Bentwood Chair Cane Seat Replacement

Does your bentwood chair need a new cane seat?

Is there a replacement seat already caned that can be purchased and quickly installed on your antique bentwood chair? Sorry, I’m afraid not. At least none that I’m aware of.

If your cane seat needs to be replaced, here’s a quick overview of what may be entailed.

Tighten 1st

Bentwood chair with cane seat removedAs a whole, the chair must be sturdy and stable – it’s not just about replacing the seat.

Bentwood chairs like the one seen on this page are easily tightened – as long as nothing is broken. Glue is only required at the top of the front legs. All the other joints are connected with screws (original).

Hand cane or cane webbing

Before replacing the cane seat, you need to determine whether it is hand cane or cane webbing. Hand cane is woven strand by strand, and goes through holes in the wooden frame. If you turn the chair over and see the cane coming through the bottom of the frame – the seat is hand cane. Cane webbing is identified by the spline around the perimeter. This holds the cane in place.

Note on conversions

Bentwood chair with new cane seatAntique bentwood chairs originally had hand cane seats. However, many have been converted from hand cane to cane webbing. This is typically done for two reasons – time and money. Replacing a seat with cane webbing is much quicker and therefore less expensive. Conversions like this are not preformed at our shop, simply because it weakens the frame of the seat and is difficult to reverse

The bentwood chair seen on this page was previously converted from having a hand cane seat to a seat with cane webbing. It was easy to spot because on top it had the spline around the edge, and underneath, the original holes in the frame (for hand caning) could be seen.

Replace the cane seatNew cane seat installed on bentwood chair

The hardest part in replacing cane webbing is removing the spline and cleaning out the groove. Once that’s done, a pre-woven sheet of cane is cut to fit, positioned, and installed with new spline.

Make the new look old

bentwood chair cane seat replacementTo give an aged look, the cane seat gets colored. This is an important step for antique furniture. Although the seat is new, we do this to match what was existing and/or to match the chair to others if part of a set.

Need Service?

Contact us if you need bentwood chair cane seat replacement service. Or check out our resource page to find chair caning services in your area.


  1. Christine Batten says

    I have a bamboo bentwood rocker, circa 1976, whose seat needs to be replaced. I live in Baltimore, MD 21212. can you recommend someone to do this? Approximate cost to repair? is it worth it?

    • says

      I don’t know anyone personally. A quick search on Google for chair caners in your area is not showing much.
      It has been my experience to see that a majority of seat weavers work from home and do not have a website.

      I would recommend trying the caners (in MD) listed on the directory provided by The Wicker Woman.

      Other options would be to search for furniture restorers in your area.
      They should be able to help out with either service or a referral.