Chiavari chairs have been popular for weddings and other celebrations since the 1950s, when John F. Kennedy and Jackie Bouvier used these graceful, lightweight chairs to seat 900 guests at their wedding. The popularity of these chairs is due mainly to their elegant design and customizability. The backs of these chairs feature four horizontal spindles and five vertical spindles between two larger, side spindles. Both vertical and horizontal elements are carved to resemble bamboo for a sophisticated but airy look.
A big reason people choose Chiavari chairs for special events seating is the many ways you can dress them up with fabric sashes and other elements. One of the most sought-after accents for Chiavari chairs is chiffon fabric woven through the spindles in varying patterns. Weaving chiffon sashes through the chair backs lend an elegant, timeless quality to the chairs while adding a lovely color accent and additional dimension to each table.
Best Materials for Chiavari Chair Weaves
While you can use almost any material for a chair weave (including satin, lace, burlap, or polyester), chiffon is the easiest material to work with. It is lightweight and has a lovely flow and drape. Chiffon also gives the weave a soft, ethereal look that is ideal for a wedding or any formal event. When choosing chiffon sashes for Chiavari chair weaving, look for materials that are long enough and wide enough to provide the right amount of fullness and volume to the weave. Also, keep in mind that chiffon will look slightly darker the more tightly it is woven.
Using Chiffon Chiavari Chair Weaving as Beautiful Accents
At weddings, there are many ways to use these lovely chair accents to highlight seating arrangements and add a lovely touch of color and softness to the room. You may want to add weaving to the bride and groom’s chairs, the wedding party’s chairs, or to highlight the chairs of family or guests of honor. If you are using Chiavari chairs for the wedding ceremony itself, consider adding weaves to the chairs lining the aisles or all the chairs for a truly romantic look. They are particularly striking when used at beach ceremonies, garden- and boho-themed weddings.
There are a variety of names for chiffon weaving on Chiavari-style chairs, including Chiavari Weave, Woven Vow, Interlacing Weave, Vertical Weaving, Ladder Weaving, and Grecian Weaves. The various names highlight the multiple styles of weave or braiding used but are often used interchangeably. We will show you a tutorial on how to weave chiffon sashes on a Chiavari chair. Here are our top 4 designs!
The ladder weave is a classic style that is elegant and sophisticated, with a touch of softness from the ends of the chiffon sashes. They will pool gracefully on the floor at the back of each chair.
Start with six lengths of chiffon that are about 78 inches long, draping each sash over the top of the chair back so that half is hanging over the seat and the other half trailing on the floor. Space them evenly apart, then begin weaving. Starting with the first sash, pull the half on the seat side over the first horizontal spindle so that both lengths of chiffon are hanging down the back of the chair, then carefully push both lengths back through the space between the first and second spindle. Continue this under-and-over weaving, stopping when the remainder of the chiffon is trailing down the back of the chair.
With the next sash, repeat the same weaving, but alternate the under-and-over weaving. With each sash, make sure there is one vertical spindle between this sash and the one next to it. This helps ensure evening spacing. If the first sash goes over a spindle, this one should go under the spindle. Continue until this sash hangs down the back of the chair. Do this with each new sash. The resulting woven area will feature spindles and chiffon producing a ladder-like woven effect ending in a pool of chiffon on the floor.
Once you’ve completed the weaving, take a moment to even up the ends of the chiffon as necessary. Check the top of the chair to see that the sashes are evening spaced along the top and fully cover the top spindle. Tug gently on each sash at the bottom of the woven area and gently spread out or pool the chiffon on the floor.
The Modified Ladder Weave gives you the same stunning effect as the Ladder Weave but with a slightly modified pattern.
Rather than pulling the extra material from the front of the chair (the seat side) through to the back at the top, horizontal spindle, you let the material drape down the seat side of the chair back to the bottom rung or spindle, then pull it through between the bottom, horizontal spindle and the chair seat.
Weave the other half of the sash in the same fashion used for the more traditional Ladder Weave, pulling the fabric under and over the horizontal spindles. Continue this with additional chiffon sashes, using the same weave pattern so that all six sashes follow the same under-and-over method rather than alternating. In this manner, each horizontal spindle will either be covered by all the chiffon sashes or show on top of all the sashes. In this way, the spindles will alternately be completely exposed or completely covered. This creates a lovely, uncluttered appearance.
When you reach the gap between the bottom spindle and the chair seat, straighten the sashes so that the front and back halves meet and overlap cleanly. Gently tug on the bottom of the sashes at the seat of the chair to make sure the weaving is tight and even, then adjust the chiffon. Make sure the top of the chair back is evenly covered in chiffon. Check the spacing of the sashes and make sure the covered spindles aren’t showing through.
The difference between the Ladder Weave and the Modified Ladder Weave is evident from the front of the chair, where it is an unbroken waterfall of chiffon from the top spindle to the seat. Although less obvious, there is a difference on the reverse side of the chair as well. With the more traditional Ladder Weave, you are alternating the under-and-over weave between the horizontal spindles. With the Modified Ladder Weave, you are using the same weaving pattern with every sash so that the exposed, horizontal spindles create an unbroken line over the chiffon. The weave alternates from top to bottom, but not from side to side. This provides a cleaner line and a more subdued effect that is still sophisticated and lovely.
If you prefer a more contemporary look with your Chiavari chairs or do not want the sashes to trail on the ground, consider using a top weave pattern that focuses the attention on the vertical elements on the top portion of the chair back. This style mimics a basket weave for a charming effect that is ideal for a rustic wedding or a contemporary reception where you want a more tailored look without the loose draping. This also uses less material, as you will use only one chiffon sash per chair to cover the vertical spindles on each chair.
Begin by weaving the sash through the vertical spindles, using the under-and-over pattern. When you reach the final, larger spindle at the end, pull enough of the chiffon through to wrap around the support spindle and bring a short length of the chiffon back toward the center, creating a short tail.
Now go back to the longer length at the beginning and wrap it around the support spindle on that end and weave using the same under-and-over motion but alternating the pattern. This will create the basket-weave look.
At the far side, tuck the short tail into place beneath some material from the next row. Continue weaving the chiffon back and forth, weaving under and over alternating, vertical spindles until you’ve covered the area. Tuck the end of the sash under the weaving for an uncluttered, neatly finished look.
You will usually get about five rows of weaving from a 78-inch sash. When the weaving is completed, go back and adjust the spaces between the spindles so that they are even. Gently fluff and smooth the chiffon so that the entire area is covered and there is no bunching of the material.
If you love the look of a cascade of soft chiffon spilling down one side of each Chiavari chair, the Side Cascade Weave is an excellent choice. This combines a weave through the vertical spindles with a soft cascade of chiffon down one side of the chair. You’ll need at least three chiffon sashes, but you can use as many as five to achieve the effect you want and include the colors you desire.
Start with the first sash and fold it in half, placing the fold over the side support spindle opposite the side where you want the cascade. Begin at the bottom of the vertical spindles. Weave both sides of the sash over the first vertical spindle, then under the next spindle, repeating until you reach the support on the other side.
Wrap the chiffon chair sash once around the support spindle on that side, letting the chiffon cascade down the side of the chair back. Repeat the procedure with each new sash.
You can either alternate the under-and-over pattern for a basket-weave effect or use the same pattern with each sash for cleaner lines that show every other spindle for its full length. With each one, let the chiffon cascade to the floor. Carefully arrange the chiffon to fully display the colors.
Easy as 1, 2, 3
Any of these variations on our four DIY chiffon weaving styles for Chiavari chairs will enhance the beauty of your wedding, reception, or special event. The key to a beautiful, elegant effect is working with Chiavari style chairs and high-quality cloth that is smooth, lightweight, and free of snags. We have an assortment of beautiful chiffon sashes in dozens of colors to coordinate perfectly with every color scheme. Our chiffon chair sashes are available in many colors including white, burgundy, ivory, dusty rose, navy blue, and many more! You can also match your chiffon sashes with our vast variety of chiffon linens like table runners, fabric rolls, and table skirts. Pairing the chiffon sashes with our other chiffon linens gives your event a soft and uniform dreamy look to be remembered for ages!
Are You a Visual Learner?
Watch our video tutorial on how to do all 4 of our chiavari chair sash weaves step by step!