Re-loving an old woven stool

My grandma had to move out of her house a couple of months ago, she’s got Dementia and was no longer able to live there on her own. So my mum and aunties spent a couple of days clearing everything out so that it could be sold. She had lived in that house for over 50 years I think, had all her seven children there, so there was a lot to do. It’ll be sad to not go there again, I have many happy memories of playing there after school, and big family Christmas parties. But I Β do have something to remember it by. This old woven stool. It had seen better days, the twine was loose and coming away but I loved the dark wood and the frame was sturdy enough. I had it in my head that I could re-string it and had been using raffia and twine for a recent project so knew you could get it in some amazing colours, I could picture it – dark wood and neon pink twine. Nutscene, do some amazing colours, the packaging is lovely and they look like a great company too. So pink it was to be.

I knew I could do this as I’ve got a little yellow stool I bought from an antique shop ages ago, and it looked like just a case of weaving the twine round the frame. So I stripped away the old twine, gave it a clean and started to thread my new twine round. I completed a whole set of weaving (probably not very technical term) by just going round and round two edges of the wooden frame, the joy of the first side is you can just take the twine straight from the roll, you don’t have to cut it to lengths – when you do the second side, you have to go up and over the first set of threads so you have to cut lengths so you can physically get it through.

Once I’d completed that first side, shown as the horizontal weave in the above picture, I started on the vertical weave, but this time instead of just round and round, I had to go up and over the existing threads. I counted how many threads I had across one whole side and then just divided that into an equal number, so I knew how thick to make my strips of weaving. I used a plastic children’s needle which was fine but you’d probably be better off with something sturdier, maybe metal.

It took me about 3 nights in front of the tv to do this, and was really relaxing and almost meditative (if you can meditate while watching tv?!). I used short lengths of twine on the second weave, so as not to get tangled and then kept knotting it together underneath so you couldn’t see the join. Now this is one thing that doesn’t look great – the underneath.

As you can see from the professionally woven stool on the right, you are meant to continue your pattern underneath too, this would have made it look a lot nicer. But, who’s going to see the underneath?! It’s not any weaker for not being woven underneath, it feels rock solid and like it’ll last another 50 years!

So all in all I’m pretty pleased with this, it cost me about Β£10 to buy the twine and I have a revamped family heirloom that’s added a much needed pop of colour to my lounge! I am always spotting this type of stool at flea markets and in charity shops, I did a quick search on gumtree and there were about ten on there when I looked. So you could easily pick one up and have a go yourself, I’ve just spotted that Nutscene do a special range of neon twines, so what are you waiting for?!

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