Synopsis: Utilizing pre-twisted rush, which mimics the look of the real rush used prior to now, David Johnson lays out the method of weaving a conventional rush seat. Soaking, wrapping, stapling, tightening, and dealing methodically are the keys to success.
Traditionally, rush seats have been woven with grasses native to wherever the chairs have been produced. Cattails and bulrush have been most incessantly used and are known as “real rush.” Lately a typical substitute is paper fiber, which is simple to work with and supply however doesn’t look the identical. In between these choices is pre-twisted rush, which I’m utilizing right here. In contrast to real rush, it’s commercially accessible. Though it’s more difficult to work with than paper fiber, the appear and feel of it are value the additional effort.
Pre-twisted rush is created from seagrass and mimics the look of real rush. It’s accessible in 2-lb. coils in numerous thicknesses. The seat proven right here is small and solely required one coil in measurement #5, which measures on common 3/16 in. to 1/4 in. thick. The push needs to unravel, so deal with it with care and tape reduce ends to maintain them neat. I wish to work with not more than 50 ft. at a time; for me, that may be a handful as I pull it off the coil. Soak the frenzy for five to 10 minutes in heat water to make it extra pliable and simpler to work with. Soaking for too lengthy or at too scorching a temperature will trigger discoloration, and the frenzy will need to come untwisted.
A part of the simplicity of weaving this specific seat, for Nancy Hiller’s “Voysey Two-Coronary heart Chair” (FWW #301), is that it’s a sq., which eliminates two steps—squaring the seat and weaving a bridge. I’ll present you learn how to take care of these somewhat later, however for now I’m specializing in a sq. seat to provide the fundamental course of.
Soak and staple
There’s nothing too technical about starting this weave. Soak, staple, and begin wrapping.
Two corners at a time
To make it straightforward on your self, work two corners at a time, establishing the sample loosely after which going again to tighten it. Going through the seat, staple the frenzy on the within of the left rail close to the again leg. Carry the frenzy towards you, over the entrance rail, and round it. Pull the frenzy up contained in the seat body, make a 90° flip over itself, and wrap excessive of the left rail, round it, after which throughout the seat to the proper rail. Do that all once more—over the proper rail and round, up by way of the center of the seat and 90° over itself, then wrap over the entrance rail and throughout the seat to the again.
Pull all of it taut
Now tighten the frenzy. Return to the place you began and pull the frenzy tightly across the entrance rail and up the within of the seat. To make the 90° flip neat, pinch the nook collectively whereas pulling it tight. Then pull it tight across the facet rail and clamp it with a hand clamp.
Flip the seat 90° clockwise and repeat. At all times rotate the seat as you tighten so that you deal with every nook the identical. Attempt to pack the frenzy as intently collectively as potential alongside the rails to forestall gaps from forming. Twist the frenzy again collectively as you’re employed if it begins to return undone.
Becoming a member of two lengths collectively
You may’t work with an excessive amount of rush without delay, so you’ll inevitably run out of fabric, most likely greater than a few times. This isn’t an issue. The purpose is to reduce the variety of knots in addition to to land the knots in discreet locations and on the underside of the seat. Once you run out of rush, tie on a brand new soaked piece with a sq. knot. Cover this knot on the within of the seat by tying the place the frenzy goes throughout.
Photographs: Anissa Kapsales. Drawings: David Johnson.
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