13 Jul 2015

My DIY Project

We've had these kitchen chairs for donkey's years.
The seat is made of a woven rush material, which gives a little when you sit and is quite comfortable.  A close up look:
Though a little worn after about 20 years or so, three of the six, however, look like this.
They were not damaged through normal wear and tear - little fingers have been doing the dirty work.

The culprit:
How can I break the fingers of a cutie like that?

We spent some time shopping for new chairs, but found nothing that we liked.  Most are too grand for our kitchen or don't match the table which we don't want to change.

We also looked for chair weavers to repair the seats, but there were no takers.

Actually, I've a partiality for these chairs because they've always reminded me of one of my favourite paintings.

So I went to YouTube for chair weaving lessons; found one that seemed to do the trick and took the plunge and ordered the materials.

I couldn't find ozzie suppliers and had to get some sent from the US.

Here is one of 4 spools of rush I ordered.
They've just arrived and I'm about to start.

How hard can it be?  (Famous last words)


  1. Hopefully the chairs will be in restored to its former condition.

    1. Thanks, Luke. I'll post the results, good or otherwise in a future post.

  2. Good luck, Arthur the Weaver.

    1. Thank you, from the Weaverbird.

  3. That face!!! So cute, so sweet, so innocent!!! Muahahahahaha!!!!

    So many years already, time to get a new one. Good luck with your weaving.

    I would probably get somebody to come and remove the seat, get some plywood and nail that down. Quite hopeless at this DIY kind of thing. I think there are shops here that would do it nicely, can even have the seats padded some more. Guess if you have those there, they would not be very affordable. I knew a university lecturer in the UK who did the renovations and repairs in his house all by himself - could not afford to get somebody to do it. Lots of DIY shops there, same in Oz, I guess.

    1. The thing is my boss doesn't want padded seats, for some reason not very clear to me. Otherwise there are plenty of padded chairs available. I did think of replacing it with plywood, but thought trying to weave it would be a nice challenge. It would be a pity to throw them out as structurally they are still very good.

  4. Arthur, your visuals tell the story so well - reminds me of those old wooden kopi-tiam chairs which we are so attached to and want to preserve as they exude a certain charm and feel of comfort, lacking from most modern chairs. They also seem to provide good ventilation at the seat where it is most needed!

    When I visited Malacca, I would pick up those low stools made of thick bamboos which you can rest your bums on ( while squatting like the street vendors) while reading your newspapers.

    Being the perennial handyman that you are, I am positive of and wishing you a good outcome.

    1. I remember those bamboo stools. There are also bigger bamboo contraptions which you can sit a baby in.

      Thank you for your good wishes. I wouldn't call myself a handyman, and, I must say that I am not as confident as you of a good outcome.

  5. My earlier comment seemed to hv vaporized ! I am confident you can do a beautiful job Arthur, with some help from those little fingers which are good at threading the strings when gaps are small.
    My dining chairs were sold to me as leather, but turned out as pseudo leather from china n they started to flake.
    I decided to buy material n make covers for them n hv no clue how to start .
    The first one took me a week to do n as I progressed, I learnt new approaches n my 6th chair took me 10 mins.

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words and the account of your progress from first chair to sixth. But you have the advantage on me as you have not left your name. Whoever you are, thanks again. Your comment is much appreciated