Oh man do I love a good furniture makeover. And this one makes my heart sing. When I saw this hanging rattan chair at the flea market, my heart flipped. (It didn't hurt that I got a screaming deal on it either.)
Upon bringing it home however, Mr. Gooder simply shook his head and declared "That's an outside chair." Ok. You and me know that that is simply NOT TRUE. But I complied, and hung it up from the pergola in the backyard. Fine.
Except, it wasn't fine. Within a remarkably short amount of time, the California sun made the outer wrapping and seat brittle, and it started to curl away from the frame. I promptly wrapped it up and stashed it in the garage before more damage was done. Biding my time until I could convince Mr. Gooder that it was, in fact, an inside chair.
That day did finally come, but then, I had to figure out how to fix the darn thing from the sun damage. Enter cotton clothesline. I knew the frame was still structurally sound- a KEY ingredient if you're going to attempt something similar- nobody needs to see dinner guest plummeting to the ground along with a broken chair- splashing wine on the walls and carpet on their way down. Nobody.
The clothesline was thick enough to wrap around the outside without having to pull off all the old rattan wrapping. Something I didn't want to do for fear of opening a can of worms. The cotton roping is simply wrapped around the frame, and also glued every 3-4 wraps along the way.
Then I had the problem of the seat. It was too brittle to use. But again- the outer rattan frame was still very strong. I tossed around ideas of replacing it with an upholstered piece of wood, or super thick cushion, but I kept coming back to the idea of keeping it close to the original. I even looked into finding a restoration company that could reweave a seat for me. I knew that if I did that, the rattan would most likely not match, so I started thinking I wanted a completely different material all together. Enter the glorious jute woven seat.
Below, you can see it sort of in process. Ok, ok- it's practically done and I'm just fitting it into place here. But this is the way such things go. I get so excited while I'm doing something, I forget to take pictures all together. You're lucky you even got these snapped with my Iphone.
The bottom photo shows the structure of the weaving best: 8 support anchors- secured to the rattan circle frame- made from the cotton rope that the jute is then woven around. The smaller white "stripes" are made from kitchen twine and were added in after the jute was woven. They started out as decorative, but ended up providing additional support and strength once they were tied underneath.
Hands down, this has become my favorite spot in the house. And now I'm on the hunt for more vintage furniture to give the "woven" treatment. Hey universe- how about a nice mid-century bench piled under a bunch of junk at the thrift store just dying for a new seat. Is that so much to ask??