Friday, 3 April 2020

The basic rush pattern

This pattern will work with most types of cord, including Danish cord, seagrass, cotton cord, and ready twisted rush. It's suitable for any square seat. For seats which are wider at the front than the back, or rectangular rather than square, please see The SitUpon Rush Pattern Book. (see below)

Here's the basic method for creating a seat in the rush pattern.
Our instruction books will give you more details.
Fig,1: Small stool frame.
Fig.2: Attaching the cord

We're starting with a typical small stool, about 300mm (12") square. This particular stool  has already been glued together, and stained with dark woodstain. Notice that there's no need to stain the middle of the top frame, as it will be hidden by the weaving material.


See Fig.2.
Cut a good length of cord. The longer it is, the fewer knots  you'll have to hide, but don't let it get too unwieldy. The cord is attached with a tack or staple to the bottom left corner and then goes over the front of the frame.

Fig.3: Second wrapping

See Fig.3.
Take the cord under the left side, across the front, and over and back under the right side of the frame. Bring it up at the front, then under the front and towards the back.

See Fig.4
Fig.4. Wrapped all the way round.
Keep turning the stool clockwise as you work, and repeat the same over-and-under pattern at each corner until you get back to the first one.

Use clamps to hold the cord in place as you go, to prevent it slipping.

Keep it tight!

Fig.5. Attaching new length of cord
See Fig. 5.
Keep going round and round until you get to the end of the length of cord. Now tie a new piece on, making sure the knot is somewhere in the middle where it will be hidden by layers of wrapping.

Fig. 5a. Untidy underneath
Each time  you come to the end of length of cord, use a blunted screwdriver to tidy up the cord, making sure the diagonals are straight, and ease the cord on the frame so that everything's at right angles. Then  turn the seat over and tidy  up the cord underneath. It'll probably look a bit untidy like Fig. 6a.  Try to make the underside as neat as the top, like Fig.6b.

Fig 6b. Tidied up underneath

Fig. 7. Nearly finished!

See Fig.7
Keep going round and round, adding more cord when needed, tidying up above and below.

When you get to this stage, measure everything you can, to make sure all angles are right, all diagonals are straight, all gaps still to be done are the same size. Tidy up along the edges of the frame and underneath.

Fig.7. The finished seat
See Fig.8
Be careful with the final strands of cord. Make sure there are no gaps either on the edges, or the centre. 

Tie off the end on to another strand underneath, and voila! There's your seat!

PS - This is a shortened version of the instructions, which can be seen in much greater detail in our instruction book, The SitUpon Rush Pattern Book. (see below)

This book describes the traditional rush pattern on rectangular seats and trapezoid seats,  using ready twisted rush, paper rush, seagrass and other materials. It does not cover the use of natural rush that needs hand-twisting.
The SitUpon Rush Pattern Book by Ally McGurk £7.00

KITS FOR SQUARE STOOLS with various types of cord are available from this page: 

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

COVID-19 and how to avoid boredom

It's a very strange time for us all, trying to avoid contact with other humans while attempting to find something to occupy us.

As a seatweaver I'm very lucky to have work I can do with my hands, to keep me busy, but you can do this too! It's not difficult, and a very useful way to spend that isolation time.

[above] A nice old carver chair worked with a rush seat.

So tomorrow I'm going to start weaving a rush seat on a small stool, and as I go along, I'll describe the process and take photos.

The rush pattern can be worked in several different types of cord, most of which you can purchase from our website, along with our very detailed, illustrated, instruction book.

The stool itself will also be for sale at the end of the procedure, and after that, we'll try something different - rattan canework, perhaps.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019


Just in time for Christmas, we have a few wooden stool frames in stock. They can be bought on their own, or as part of a kit with a variety of cords to weave the seat, as well as an instruction book and a weaving needle.

You can choose from ready twisted rush, seagrass, Danish cord, or your choice of two different colours of cotton cord. The kits make great Christmas presents for  your crafty friends.

These are not even listed on the website yet, so please give us a ring on 01900 813200 or email if you fancy one before Christmas. There's still time if you hurry!

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Cotton cord and rush pages added

I've been busy this afternoon. The page for ready twisted rush is now online. Here's a close-up of our fine RT rush - lovely smooth texture, isn't it?

I've also added the huge selection of coloured cotton cord we have on offer. Lovely colours for the summer and autumn.

Have a look for the tabs at the top of the page for cotton cord, and ready twisted rush.

I wonder which I should do next? Chair cane, perhaps.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Another page added

We now have both seagrass and Danish cord for sale via this blog. You can also buy the relevant instruction books, and the tools needed for these jobs.

See the tabs above for links.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Starting the website update at last!

Exciting times ahead. I am finally starting to transfer all our shop pages to this blog, so that the whole site will eventually be mobile friendly.  I should have done this years ago, but I keep getting sidetracked by playing music and exploring the countryside with the dog.

But I'm starting now. I've done one page already, and we'll gradually get the whole lot on here. Watch this space!

Here is the first page, for those who might like to buy some  SEAGRASS.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Latest things from FabLab

I've mentioned before how much I love Cockermouth FabLab, where we can play with laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC routers and other lovely things. I'm still getting to grips with the software that makes these machines do their magic, but it's gradually making sense and I'm starting to design things from scratch, rather than just drill holes for basket making.

I am so full of ideas! Just watch what I come up with, as I get better at the software!

This, now. This is one of my first things - a laser cut money box. (The red squirrel on the front is to remind us that we should try squirrelling away some of our small change.) It's a perfect fit for an Illy coffee tin, but would be find without the tin lining too.  I've been dropping all my loose coppers into this box since I made it, and there must be a couple of pounds in there already.

We're going to be offering these as kits that you can put together yourself, and finish in any way you want. (The one in the photo has had no surface treatment yet.) A few coats of varnish would be nice, but you could paint the squirrel in a fetching shade of orange if you wanted, before applying the varnish. Artists' coloured acrylic inks are good for this sort of thing. The colour won't run once it's dry so you can varnish over it.

We'll have other animals besides squirrels. Probably other local, Cumbrian animals - Herdwick sheep, ospreys ... things like that.


Here's another box I made. This one was made as a birthday present for Annie, but I can easily make them with any name of your choice on top.

Once again I'll be selling them as kits. I lined this one with decorative paper, but I'm not sure how secure the glue will be, and I suspect it might be better to paint the inside, and varnish the outside. But it's up to you!

We are still developing a range of these things so no prices yet, but please enquire if you're interested in buying one, or if you'd like to suggest improvements.

She looks as though she likes it. Success!