Rush cutting in Dorset

The traditional rush pattern resembles an envelope in shape, four triangles meeting in the centre of the seat. The pattern is created using a single continuous strand of material. The strand passes over and round the left corner of the front rail, through the centre of the seat, then over and around the left-hand adjacent side rail. From here the strand is bought up through the centre of the seat again then over and around the opposite right hand side rail, through the centre and over and around the front rail. This is the basic pattern repeated round and round the seat rails always passing over the top of the rail slowly building up from the four corners into the middle of the seat. There are many materials used to create a rush seat, traditionally Scirpus lacustris is the most common rush used to hand twist the plump mellow golden seats we usually see. However, hand twisting rush is a true skill, it needs much practice to achieve a strong and even weave. Today there are other materials which make the process a lot easier for everyone, even the complete novice. Paper fibre rush can look extremely realistic, it is as hard wearing but less expensive than fresh rush and far simpler to use. Pre-twisted rush is also now available, the good looks of real hand twisted rush, but without the hard work! Best of all renewing an old rush seat should not devalue a chair - re-seating, unlike other aspects of restoration will not damage it if done properly, but if you are ever in doubt about restoring anything, it is always best to speak to a local respected restorer for an opinion first. Then again, what good is a chair without a seat! If you would prefer someone else to do the work for you please click the button below to visit Former Glory's seat restoration page.




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Identifying a rush seat. 

A typical worn out hand twisted rush seat

The rails once the rush seat is stripped off

Click on the photo to see a kit for this type of chair

 

 We have three different types of material that you can use to put a new seat in your chair.

 

Paper fibre rush

Perfect for the beginner. A continuous length of pre-twisted hard wearing wood pulp "paper" fibre cord available in a choice of colours. Great for chairs in regular use and households with cats! For more details and prices please click on the photo.

"Reel rush"

For the more experienced. Pre-twisted rush on a reel. Needs to be soaked well prior to use and gives a good traditional finish without too much hard work. For more details and prices please click on the photo.

Cordon French straw rush

The most difficult to use. Sedge interior overwrapped with golden rye straw, typical of rustic French chairs. For more details and prices please click on the photo.

 

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