DIY Chair Weaving

Woven chair seats add a rustic and textural element to the decor.
Woven chair seats can be replaced with new material when they wear out.Woven chair seats can be replaced with new material when they wear out.
A chair can be woven out of cloth tape, rush, cane, fibers, reeds and even plastic strapping. While the techniques vary from one material to another, the basics of weaving a chair seat are similar. A simple and attractive material that is easy for a novice weaver is called chair tape. After the old material is removed, weaving the new chair tape is not difficult.

Step 1

Tack the chair tape 3/4 inch from the end of the tape to the inside of the side rail. Bring the tape along the underside of the chair to the back rail close to the back leg post. Wrap the tape over the back rail, across the chair seat to the front rail. Wrap the tape to the underside of the front rail and take the tape to the back. Continue wrapping, keeping the tape touching along the sides until you reach the opposite side of the chair. Tack the end of the tape to the inside of the side rail from the underside. Trim off the excess tape. This is your warp tape.

Step 2

Cut a rigid foam cushion to 1 inch smaller than the inside size of the chair seat. Clip off each corner so they will not show. The foam should be the thickness of your rails. Slide the foam between the top and bottom layers of warp tape.

Step 3

Move two tapes apart near the center along the back rail. Tunnel your woof chair tape end between the underside warp tapes to the gap between the tapes. Tack the end to the inside back rail. Slide your tapes together again when the woof tape is securely attached. Bring the other end of the woof tape over the nearest side rail and tight to the back leg.

Step 4

Weave over and under each warp tape across the top of the chair seat. Turn the chair over and weave over and under each warp tape along the bottom of the chair seat. You will notice that the tapes on the underside of the chair are slanted. This is normal. Bring your tape up and over the side rail tight to the first woof tape.

Step 5

Weave over and under each warp tape in the opposite direction of your first woof tape. Continue weaving top and bottom until you finish the top of the chair. Weave along the bottom to the inside of the front rail. Push two tapes apart and tack the end of the tape to the rail. Trim off the excess. To join tapes at any time, overlap the new and old tape on the underside of the chair. Hand sew several seams across both pieces of tape. Trim off the excess and continue weaving.

Things You Will Need

  • Tacks
  • Foam
  • Serrated knife
  • Heavy-duty needle and thread

Tip

  • For chairs that are wider at the front, add extra warp tape along each side rail. Tack the tape to the inside of the side rail. Weave the woof as normal.

About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.