Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Elegant and sturdy, cane furniture continues to attract urban buyers who want something extra and unique for their home

By Syeda Farida

Think furniture and cane seems to remain the evergreen option. Durable, sturdy, almost zero maintenance, ethnic and easy to lug along wicker beds, cane sofa sets and home theatre stands can be the right option to do up the house in one tone.
Today owing to its relatively inexpensive cost, crafting furniture for the entire house in cane- from conservatory furniture - garden and living room, to dining hall and bar cabinet - is a pocket-friendly proposition. Add to these a few cane show pieces such as miniature rocking chairs, baskets and cane bicycles, as also lamp shades and wall frames to complete the picture.  “Furniture for the entire house - sofa sets, dining table, mirror frames, television stand, racks, side table and cots - can be made for Rs. 80,000 onwards. The wedding wardrobe and home furniture gift sets in cane are popular,” says Ashfaq Ahmed of Bombay Cane Furniture Works at Lakdi-ka-pul. When compared to wooden or leather furniture, cane scores on the cost factor. While a designer no frills leather rocking chair can cost Rs. 15,000 onwards, a humble variant in cane comes for Rs. 2,000 and is equally snug. Imported cane comes for a little extra though.


The other USP of cane is its durability. The cane furniture lasts for 10-15 years with a varnish or paint once every three years. Cane sofas are ideal for the sun rooms and as garden furniture. Glass - topped centre tables in hand woven wicker paired with lightweight lounge chairs can add extra sparkle to any lawn.  “Wicker furniture is the new trend for sit outs. Apart from traditional wooden shades one can now find wicker furniture in white and other shades,” says city based architect Amita Raj, ARDeS Architects and Designs. Rattan furniture as also wicker furniture crafted made using cane can also take other hues apart from the varnish. Greys, whites and cream are few muted colours that are popular for cane furniture across the world.  “Cane furniture when used with ambient lighting and warm shades for the walls offer a nice cosy look for small spaces. They give a very ethnic look when compared to linear minimalist modular and wooden furniture,” says city based architect Amita Raj, ARDeS Architects and Designs.


Also, unlike wood furniture, cane provides flexibility to craft designs and shapes of one's choice. Apart from traditional patterns, the international catalogues feature contemporary designs that can be made to order by city based cane furniture manufacturers.  As for the cane, apart from domestic wicker, cane Andamans, Malaysia and Indonesia can also be imported for a premium.  The native cane from Assam and Bareilly is equally sturdy. Choosing good product and differentiating from bamboo is not difficult. “Bamboo is hollow while cane has a solid core. When looking for the cane, the gauge and sturdiness are to be checked,” says Ashfaq.  Ethnic, elegant and earthy, cane continues to attract urban buyers who want something extra and unique for their homes. And it is a boon for the families on the move.

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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

How-to Care for Your Cane Furniture

1.) Keep cane chairs and furniture away from extreme heat situations and areas with low humidity.
These conditions could cause the cane to dry out and become brittle and break. Also direct sunlight and heater ducts are areas to be avoided. Consider using a humidifier in the winter which can be especially helpful to keep the air moist and not too dry.
Using a high-oil content furniture polish product when you dust helps to keep the cane supple, too. Lemon oil, orange oil, or mineral oil (use sparingly) applied to both the top and bottom of the cane seat a few times a year is usually sufficient.

2.) Distribute the weight evenly on the seat.
A cane seat is intended to take evenly distributed weight of the person sitting on the seat, not concentrated weight, like a knee or foot. So NEVER kneel on a cane seat or use it as a ladder or step stool. Doing so will cause the cane strands to break and the seat will need to be rewoven prematurely.

3.) Is your seat sagging?

Cane has natural elastic properties, but eventually the caned seat will begin to sag with heavy or prolonged use. It is important to tighten the cane or it will begin to wear and break along the inside edge of the seat frame, both on the sides and front and back edges.
Cane seats that are not too badly stretched or that are free of broken strands, can be revived by turning the chair upside-down and applying a warm, wet cloth to the underside of the cane seat. Let the cloth and cane dry naturally overnight. Remove the cloth and turn chair upright and don’t let anyone sit on it for at least 48 hours. This treatment will dry and shrink the cane, tightening it up in the process, taking the pressure off the inside wooden edges.
An alternative solution would be to use a spray water bottle and spritz the seat thoroughly with warm water. Then let the seat dry overnight and as it dries the cane will shrink and pull tightly once again. Don’t allow anyone to sit on chair seat for at least 48 hours until it’s completely dry.
This tightening process is most effective when used regularly within the first five years of recaning and won’t work at all if there are several broken strands. Using this preventative method three or four times a year should be sufficient to help prolong the life of your cane seat chair for many years.

4.) To prolong the life of your caned seat, the use of a chair pad or cushion is encouraged.

This especially pertains to large chairs with a seat diameter of greater than 14 inches. A chair pad will distribute the weight evenly and take the pressure off the individual strands of cane, thus making them last longer.

5.) Keep seats clean.

Clean grimy or dirty cane seats with a wood soap such as Murphy’s or mild detergent in warm water, using a soft cloth or perhaps a soft bristle brush.
Take care not to damage the wood surface with the water. Rinse well and then let the seat dry naturally on a warm, windy day to eliminate the possibility of mold and mildew setting in which will damage and stain the cane. Do not sit on the seat for at least 48 hours, otherwise the cane will stretch out of shape.
6.) Mold and mildew on your cane seat?

If you notice mold or mildew growing on your cane furniture, use a strong solution of bleach in warm soapy water to clean. Then rinse well and dry outdoors in the sunshine on a warm, windy day. Be careful not to spill the bleach solution on any surrounding wooden frame parts and wipe off any wooden surfaces immediately.

7.) Cane furniture storage and usage tips.

Do not store or use cane or wicker furniture in high humidity areas or in wet areas where mold and mildew can present a problem. Basements, crawl spaces, up next to a wall, or on the porch pushed up next to the wall of the house where the furniture does not get adequate air circulation are places to avoid.

8.) Caning a chair seat yourself? Then be sure to bevel the inside edge of the seat and sand it well before beginning to weave.

This applies to weaving both the traditional hole-to-hole strand cane method or the sheet cane, spline cane, or cane webbing method with the large hole in the middle of the wood frame. The inside wooden edge of the seat is usually a sharp 90 degree angle and may eventually cut the cane, if this step is forgotten. Use a small rasp, file or plane to pare down the edge and then smooth with sand paper.

9.) No need for final finish treatments of varnish, stain or lacquer on newly rewoven cane seats.

Because chair cane has a naturally glossy finish, traditionally cane seats are left unfinished to allow the cane to absorb moisture in the air and remain flexible, expanding and contracting. Although cane will darken with age on its own to a nice honey-brown golden color, it will take several years to achieve this.
If you feel you must apply some sort of finish, high oil content furniture polish products can be used successfully; lemon oil, orange oil and mineral oil. Occasionally, tung oil varnish or even wax furniture polish are used as a finish on the cane without harmful affects.

10.) Want your newly caned seat to match others in a set?

If you prefer to hasten the darkening process of a newly recaned seat, or need to match a new chair seat to an existing set, use oil-based stain (Minwax brand is good) and then a coat of lacquer or varnish can be applied over that. Do not apply varnish to the underside of the cane seat, though.
Realize too, that the finish may not match exactly, may be blotchy in appearance, and will tend to dry out the cane, which may cause the seat to fail prematurely. The preferred method is to leave a cane seat in its natural state, without adding any final finish products.

11.) With reasonable care, attention and use, your cane-seated chair should last from 5-25 years.

But if you notice a few broken strands or a hole becoming bigger, place a padded cushion over the seat to gain many more months or even years of use. I recommend to all my customers that they keep using the chair until the entire seat (or large portion of it) fails, before they have it rewoven. Enjoy!

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Friday, 12 June 2015

Cane Craft & Allied Industries: One Stop Shop For The Best Cane Made Goods

Assam is a land rich in bamboo and cane productions and hence, if these raw materials can be utilised for good and make useful products then what can be as appreciative as this. Cane Craft & Allied Industries basically think alike and deals with designing and making a wide array of goods and products made of bamboo and cane. Right from the normal day to day used goods to the decorative showpieces that can be used for home decor and for adding a natural tint to the overall  look of the house; this furniture store specializes in everything.

Buyers can step into the Cane Craft & Allied Industries shop for a great deal of varieties in cane products that includes furniture, home decor, eco-friendly bags, terracotta, bamboo products and more. The best part is that the cane and bamboo made products available in the shop are all locally made by expert and fine hands and are the most eco-friendly things that you can ever take home. At this age of climate change and global warming, opting for such eco-friendly options are a lot better than buying other imported goods made of artificial materials.

If at a point of time a pair of cane furniture can lend a different look to your living room, then at the same time, by buying handmade Cane & handicraft products, you are also encouraging and relieving the local workers who are earning for their livelihood from the cane and bamboo industries. The best part is that you can save your valuable time by not being in the store physically, but by choosing your preferred goods online and buy furniture online. Cane Craft & Allied Industries has its own website to cater to the demands of the buyers and assures satisfactory service by providing the best goods at the best prices in proper address.  

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