How to repair rush chairs

Written by melanie fleury
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How to repair rush chairs
(chair image by inacio pires from

A rush seat is a popular way to finish a rang frame chair. A rush seat can be made by twisting cattail leaves or buying pretwisted natural rush. Rush can be found in your local craft store and ranges from paper rush to fibre. It also comes in various sizes to get the look that you want. If you have a rush chair that needs repair, you can do it yourself with a little time and patience.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Rush

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  1. 1

    Start with 12 feet of rush purchased from your local craft store. You will want to untwist one end slightly and secure it to the top of the left rail of the chair.

  2. 2

    Wrap the rush in an in-and-out pattern. You will go over the top of the front rail, under the back and then back over the top. You will do this several times until you have gone across the entire width of the chair. Then you will start over the top of the side rail. As you go towards the other side rail, begin to weave the rush in and out of the rush that is over the top and bottom rails.

  3. 3

    Pull the rush tightly. Make sure that as you weave in and out you are pulling the rush tightly to avoid sagging or breaking.

  4. 4

    Weave until you are out of rush; try to get to a corner as you near the end of your rush length.

  5. 5

    Cut a piece of cardboard that matches the size of your chair seat. Turn the chair over and place on the seat bottom.

  6. 6

    Tie off your rush , making sure that you knot several times to ensure it will not unravel. Make sure that you cut away any excess.

  7. 7

    Brush on a sealant--tung oil works best--onto the top and bottom of the chair. Allow it to sit about 15 minutes and then wipe off. Allow it to dry completely overnight.

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