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Trend Watch: Caning

One of the latest trends in home decor today is caning. I’ve always loved the caned furnishings for two main reasons, its such a timeless look and its neutral coloring make it work in any interior.

What is caning?

It's a type of weaving done with a variety of materials. It's been around since the 1500's where it's said to have originated in Asia. Cane seating was highly favored, as it allows ventilation when sitting, and the rattan bark is insect resistant, as opposed to wood which was susceptible to insects in hot and humid environments.

This is a Vintage French Country Louis XV Style Double Cane Italian Canopy Porter Chair and one of my absolute favorite examples of caning.

One day I shall have two of these in my library; I shall curl up in it in front of a cozy fire while reading a fascinating book.

This particular chair is currently for sale on 1stDibs for $2500.00 if you're interested!

Ok, back to the story....

Cane comes from the outer skin of the rattan stalk. Rattan is the climbing vine plant of the palm family, native to Africa, Asia and parts of Australasia. It can grow to 600 feet long! There are many varieties of rattan that are used for different purposes but I'll only be focusing on the part of the rattan that is used for caning.

It's a rather vicious looking plant, as you can see here.

Once it’s harvested, thorns and joints are removed and its bark separated from the core.

The bark is then processed into thin strands, which were then used to cane the seat of a chair.

Super tedious and labor intensive process!

This video shows how rattan is woven to make caning:

It was very popular with the affluent in the 17th and 18th centuries while the common folks had wood seats.

This is an excellent example of a late 17th century William and Mary chair with straight back.

This one is not for sale, but you can find some that are.

Expect to pay a good amount of money on these antiques!

In the late 1800’s, industrialization made it possible to produce chairs and furniture quickly and inexpensively.

Here we have a set of Thonet chairs from 1870 that are a prime example of what industrialization can do. I'm sure you've seen a version of these in cafes around the world, usually without arms.

They consist of a combination of bentwood and caning. Sometimes the seat is also caned. If you've sat in one with a caned seat, you surely would have noticed how much more comfortable they are than a hard piece of wood! It causes you to linger a little bit longer while sipping that delicious coffee at a French bistro on the Rue Cler in the 7th Arrondisement (no, I've never been, but I've heard and seen photos! Someday I shall visit!)

This set of 6 Thonet chairs is for sale on Castle Antiques for $6345.00.

Other materials soon came into play such as hickory bark, ash, fiber rush, cattail rush, splint reed or wide binder cane.

Here you see an example of a 19th - Early 20th century Anglo-Caribbean Caned Planters chair.

This one is the real deal and is available on

The 1970's brought us more familiar examples of caning. Remember the 'peacock chair'? I had one in high school. LOVED IT! Wish I had kept it!

I'm sure you've seen these classic '70s Marcel Breuer chairs with caning, bentwood and brass metal frames.

A later version came with upholstered seat and back.

We had a set that we inherited and they were SUPER comfy! I regret getting rid of those too!

Louis XV style chair with caned seat and back. Such a feminine and romantic style. The back reminds me of a ladies' corset tied in the back.

Exquisite detail!

Louis XV style sofa...

Thonet rocker from the 1970's.

This Thonet rocker is from the 1920's. It looks like it would have been around a pool or a sunroom.

And that brings us up to today!

This is what's currently trending in the 2020's with caning detail, and you can see that although the classic caning is still the same, the coloring and overall design has been simplified and modernized.

Caning today is not just limited to chair seats. You will find it on a variety of furniture and home decor pieces. Anything from chairs, sofas, dressers and even lighting!

It’s extremely versatile and easily customizable.

Many refer to this stile as "Bohemian" or "Boho Chic". However one refers to it, one thing is clear, caning is back because of the natural element it brings into our homes.

Urban Outfitters, Marte Storage Cabinet

Kohl's, Ink+Ivy Kelly Accent Chair


Rose & Grey, Velvet & Bamboo Light

Cox & Cox, Woven Cane Pendant Light

I hope you've enjoyed a little insight into this latest trend and that you'll find a way to incorporate it into your home. If you do, would you let me know how you added it and send me a picture? I love seeing how people get creative with their space!


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