to let us know you’re one the way.
3. Phone calls are the least efficient and least accurate way to get an estimate. We have high call volume and often have to stop tedious work to pick up the phone.
4. See drop-down tabs below to figure out your own estimate.
Prices below are general estimates and may change to reflect nuances of each chair after a close inspection in the shop. We offer classes and sell caning books for industrious folks on a budget or with multiple chairs needing repair. Read miscellaneous information at the bottom of the page for additional fees that you may incur.
How do I know if my chair is natural or fiber rush? Turn the chair over. Is the rush cord of uniform size and the same on the top and bottom? It’s paper rush. Often rush breaks are clean cut and do not shed grassy fibers. Cats often like to sharpen their claws on this type of chair! See below for natural rush indicators.
Generally $200 for a 17 inch chair.
Windsor chairs have to be disassembled and reassembled to restore seat. Chairs with wooden skirts that have to be removed and reattached are also more costly repairs. They are closer to $300-$400 if they have arms.
How to tell if your chair is natural rush:
Does your chair shed dry grassy flakes? If you flip the chair over and compare the back of the weave to the front of the weave, and they are different, then you have a natural rush chair. The front of the weave is tight like a cord and the bottom is flatter and wider, often poofing out. This type of weave is labor intensive and the materials more costly than fiber rush.
1/2-inch wide or larger reed: A basic repair of 17 inches across the front rail is about $150.
Less than 1/2 inch wide reed: half the size=twice the time….$250.
Big porch rockers: It takes about 30-40 hours to weave a porch rocker you paid $50 for back in the 70s. $300-$350 for a large rocker seat. About the same for the back.
Kennedy Rocker Replacement: seats and backs are available. The seat is easy, the back requires sawing, cleaning out joints, knocking the whole chair apart. $400 if we do both.
Priced according to job..approx $250 for small regular seat. This includes sanding and tung oil finish.
The less expensive option is splint weave. Splint will be uniform in width and depth and a lighter color than bark.
Note: Authentic bark is beautiful and strong and more expensive. Reed is a perfectly acceptable material for those on a budget. But we LOVE authentic bark and it comes from a 5th generation chair maker in Tennessee instead of China.
The wooden spline is the key…Imagine your chair seat or back as a picture frame with the cane as the picture. Look at the edge of the cane. If your chair has a groove with a long slender piece of wood it is machine woven cane. An average seat can range from $80-$150. A panel on the back of the chair is generally $150.
Unusual weaves/patterns/shapes will require on-site pricing. Medallion panels cost about $225-$250.
These chairs take 15-40 hours to weave. We understand it is a lot of money, please understand we can’t give discounts for multiple chairs.
Basic Repair with 74 holes about $250-$300
Round Seats with less than 100 holes or chairs with very small cane, about $350-$380
How to tell if it is hand woven or machine cane:
1. Look underneath the seat or on the back of the back. If you can see loops of cane where cane has been woven through holes drilled into the wooden frame, then you have a laced cane chair. Now look at the top of the seat/front of the back (read #2).
2. Look where the cane meets the seat on top. If it is a laced cane chair, there will be a wider piece of cane that has been sewn onto the seat frame with loops of cane.
Important Note for Special Hand Woven Chairs:
Curved backs like Lincoln Rockers are a more involved repair and may cost $400-$500. Often structural work is needed prior to weaving.
Blind Cane & French Chairs….You got a good deal on it because it needs an expensive repair. Sometimes these chairs will surprise you by ending up being an extremely complicated project that takes 6 months or more.
More involved repair with medallions, shared seams or double paneled arms: time & materials
See bottom of page for definition of “More Involved Repairs.”
Basic Danish Cord chairs have squared seats with nails lining the perimeter of the inside underneath. Folding chairs, split rail chairs, and chairs with slots are not basic. Due to the wide range of chair styles the range for repairs can vary from $250-$350.
Generally you can expect $250-$275 for an average seat. Additional fee of $25 if you need new nails, most often we can re-use the nails. More involved Mid-Century Modern Chairs (you know who you are!) will require on site estimates and are charged time & materials. Danish Cord in Rush style like Wegner’s Wishbone or J-16 Rocker is in the $350 range. Danish chairs with binder cane priced on-site.
Below are some examples of Danish Cord chairs we have worked on.
Available in two sizes & several colors:
1 inch wide straps: 1 0r 2 colors are generally $170 for a 17 inch chair. Additional colors (3+) add $20/extra color (requires a lot of sewing time)
5/8 inch wide straps: 1 or 2 colors (requires just a little more material/time) = $190
COLORS: We can show you examples in the studio, on line, or you can swing by Earth Guild on Patton Ave and pick out your own. If you purchase your own tape, we will deduct the cost of the material from the weaving fee. You should also buy thread to match.
- Please leave the old seat in so that we can see the pattern/style, etc.
- Plan ahead: We often have a backlog of 30 chairs and only two people to work on them.
- Pick-Up & Delivery: available with a $20 minimum fee within Asheville, and standard mileage rate per mile outside of Asheville.
- Cleaning fee: please take the time to wipe down your chair and reduce allergens in our place of business. We will charge based on time it takes to clean if there is mold or excessive dust.
- Areas of service: We have clients all over the country, but most are within a 5 hour radius. You can mail us your chair, especially if the seat comes off or if you have a footstool…or plan a trip to Asheville. We’ll be your tour guides.
- We don’t stain cane! We are weavers…staining is a whole ‘nother ballgame and is actually not great for the longevity of the seat. We prefer not to mess with harsh chemicals. Cane is particularly difficult to stain and we recommend taking it to a professional if you want it stained to match a set. See our Resources page for a list of preferred woodworkers.
- MORE INVOLVED REPAIRS INCLUDE: rush chairs with slots, rush chairs that are frame only (no legs or back), machine woven cane with shared seams, or machine woven cane that is particularly difficult to remove, chairs with fine/fine cane or several hundred holes, or chairs with recessed holes, splint weaves around oddly shaped frames, more complicated Danish Mid-Century Modern chairs. Blind cane and medallion chairs priced according to each chair’s particularities.
- Structural work and Refinishing may be necessary. We can re-glue rungs for $40. If you want to refinish the wood, please do so before caning, but PLEASE BRING IN THE CHAIR OR TAKE A PHOTO (both top and bottom of seat) BEFORE YOU REMOVE THE SEAT…you can also save the old seat so we can make sure we replicate your seat as best as possible. See our Resources page for preferred woodworkers.
- Payment policy: Payment is due within one month of completing your restoration. Please send a check or we can take a credit card over the phone if you can’t pick up your chair within 1 month. Payment plans are negotiable. After 5 attempts to contact you for payment with no return call, you have forfeited your deposit and the chair becomes our property.
- Storage: Your chair can hang out in our studio for a maximum of 3 months after date of completion. After that, you will be charged $10/mo storage fee. After one year, the chair is ours and you forfeit your payment.
Thanks for your consideration and understanding of our small business. We will take good care of your chair.