Chair Cane Finishing and Care


Cane, as used in chair seats today, is a natural product stripped from the outer bark of the rattan palm and as such requires periodic care to maintain its durability and appearance.

To prevent it from becoming dry and brittle, cane should never be placed in direct sunlight or subjected to extreme heat sources or areas with low humidity. Cane seats, if not too badly stretched, may be tightened by lightly misting with water both from the top and the bottom and allowed to dry slowly overnight.

Although cane will naturally darken slightly with age, some people prefer to hasten the process or change the color entirely. Deeper colors may be obtained by using aniline dyes.

Traditionally, cane seats are left unfinished to allow the cane to absorb moisture and remain flexible. Should you choose to apply finish to your seats however, we recommend a well-thinned coat of polyurethane or shellac.

Rush, being a man-made product requires somewhat different care. After installation, it should never come in contact with water or other liquids. It is a good idea to seal Rush with a light coat of thinned varnish, shellac or polyurethane. Stains or dyes may be added to the finish coat if a different color is desired.