How To Fix a Torn Cane Chair

how to fix a cane back chair - cane chair repair tutorial

Secondhand chairs often have a major drawback; torn or missing cane on the seat, back, or both. A cane chair repair job is often the only way to salvage these vintage pieces. The easiest way around the damage is to rip it out and replace it with webbing and upholstery. However, if the look of cane is what you want, it's fairly simple to replace the surface with pre-woven cane, and your cane back chair will be good as new.

Pre-woven cane is available in three styles:

Conventional weave cane chair webbing

Closed modern weave cane

Open modern weave

Pre-woven cane material comes in various widths and is sold by the inch.  Here's what you need to gather, and how you proceed.

Materials for cane chair repair


  • Pre-woven cane (available in sheets from Rockler and other online stores)
  • cane spline that fits the groove
  • water
  • wood glue
  • clean rag
  • wood stain


  • wedge or blunt edge chisel
  • razor utility knife
  • hammer

How to repair a cane seat or cane back

  1. Remove the old cane and spline:


  2. Clean out the groove, sand the edges if necessary
  3. Soak the pre-woven cane for about 30 minutes or so
  4. Place the cane piece squarely on the chair opening
  5. Begin wedging the cane into the groove on the front center of the chair, move to the back center to get it anchored down
  6. Now return to the front edge and continue working out towards the side

Now see how to finish up your repair like a professional, click here. 

Main Photo:Universal Upholstering

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Phillly o4 on Jan 30, 2016:

This is a really good article. Thanx so much! :)

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