Rush Seating & Danish Cord

Ancient techniques that are tried and tested…

Frances Lynn – 25th June 2012

My shabby Habitat Sixties chair with a broken rush seat was beyond repair, or so I thought. I called up Matthew Crawford who promptly gave it to the man who does rush work for them. I also asked Matthew to paint the chair for me. I received the restored chair today and it looks better than when I bought it. It looks fantastic. The rush work is incredible, and so is the paint job. Dealing with this firm was a joy. Professional to the last. I shall definitely be using them again.

Rush Seating, but quite slowly

Rush seating is made from twisted cattail leaf or bulrush and is usually applied in the pattern above. It is calculated on a square inch basis and in order to calculate your price you need to do the following:

Measure the widest point front to back and the widest point side to side - in inches. Then multiply the two figures together. Email or call us with the figure and we will tell you the cost.

When newly applied, rush has a greenish tinge as a result of it having been a living plant and takes some time to mellow to the gentle tan colour commonly associated with rush seated chairs.

There are several substitutes for rush - the most common of which is known as seagrass, which is rougher and less attractive, although easier and cheaper to apply.

Danish cord, a type of waxed paper, which resembles a smooth version of rush was used on Scandanavian designed furniture from the 1950s onwards and is another service we are able to provide.

Several other things to bear in mind...

Occasionally, when the old rush is removed, we find that it was the rush that was actually holding the frame together. In this case, some remedial repair work will be necessary before the recaning can be carried out. We may need to dismantle, reglue and reassemble an average chair, which is in addition to the rushing costs. If any joints are actually broken, this can cost more. Rushing puts a huge amount of stress on the frame and the joints need to be strong and firmly glued before we can proceed.

We can also reproduce the same pattern in a variety of other materials such as seagrass and manmade fibres.

A very nice gentleman with decades of experience carries out our rush work and generally turns around work within about 3-5 weeks.

Danish Cord

With the increasing popularity of mid-century furniture and especially that from Scandinavia, cord seats are experiencing something of a revival.

Always an attractive material to use for seating, it was originally created as a practical replacement for the time-consuming technique of rushing.

Danish cord is made from paper fibre which has been twisted together to form a string-like cord and as well as replicating the traditional rush patterns, is stable and flexible enough to be woven into many other designs commonly used on furniture from the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Commonly used on chairs by designers such as Hans Wegner, Jens Risom and Niels Møller we've loads of experience in restoring these ever more desirable chairs and keep them faithful to the original.

Workshop Opening Hours


If you want to pop-in to discuss a potential repair, rather than emailing with photos or telephoning, then please stick to weekdays as our restorers only work Monday to Friday and our general shop staff are not restoration experts.


If we've already given you an estimate for the repair or restoration of your furniture and asked you to bring it into the workshop, you can do so from our Islington workshop, 7 days a week, Monday - Saturday 10-6 and Sundays 11-5. Similarly, if we've completed the restoration and told you it's ready, you can also collect during these times, without appointment.

IMPORTANT - You can't leave items without our having already given you a price and scheduled your work, as our workshop has limited storage space - so please don't bring things in on spec and hope to be able to leave them. You'll get turned away and then be cross with us - and we don't want that ;)

Got a question about a rush or Danish cord seat?

We can help - ask for a free estimate now!

Start off by emailing us some photos, as we can usually provide an estimate from them - and after that, if you would prefer to arrange for us to visit your home or office you can contact us; Click below or send photos to • [email protected], by 'phone on • +44 (0) 20 7359 4281, or in person by visiting our workshop at • 121-122 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1QP

Email Us

Still unsure?

Not sure if it's something we would restore? Don't feel embarrassed to ask. If you're not sure what you've got, can't identify the wood, don't recognise the age or period - don’t worry, that's our job, not yours and we're very good at it too! We're here to provide you with free, honest advice. We'll tell you what it is, where it's from and whether or not it's worth restoring. We really can restore most things - you'd be surprised at the state of things we've been able to rescue. Click the Email Us button on the left for a free estimate or read more by clicking the button below.

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