Finding artisans to replace or repair the cane on furniture is is getting more difficult every year, especially here on Cape Cod. Making your cane furniture last as long as possible will save lots of time and particularly lots of money. On Cape Cod, to cane a simple seat can cost as much as two hundred dollars.
Cane is in the grass family, grown in moist soils, mostly in Asia. Like any grass, cane loves water and is naturally flexible. Most cane seats and backs fail because they simply dry out and crack. Where you live and the humidity of your home has a lot to do with how fast or slow cane will crack.
Cane usually has two sides. The front is smooth and hard, the back rougher and porous. A few times a year, simply take a wet rag or spay bottle and wet the back side, the rough and porous side, of the cane. Don’t be afraid to get it wet. You’ll notice the color of the cane will get darker as it gets wet. Try not to let the water run onto the wood portion of the furniture. If it does, dry the wood right away with a dry towel. This “wetting” method works on both hand and sheet style cane.
Cane is naturally flexible. Keeping it moist keeps it flexible. Keeping it flexible keeps it from cracking. This simple procedure could double the life of your cane furniture.