A Rush JobRush was a cheap and plentiful material for use on country chairs in the 1800´s and 1900´s. Today the time and skills needed to re-rush a seat mean it is often not worthwhile repairing what are often cheap pieces of beech furniture. This does mean that dealers are often happy to pass on damaged rushed items at a bargain price. The beech-framed armchair is a good example. Fortunately rush alternatives, such as the seagrass used, are much easier to weave and less expensive, so for a modest money outlay and some time, you can be sitting comfortably once again.
A Rush Job
To restore a once handsome beach framed armchair with deftly woven seagrass, you will need the following items:
  • Two 500g henks of seagrass
  • Seagrass needle
  • Craft knife
  • Rubber gloves
  • Bowl
  • Upholstery tack
  • Hammer
  • Unrestored beech armchair
Hints and Tips
Look over the chair before you start, check for any faults and mend any loose joints with PVA wood glue
Give the chair a coat of wax or polish before you start to weave
If you have a rectangular stool to recover, or if the shape of the seat is not square, carefully note the pattern of the weave on the existing seat as you will need to copy this design again when weaving the new seagrass. Digital photographs or a freehand sketch will proove invaluable.
Artificial twisted paper rush can be used instead of seagrass. It has a more rush-like appearance than seagrass, and is available from larger craft and hardware shops.
Rush Job
Remove any nails or old seating from the chair. Cut a 10m length of seagrass and soak it in water for two minutes. The fibres absorb water and will stretch around the chair frame tightening as they dry.
A Rush Job
Tap a 16 mm large headed upholstery tack into the iside edge of the frame of the seat, just in front of the rear left leg. Wrap one end of the seagrass tightly around the tack and tie securely
Rush Job 5
Working anti-clockwise, take the strand over the top of the front rail, tightly against the leg joint. Wrap the end right around the rail then take it over the side rail and pull across to the right front leg.
Rush Job 6
Repeat the same weaving pattern around each leg as you work around the seat. It is important to keep the seagrass under tension and pushed tightly against the corner joints or the seat will sag.
A Rush Job
When you are near the end of the first strand, join the next 10m length to it with a non-slip reef-knot. You may have to cut the end so the knot will be hidden underneath the seat. Keep the seagrass dampened and continue to form the diamond pattern.
A Rush Job
To make the pattern even and push the weave tightly together, poke the pointed end of a seagrass needle through the strands to adjust them. Continue into the middle of the seat and tie off the end onto an adjacent strand.