Cane comes from the bark of the rattan vine. It is cut into a variety of widths for hand caning strands through holes on a chair seat. The core of the vine is used for wicker, flat reed splint and a variety of round reeds used in basketry. Rattan grows in Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula. The traditional cane pattern has also been “pre-woven” on primitive looms in China and is known as sheet caning or spline caning amongst other names. Like so many harvested products, it takes the caners eye to select the prime material for each use.
Seat weaving materials include rush from the cattail family, fiber rush, essentially twisted paper bags, sea grass, Danish seat cored, and flat splint in reed, ash, or hickory or binder cane. The chair caner uses these materials to reweave seats as the chair was originally designed.