To shop online at The Caning Shop, click here.
About Us
The Caning Shop Background
The Caning Shop has been supplying gourd crafters, basketmakers, and chair caners with superior quality materials since 1969. Since we guarantee our work and supplies, our buyers conscientiously seek the finest quality materials that can be found in the jungles of Indonesia and Malaysia. Our thick, beautiful gourds come from the finest growers in California.
Recognizing that high quality materials are easiest to use, are longer lasting, and make a finer finished product, The Caning Shop offers only the finest grades of chair cane, binder cane, cane webbing spline, flat oval and round reed, rattan poles, seagrass, ash splints, hickory bark, rawhide, gourds, leather dyes, raffia, waxed linen threads, and tools.
The Caning Shop owner, Jim Widess, personally researches every item we sell. His criteria for his selection of tools includes: superior customer support, the lasting quality of the product and its ease and comfort in use. He has a personal relationship with every supplier and tool manufacturer he represents and they understand the importance that Jim gives to supporting his customers and how he will extend himself to make sure that every customer is happy with his or her purchase. You can be assured that everything you find in our catalog has been tested and used by all of us and we will stand behind it. "It has to be not only the best, but also good enough," says Jim.
Product Guarantee and Return Policy
Understanding that it is difficult to order something from a catalog without really seeing, touching and inspecting it, we offer every item we carry on approval. The Caning Shop guarantee is simple: If it's not what you were expecting or you've changed your mind and cannot use the item any longer, send it back for a full refund. Even books!
Simply put the item back in the package, rewrap it so it doesn't get damaged in the return shipment, write the reason for the return on a copy of the invoice we sent you and include whether you want credit toward another item or a refund.
Include that invoice with the package and send it off. It's that simple. There's no reason to go online or to call us to get an authorization, although you certainly may if you want. Simply return the package according to the above instructions and send it to:
The Caning Shop, 926 Gilman Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
You may use any shipping service that is convenient for you such as United Parcel Service (UPS) or the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). You can even refold the invoice so that The Caning Shop and the address show and use it as a shipping label.
If your purchase was made with a credit card, we'll refund the amount to your credit card and mail you a credit receipt the same day we receive your return. If your payment was made by check, we'll send you a refund check. And of course, if you want credit towards another item, we'll be delighted to send you something that's more suited to your needs.
Customer Privacy
The Caning Shop does not sell, give away or exchange any personal information about any of its customers. Any personal information that you entrust to us -- your name, address, phone number, credit card information, preferences, or purchases -- is considered confidential and treated as such. All handwritten notes regarding any aspect of your phone call, fax or mail is shredded when no longer needed to process your purchase. Information relevant to orders and catalog requests is kept in our computer and back-up information is kept in our computer and backup information is kept on our server.
Website Security
Our website is run by Miva Merchant servers that are secure for online financial transactions. We are also using encryption and secure technology for retrieving the encrypted data. But if you are uncomfortable with purchasing our merchandise online, feel free to use the mail-order form. You can also place your order by phone at 1-800-544-3373 or fax the order to us at 1-510-527-7718.
Caning Shop Publications
Jim Widess, owner of The Caning Shop, has photographed and co-authored twelve important books. The Caner's Handbook, in print since 1983, is recognized by the industry as the best how-to book on caning. The Complete Guide to Chair Caning was published in 2006. The Complete Book of Gourd Craft, co-authored with Ginger Summit, is the first how-to book written about gourds that showcases 123 contemporary artists. The Complete Book of Gourd Craft has sold over 130,000 copies and most folks refer to it as "The Gourd Bible". Jim and Ginger have also collaborated on Making Gourd Musical Instruments, The Complete Book of Gourd Carving, Making Gourd Dolls and Spirit Figures and the audio book, Gourd Musical Instruments. In addition Jim has authored Gourd Pyrography, How to Make Hawaiian Musical Instruments, and How to Weave Hawaiian Coconut Palm Fronds. He co-authroed with Coreen Iwamoto, How to Make Hawaiian Ribbon Leis. His most recent contribution, he co-authored Plaited Basketry with Birch Bark with Vladimir Yarish and Flo Hoppe. Jim and Ginger are currently working on a new book on Gourds and Fiber Techniques.
Caning Shop Classes
We at The Caning Shop also feel it is important to teach the skills of basketry, chair caning and gourd crafting and we offer classes every weekend, here in Berkeley, California. Our classes include all types of basic and more technical basketry workshops, gourd crafting with a wood burning tool, gourd masks, gourd carving, gourds with basketry elements, chair caning, bookbinding, papermaking, fish printing, Ukrainian egg decorating, knotless netting and seaweed basketry. We have many teachers and authors from around the country giving weekend workshops, including Bill Pope, Flo Hoppe, Bob Coker, Donna Carlson, Carol Hart, Shereen LaPlantz, Sharon Robinson and Judy Mulford. Click here for class schedule.
Mail Order Catalog
For our mail order catalog, please send your request to or give us a call at 1-800-544-3373. Be sure to include your name, full address and phone number. You can download a PDF file of our complete, full-color catalog by click here.
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