How to stop cane furniture from sagging without spending a dime – a brilliantly easy design hack

If your woven cane furniture is looking a bit worse for wear, this simple hack will restore it in a matter of minutes

Wood and rattan chair in front of fireplace
(Image credit: Jon Day)

Natural woven furniture is a beautiful addition to any design, and has been hugely on trend for a while. Whether you're aiming for Scandi decor, a neutral color scheme or a rustic, boho vibe, retro cane sofas and chairs have proved an enduring yet simplistic feature. But, while they're surprisingly durable, they do have a tendency to stretch. 

Because it's a naturally occurring material, rattan and cane strands can start to sag overtime. Thanks to a combination of weight and heat (and exposure to the weather if it's outside), the material will expand and contract, causing it to reshape. After a while, you won't have the comfortable and supportive seating you once did. 

'Cane furniture can be difficult to maintain, but it's so worth the upkeep,' says Livingetc editor Pip Rich. 'This clever little interior design trick can be used on all types of cane furniture that bear a lot of weight, including tables and stools. Not only will you have beautifully fresh looking furniture, but you'll have peace of mind that you helped prolong the life of a piece of furniture too.' 

If this dilemma sounds familiar, luckily a nifty Instagram reel offers a solution - and all it involves is a spray bottle and some warm water (and a helping hand from the sun). 

Dining area with grey table, cane chairs, dark grey walls and large rattan lampshade

(Image credit: Jon Day)

How to stop cane furniture from sagging 

Home renovator and interior design blogger, Alexis Mesenbrink (@alexis.mbrink (opens in new tab)) has shared this useful hack over on her Instagram to help refresh sagging cane furniture. All it requires is spraying some warm water to the caning to reshape it. 

First, Alexis turns her rustic cane dining chairs upside-down to reveal the hatched rope support underneath. Using a spray bottle filled with warm water, she saturates the underside of the caning. The bottom of the material is best for this as it hasn't been worn down or treated, making it more porous. 

Afterwards, she simply leaves the chairs to dry in the sun to reshape the cane into their original form. And just a few hours later, they're good as new. You'll be able to try the same hack on all your stylish rattan furniture. 

Lilith Hudson
Junior writer

Lilith Hudson is the Junior Writer on Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news articles for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration that you need in your home. She discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. Lilith now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London (a degree where she could combine both) and has previously worked at the Saturday Times Magazine, ES Magazine, DJ Mag and The Simple Things Magazine.