VM Chair Project VI

partly woven danish cord seat

In the previous blog we completed assembly of the chair and applied a soap finish. The last task is to weave the Danish cord seat. I decided on Danish cord as it seemed to be in keeping with the Scandinavian background of the chair and also because the textured weaving pattern would enhance the appearance.

I have not used Danish cord before so I did extensive research on the internet beforehand, but even then I had to experiment with different weave tensions before getting a satisfactory result.

Danish cord is formed from brown paper twisted and plaited to form a stiff cord which looks similar to sea grass. Seating with rush or sea grass can be a little tedious as it requires one to pull through long lengths of the weaving material with each line of the weft. The weaving method I chose used “L” shaped nails driven into pre drilled holes on the inside face of the seat rails, this meant that just a short loop of cord needed to be threaded for each line of weft making the weaving process much quicker. The cord comes as a large roll the end is pulled from the centre.

My research did not find any information on the spacing of the “L” shaped nails, mainly because it was assume one was replacing cord in an old chair rather than working on a new chair. I arrived at a spacing by calculation based on the width of the cord and the number of strands per hook. On the side rails I used a spacing of 7mm staggered between two rows and on the front and back rails 19mm and 14mm repectively ( there are the same number of nails on front and back but the spacing varies because of their differing lengths). The holes were drilled before assembly and the nails driven in to leave 6mm protruding.

The process of weaving is too long and complex to cover in a short blog, the photographs and captions below hopefully give you a taster. I plan to write a detailed article on this in the next few weeks.

When the weaving was complete I sealed the cord with two mop coats of bleached shellac.

Seat weaving
seat weaving
seat weaving

Start the warp at the front rail, wind above and below nails then….

… over the end nail and bring the strand over the top…

….to the back rail. Loop round the hook and …

…back to the front rail, over the top, down and round to loop round the hook…

…this is repeated so you have two loops on the outer nail, then go on to the next nail…

…other nails have just one loop.

With the warp now complete fill in the gaps between the loops of cord. Start by looping round a hook in the middle and wrap cord between the loops.

The front and back rails should now be completely wrapped.

If necessary use a blunt screw driver to move the strands around to get an even coverage.

Start the weft at the back.Wind the cord under and over the nails then over the end nail, down and over the top of the rail. Form a loop of cord a little longer than the width of the chair and thread this under and over the warp strands to the other side. Bring over the side rail and over the first hook.

The weft should not be as tight as the warp…

…this allows the weft to be pushed up tight.

Check the line of the weft with a straight edge occasionally.

When the weft is finished tack the end to the side rail. These are the only tacks used in the whole process.

After a couple of coats of bleached shellac the seat, and chair, was complete.

Update: Very pleased with how the first course went. You can read about it here:

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Thankyou, Chris.


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