Paris bistro chairs

barbara walker

There was an interesting article in the Sept. 19-20 Wall Street Journal's Off Duty section about Paris bistro chairs, "Next Time I See Paris" by Courtney Lichterman. Two websites show many beautiful designs that are, in effect, drawdowns:

Barbara J. Walker

Sally O

The first link is terrific!

What is the technique for the patterns that have diagnoal elements in addition to vertical and hortizontal elements?

barbara walker

I think they are like chair caning.


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Elisa Eiger

On Tue, Sep 22, 2020 at 10:37 AM, Sally O wrote:
What is the technique for the patterns that have diagonal elements
Mad weave (triaxial weave), typically used in basketry. See Sally Shore's monograph on ribbon weaving, or other books on pin/ribbon weaving.  (Or books on basketry or caning.)

Jayne F

It is chair caning, 90 and 45 degree angles.     It is not triaxial, which is all at 60 degree angles.


I thought "triaxial" meant 3 axes, as in an x, y, and z axis, that is three dimensional.   I don't think it has to do with degrees in a triangle.

Karen Donde

For more exciting chair caning designs, check out the website of Silver River Chair Caning, where Brandy Clements and Dave Klinger restore chairs and operate a chair caning school in Asheville’s River Arts District. They do amazing work, and teach it!


Sally O

Thanks, Jayne.

You nailed the souce of my confusion. In some of the patterns I saw warp and weft, and then 2 additional diagonal elements that were interwoven at 45 degrees to the tradtional warp and weft. I forwarded the link to a basketmaker in my guild for her take on the patterns.

What I thought was interesting in some of the "Prestige" patterns was the use of doubled warps and wefts in contrast with a single very thin warp and weft, along with the clever use of color to highlight different aspects within the same structure.

Has anyone tried this on a shaft loom with non-stiff materials? (Is it even possible?)
Thanks again for the inspiration, Barbara!


Respectfully disagree on the chair caning and madweave; it’s a deflected weft known as cannele, woven on a 4 shaft floor loom. It’s on p. 156 in my copy of Beriau as zig-zag. I wove it in a workshop with Virginia West some time in the last millennium.

Jayne F

Hi Karen,

Thanks for the great link!

There is a caner here in Portland Maine who is (or was) also a minister. His business is called “Able to Cane”  ;)


Sally O

Just a follow up to this thread if anyone is still interested...

The answer is yes! the "Prestige" caning pattern can be woven on a shaft loom with fibers!
It is not mad-weave, triaxial, or cannele/spider weave, all of which I have woven before.

Because the patterns Barbara W shared appear to be computer-generated, and caning uses flatter and stiffer materials, the sample I wove has far more dimension than I was expecting.

Other surprises:
- The bottom of the cloth is different than the top, and depending on how I interlace the diagonal threads (the exact order), I can produce two different patterns on the reverse side without affecting the top.
- The treadling is the same for all picks – that means one of the warp sets does not have to be threaded on any shaft for this particular pattern. However, to keep the structure from compressing when beating, I am considering entering a "hidden" pick on the opposite shed to stabilize the web, as long as it won't show on the surface.
- "Placing" the weft is required, not beating.
- I had to start and finish with a single strand of color for the diagonal threads to end at the selvedges correctly, not a pair.
- I am unsure how much of a time saving measure this method actually provides by using the loom to control tension and provide shedding for half the picks. Are there industrial looms that can produce caning patterns? The trick is those diagonal threads have to move across the warps, but not in the same way as traditional wefts.

Thanks to Jayne F for sharing the Handwoven article by David Mooney, as that gave me a big clue how to set up the diagonal threads before beginning.

When I have completed the first sample, I think I am going to cut off and contemplate additional explorations. I have been in contact with some basketmakers and will be investigating more folks with experience in caning. (The link to Silver River was great, they have two patterns that are not the same as the one Barbara shared, but of interest: Lace and Daisy. Another, called "Star of David"

BIG thanks for the push down this rabbit hole...I think ;-)

Sally O

Su Butler

Sounds interesting Sally…..will you be writing up your findings for a journal or magazine so we can all see what you have done??



Su Butler 😊



Sally O

I'll consider it.
(Once I figure it out fully!)

Still tumbling down the hole...