Wicker furniture offers a lighter feel to any home. However, like any other furniture, wicker pieces are subject to damage over time.
Repairing wicker chairs is possible with the right materials and skills. Fortunately, most repairs are relatively simple and can be done by the homeowner. Most wicker chair repair methods involve re-weaving.
A wicker chair is a type of furniture made of woven strands of cane or fiber webbing to form the seat and back of the piece. This kind of reed work can be delicate and time-consuming. If the reeds begin to break, it is important to repair them as soon as possible to keep the chair looking like new. Depending on the amount of damage, it may be necessary to completely reweave the chair. To do this, remove any broken reeds and then weave in replacement ones. The new reeds should be woven over the vertical pairs of reeds and under the horizontal ones.
To re-weave your wicker chair repair, examine it closely to find the damaged areas. You should also check to see if the frame is damaged as well. If it is, straighten the frame and repaint it with outdoor metallic paint if needed.
Once you have removed the damaged reeds, soak a strip of new cane in water to make it pliable. Then, insert the new reed into the chair, making sure it is centered. Leave a 2- to 3-inch tail on both ends, fold them back under the chair bottom, and peg them.
Repeat this process for each of the damaged areas. Once the repairs have been completed, spray the chair with a sealer to protect it from rain or sun exposure.
Repair wicker chair furniture with missing or broken reeds may seem challenging, and in some cases, it can be. But if you have the patience, it is not hard to make small repairs yourself. First, examine the damaged area and determine whether re-weaving would suffice. If not, take a picture of the piece so that you can identify the pattern when you wave a new reed in place.
Before you begin, soak the replacement reed fibers in water to soften them. Once they are pliable, you can trim off the old ends and cut them to the same length as the replacements. Next, thread the replacements in and out of the furniture. Try to follow the original weave, although it is not necessarily essential. If you can, weave the reeds over and under each cross member at least two times.
Lastly, tuck the end of the replacement under the wrapping and dab a bit of wood glue on the bottom to hold it in place. Allow the reeds to dry thoroughly before using the furniture again.
A reed replacement tool is available that can be purchased from most weaving supply stores. It looks like a crochet hook and includes a special tip that allows you to hook the end of the reed underneath the surface. This makes the process much easier and more precise.
The lines that connect the reeds to the framework of your chair can become warped and lose their appearance. To fix this, wet a cloth and apply it to the warped area until the reed becomes flexible again. Once the reed is flexible, re-position and tighten it into its original position on the chair. Repeat as needed. When you finish, a small wood nail or clamp can be used to hold the reed in place until it dries.
A rattan peel that is ripped or broken can also affect the overall look of your wicker furniture. Rather than replacing the entire peel, you can replace just one section of it with new rattan. To do this, use strong glue that is designed for use with wicker. Make sure that the rattan peels you choose matches those already on the chair.
Select a piece of replacement rattan peel that is at least 5 inches longer than the one you are replacing. Weave the new rattan peel into the original place of the old one, making sure that you are covering the ends of the original strands and the gaps left by any other loose strands of wicker. Then trim the ends of the new rattan peel and apply waterproof glue to them. Allow the glue to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Wicker Chair Repair can be delicate, especially when it is used outdoors or on screened-in porches. The sun’s rays and heat can dry out the material, but there are many ways to keep your wicker furniture looking fresh. You can add water and rehydrate the material, clean it regularly and use protective covers to protect it from the elements.
It’s also important to check a piece of wicker furniture for frame damage before attempting any repairs. The wicker may not be able to hold up if the frame is damaged, and it may be time for a replacement. You should consider whether the furniture is worth repairing, especially if it has sentimental value.
If your wicker has become brittle, you can repair it with boiled linseed oil. It is best applied with a brush and allowed to dry completely before you can use it again. The boiled linseed oil should last about a week before it needs to be reapplied.
It’s also important to check a wicker chair repair for any signs of fraying or cracking. The cracks should be addressed promptly to prevent them from becoming worse and possibly damaging the chair’s structure. This is another case where it might be beneficial to have a professional repair the chair, particularly if it is an antique piece or has significant monetary value.