What is the difference between Traditional Natural River Rush and 'Reel Rush'?
'Reel Rush'
A finished chair seat constructed using 'reel rush' is similar in appearance to traditional natural rush when complete but as the process is less time consuming it can be a cheaper option.

The material is supplied in reels of various diameters and weights. The coil illustrated above is a 5kg reel of 4/5mm diameter 'reel rush'.

Reel rush is made from sea grass, but only has a single twist rather than its cousin, which has a double strand twist giving it the more familiar rope like apperance.

Traditional Natural Rush (Schoenoplectus lacustris)

Traditional natural rush is harvested annually and supplied in bolts of various sizes usually weighing about 1kg.

The bolt of rush illustrated above was sourced from the Somerset Levels and is harvested annually in June/July. This rush is regarded by many as the best rush available in the UK, as it matures to a beautiful golden hue. Rush imported from european sources is also available.

I 'size' the rush stems in order to maintain a consistent diameter on a finished seat and at least two stems are twisted together during construction so that the strand diameter of the finished seat is as consistent as possible.

Weaving A Seat With Traditional Natural Rush - Double Strand Pattern.

The time taken to complete this seat amounted to approximately three days work.

First Step

Fill in the sides in order to square up the rush. At this stage the weave is only on the front rail.

Moving On

Having squared the work area it is now possible to continue to build up the weave working from corner to corner in an anti clockwise direction.

Double Strand Pattern

In order to create the double strand pattern, it is necessary to add an exrtra figure of eight 'loop' on each side as the work progresses.

Reel rush is loaded onto a shuttle to facilitate construction.

Weaving a seat using 'Reel' Rush

After the seat has been 'squared' it is built up progressively corner by corner.