Pattern by The Basket Maker’s Catalog - 521 East Walnut St. - Scottsville, KY 42164 1-800-447-7008
Shaker Tape seats are quite beautiful and will give you years of great service. Whether you're seating a chair or a stool, you'll enjoy this easy weaving adventure!
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NOTE: Take a look at the Shaker Tape Color Selector. This app will help you visualize the color combinations for your Shaker Chair, Shaker Rocker or Stool. Try as many combinations as you wish. When you find the combination that suits you, use the convenient links to add your Shaker Tape choices to your shopping cart.
Calculating the Quantity of Shaker Tape You'll Need
Calculations are for total yardage needed. If you're using 2 colors, order 1/2 the yardage in each color.
For 1" wide Tape: Measure the width and length of the chair or stool at the widest points. Multiply these 2 numbers and divide the product by 9 for the total number of yards.
For 5/8" wide Tape: Measure the width and length of the chair or stool at the widest points. Multiply these 2 numbers and divide the product by 5.3 for the total number of yards.
Let's Get Started
Remove the old seating material and paint or finish your chair as desired.
Assemble Your Tools & Materials
|Shaker Tape (see above to calculate quantity)||Sewing Needle||Bone Folder|
|Needlenose Pliers||Thread to match one color of your Shaker Tape||Felt-tip marker|
|Thimble||Thread to match one color of your Shaker Tape||Clothespin|
|1" Pony Clamp|
Cut Your Foam
Place the piece of foam rubber under the seat opening. With felt-tip marker, mark the shape of your seat onto the foam. Cut along your marks.
Your foam may be a bit smaller than the opening, especially along the front of the seat.
If the foam completely fills out any corner of your seat opening, cut a 1" square of foam from each of those corners. Set the foam aside.
Starting the Seat
Lay the roll of Shaker Tape in front of the chair. Bring one end under the front rung and clamp the end to the back of the rung on the left-hand side.
Measure the distance across the back rung. Measure the distance across the front rung.
Subtract the 2 measurements to find the difference. Divide the difference in half to determine where to place the first wrap of Shaker Tape on the front rung.
Back rung length: 16"
Front rung length: 20"
20" minus 16" equals 4" difference
4" divided by 2 = 2"
Place the first wrap 2" (or your calculated distance) from the leg on the front rung. See photo.
Wrap the Tape under the front rung, positioning it at the pre-determined spot, wrap around the front rung, and take Tape toward the back of your seat.
Wrap over the top of the back rung, then under the back rung. Bring Tape toward the front and under the front rung. Pull the entire length of tape through as you work.
Continue to wrap pulling the Tape slightly taut, but not too tight until you've wrapped about half of the seat. The edges of the Tape should touch.
Adding the Foam
Slide the foam between the upper and underneath wraps of Shaker Tape.
Continue to wrap until you reach the back right-hand corner.
Note: Adjust the tape a bit if needed to fill the back rung as full as possible. Check the measurements along the front rung, adjusting to have as equal an unwrapped area (to each side) as possible.
Attaching the Second Color
Cut the Shaker Tape about 2 inches longer than what is needed to cover the back rung at the right-hand corner of your seat.
Fold the cut end under about 1 inch. Lay this folded end on top of the end of the second color and clip with a clothespin.
Test the position of these two ends before sewing.
The first color should be visible around the back rung and the second color should be visible around the right-hand side rung. When you're satisfied with the overlap of the two ends, stitch the overlapped area securely with needle and thread. See photos.
Weaving the Seat
Bring the shaker tape under and around the back right-hand corner and begin weaving on the top of your seat and weave across the seat from right to left. Your pattern is over one, under one, over one, under one, etc.
After weaving completely across the first row, pull the entire length of your second color through this row of weaving. The long length of Tape is now on the left side of your chair.
Note the tension and tautness of this first row being sure not to pull too tightly.
Push the second color toward the back of the chair and manipulate it so the row lays straight across the seat, parallel to the back rung.
Turn your chair upside down to weave underneath.
NOTE: I'll later incorporate the beginning end of the first color (the end that's clamped to the side rung) so I treat that end as my first stitch of over one—see photo.
Using the same over one, under one pattern, weave the first row underneath your chair and pull the length of Tape through. Check your tension.
Note this row lays at a slight angle.
Set your chair upright. Weave the second row across the top alternating the over one, under one pattern.
Position this row into place. Push the tape toward the back rung to assure this row runs straight across the seat and is as close to the first row as possible.
Turn your chair upside down and weave the second row across the seat.
Working underneath, remove the clamp, fold the beginning end (of your first color) over the first "stitch" of the second row and determine the tension needed on that initial wrap with your first color.
Stitch folded end of first color to second row with several overlapping stitches to hold the end securely.
Folded end stitched to the second row underneath the seat.
Continue several more rows on the top and underneath your seat, alternating the weaving pattern, checking your tension and manipulating the rows to lay as straight across the seat as possible. The bone folder is a great tool for this.
As you reach the final couple of rows you'll notice that the weaving is tighter and more difficult. Fold the end of your Shaker Tape into a point and secure the point with masking tape creating a "pocket" at the tip. Now you can easily weave the seat by slipping the end of your bone tool into the "pocket" and pushing the tape through.
Complete the second color weaving underneath your seat. After weaving completely across the final row, or as far as you can, cut the end of the tape a couple of inches beyond its final stitch.
Fold the cut end and tuck it under a row of the first color. Stitch securely.
Filling the Spaces on the Front Rung
Choose a piece of your first color of Shaker Tape that is long enough to reach front to back plus a few extra inches. You will need twice this length. Create a "pocket" at one end of the Tape as described above. Use the bone folder as you weave this filler piece.
Begin on the top side of your seat and weave the alternating pattern from the front rung toward the back. Weave as many over and under stitches as you can to fill the space. Depending on the shape of your seat and the thickness of your side rung, you may (or may not) be able to weave a complete row.
When you've woven as far toward the back rung as possible, push the end of the tape through to the underneath side and leave several inches extending. Check that the top side looks smooth and that the end of this filler piece has not been pulled too tightly to the underneath side.
The remainder of this piece is currently hanging off the front of the chair.
Working from underneath your seat, weave both loose ends over and under a few stitches until they meet. If the weaving is really tight, use the needlenose pliers to help you pull the Tape through.
Adjust the tension of this filler piece so that it lays smooth on both sides of your seat—especially on the top side.
Trim the two ends so they overlap only for a couple of inches and stitch on each side with several overlapping stitches to hold securely.
Each filler piece is woven and stitched as described above.
Note that with the example shown, there are 4 filler pieces. On each side one filler piece was woven all the way to the back, completing the pattern. The other filler pieces were woven only a few stitches toward the back—and not identically. With older / handmade chairs this is often the case. Just use your own judgment and weave as much of each filler as possible.
Your new seat will afford you years of service.
Congratulations on a job well done!
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