What is cane and why use it for contract furniture?
Cane is made by peeling off the skin of the rattan vine, perfect for weaving into a natural, airy and lightweight material that can be used for furniture, especially the backs of chairs.
Why it can work well, and what to watch out for
Cane adds a natural and interesting aesthetic to a scheme. The use of natural materials is increasingly popular and cane also has practical benefit of being lightweight, so chairs with cane tend to be easy to move around. A cane chair back also has the advantage of being airy, appreciated by diners in warm restaurants, especially in summer.
Cane also has some disadvantages, the most important of which is that it not as strong as other more common materials used for hospitality furniture - cane products are generally not advised for environments where particularly heavy use is expected. In all circumstances we strongly recommend that cane is used only for the backs of chairs, not the seats. Fraying should be expected, sooner or later (which is unlikely to affect the strength of the cane).
In addition, cane’s natural qualities mean that finishes will be slightly inconsistent in colour and texture. Cane can be stained, but if so, the stain is perhaps easier to damage and may be less consistent than on most wooden surfaces, for example.
Looking after cane
Cane can be trimmed with scissors when it starts to fray and stained cane can be re-stained if needed; otherwise cane can be wiped clean with soapy water.