Weaving Chair Seats: Designs and Techniques

76 TUTOR: Erica Hemming (BA (Hons), MA)

An introduction to handwoven chair seats, this course reveals how to weave three different patterns with three different materials. Paper Rush, Danish cord or seagrass may be woven in right angle, under-over and checkerboard patterns.  While it is possible to learn these patterns and the various techniques needed from books or the internet, the most important knowledge you will take away from this course is how to manipulate the material. At this point, the knowledge of a master weaver becomes essential. This course is workshop based and all tools and materials will be supplied.

Course Notes


This course is a workshop based experience, we will be practicing beside the bench all the time and some introductions to the technical aspects will also be received. The skill comes after the practice, so we need to have a go. By the end of the week you will be able to take home three pine stools, woven with three different materials and using three different patterns.

It is a great opportunity for those who want an introduction to the handwoven chair seats. One of the stools will be woven with Paper Rush, in the right-angle pattern used on traditional rush seats and the CH24 Wishbone chair, designed in 1950 by Hans J. Wegner. The second stool will be woven with Danish cord in the over-and-under pattern again by designer Hans J. Wegner on the Mǿller Chair #66 and others on the 1950's - 70'. And the last stool will be woven with hardwearing seagrass in a checkerboard pattern, commonly used in a lot of chair and stool seats in Europe.

Checkerboard, right-angle, and under-over patterns and the techniques needed, can be learnt on books or you tube but the most important knowledge you will leave with from Marlborough this summer is how the material wants to be manipulated in each pattern. The knowledge of a master weaver becomes essential at this point.

All tools and materials will be supplied, you only have to bring your smile. It is recommended to wear comfortable clothes; chair weaving is not especially dirty but old clothes will make you be more comfortable. We will be at the workshop, sandals are not a proper workshop shoe, a shoe that holds your feet in place and covers it will be enough.



We will start with an introduction to the tutor, and to the different technics and material that will be used in the course. We will prepare the wooden stools as needed for the week and we will start with the Paper Rush and the right-angle pattern.


We will look at styles of chair frame designed for the Danish cord that we are using for the second stool and then we will finish the first stool started on Monday.


We will end the under-over pattern started on Tuesday with the Danish Cord for the second stool.


We will have a go to the third stool, the checkerboard pattern made with seagrass.


First we will finish the last stool and before leaving we will have time to discuss about the different patterns and the most repeated doubts of the week will be commented again.


Course Tutor

Erica Hemming

Erica Hemming

BA (Hons), MA

About Erica

Erica has been an archaeologist (BA hons, MA) archaeological illustrator/ reconstruction artist, chair seat weaver and craft tutor among other things.

She learned traditional chair seating techniques from her grandfather, in the late 1990s while working as an Archaeologist.

From her workshop in Wilton she restores rush and cane chair seating, working with traditional and modern weaving patterns for bespoke restoration of customers' furniture, and offers tuition in chair seating and workshops in arts and crafts, especially Needle Felting.

She is designing a range of Needle Felting kits called "Through the Rainbow", inspired by British wildlife, birds and from her own illustrations influenced by dreams and folk/fairy tales.

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Summer School Dates for 2022

All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 11 Jul - 15 Jul

WK 2 18 Jul - 22 Jul

WK 3 25 Jul - 29 Jul

WK 4 1 Aug - 5 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM