At one time in fashion history womens walking canes might have been considered part of the costume. In high society, a woman’s walking cane might show her social station. Today the cane is mostly used as a support or walking aid when one side of the body suffers a weakness; or to stabilize balance. Women who find a need for this bit of extra help don’t have to settle for a rough stick, as today, there is a wide selection of beautifully finished canes and walking sticks for every woman’s personal style. Some canes have elegant handles, while others have a delicate design down the entire shaft. The availability of strong space age materials means today’s slender women’s canes are both strong and lightweight. You can also find unique fold up walking canes and specialized canes such as the folding seat cane. This lens provides an overview for your use in selecting the right cane for you.
In addition to those who use a cane for personal assistance, there are others who collect unique and antique canes. Some of these are included in the collection of womens walking canes below. The majority of the antique walking canes in existence are men’s, But we have found a few women’s antique canes for you to see. The most desirable of these can have jewels in the handle or ornate carvings and designs. These harken back to the time when a fancy cane was as much a part of one’s station and apparel as it was for props. In reality womens walking canes have existed since the first cave woman grabbed a hefty stick to help her get across some ragged ground. Maybe a walking stick or cane was one of the first tools used by woman.
Images courtesy of Amazon and the author or as otherwise attributed!
Make a Plain Cane Beautiful
My mother had several macramé covered canes which she made by tying knots in macramé cord to create a complete covering for her cane. She had a black cane, 2 green ones and a red, white and blue cane which you can see in the picture above of the umbrella stand in her foyer. She also had a red and white striped one that she always used during Christmas time. It would not be too difficult to learn how to tie the simple knots for macramé. I know that she would start her work with a ring that was just a bit larger diameter than her wooden cane down at the bottom of the cane and worked up to the handle which she finished with a bouquet of knots. Unfortunately I never got from her the exact directions for her macramé cane cover patterns. To macramé a cane you would need to obtain a wooden cane, macramé cord, a ring and a rubber tip for the finished cane.
Above are detail pictures of the red, white and blue cane cover. People always commented about her canes and wanted to get a look at them up close. From these detail photos, you can see that she used a ring the size of the cane diameter and worked the cord knots around the ring from the bottom of the cane up over the crook handle. She worked on the piece using a short dowel (the 4 inch piece she cut off the bottom of the cane to make it her correct size.); so she didn’t have to haul around the whole cane while making the cover. The work is finished off at the handle with just knots or a tassel. You could make your cane cover in your favorite colors or make one for every season or special occasion or for a favorite sports team. There should be a way to work beads or jewels into the macramé knots. I haven’t seen any directions for making this macramé cover and I’m sorry that I can’t get the directions from her to post here. Looking online I have found that covering canes with knot work was a sailors’ craft and can be seen in very expensive antique canes. Maybe you can look at these and get some ideas for your project. Here are some antique examples I found of macramé used on canes:
A superbly crafted antique American painted macrame cane. Finely knotted the full length over a wooden cane. Painted black – it is in wonderful untouched condition. Note the many decorative designs. A good sturdy stick. Size: 36 inches long.
Amazon.com is where to find the best prices for beautiful unique women’s walking canes
Collapsible and Folding Women’s Walking Canes
How to Walk With a Cane
Just as Important as proper fit for your cane is knowing how to walk with it. The most primary thing to know is that you should hold the cane on your good or strongest side. These videos illustrate how to use a cane correctly. There are apparently two methods: the “through” method where your good foot swings through and past the cane; and a “to” method where your good foot would swing just up to the cane.
Here’s another Antique Macrame Covered Cane
A great sailor’s woven macramé cane. This substantial piece is made of wood with decorative cording covering its entire surface. There is a large round top that is 1 2/3″ in diameter. The cane is encased in tan and brown cording with turkshead knots of various sizes as well as several different kinds of interlocking weaving. A 1 1/3″ brass and iron ferrule completes the piece. The overall length is 35″ and the condition is excellent. It is perhaps American, ca 1900, and it is the best of its type that we have yet encountered, in remarkable condition. It is part of the Stephen Rice Collection. Estimate: $1000-$1500.
I found this listing here
Antique Womens Walking Canes
A search for walking cane collections up for auction on the web can provide a few glimpses back to what walking sticks and canes looked like in the past. Here are a few examples of ladies walking sticks and canes from various times with the auction description:
This exquisite circa 1920s lady’s walking stick has a handpainted porcelain handle depicting a lady gathering flowers, accompanied by a winged cherub. The painting is precise with cobalt blue both above and below the painting. The handle measures 5 inches in length x 3/4 inch in diameter and tapers before it meets the slender stamped 14K gold collar. The macassar ebony shaft terminates in a 1-3/8 inch long bimetal tip. Overall length is 36 inches.
Above is quoted from the auction site.
What is the right length for a walking cane?
How to get the right fit. Getting the right fit for your walking cane is very important. If it’s too short, you can strain your back muscles bending over to lean on it, and if it’s too long, you can strain your neck muscles trying to adapt your balance to lean on the cane. Balance is another consideration. A properly fitted cane assists your balance, while one that doesn’t fit can worsen balance problems. If you have a healthcare professional, you will most likely get advice from him or her about the correct fit for your walking cane. There are some general rules for proper fit. Firmly grasp the top of the cane with your index finger pointing down the length of the cane. Place the cane tip 2 inches in front of your foot and 6 inches to the side. The cane fits if: 1. Your wrist hits the hand grip when your arms are hanging at your side. Another way to say this: when standing up straight with cane at your side, the handle should be at the level of your wrist. 2. Your arm bends slightly at the elbow when you hold the handgrip. Your cane should be neither too long; nor too short. Metal canes often have a sliding length adjustment. Wooden or plastic canes can be cut off to correct length. Just remove the rubber tip and turn the cane so the handle is on the floor. Stand beside the cane and, with your arm is hanging relaxed by your side, have someone help you mark the end where it hits your wrist. Just shorten it about 1/4 inch more to allow for the rubber bumper tip and that’s where to saw it off. Replace the rubber tip and you should have a perfect fit. Just be careful with your measurement because you can’t put back what you saw off.
Many womens canes handle styles
These handles shapes can be found on many different shaft types made from mainly wood, metal or polycarbonate. Some canes even have removable handles which allow swapping different handles for various occassions. Medical equipment canes are generally stronger and not as stylish as the above. Here are some handle types typically found in the orthopedic canes:
These are called orthopedic offset handle, orthopedic derby handle, and the orthopedic finger grip handle. You can see these are much more utilitarian and can provide the secure grip for strong reliable support.
Some more really beautiful women’s canes on Amazon
Ladies Cane Metallic Burgundy Shaft Ruby Handle -Affordable Gift!Royal Canes -Pink Pearlz Designer Adjustable CaneUnisex Derby Cane Blue Bouquet Floral Print Offset -Affordable Gift!Walking Cane-Lavander lace-This walking stick cane has an elegant floral print on maple wood shaft with scorched derby handle. This wooden cane has a weight capacity of 250 pounds and 35 inches long.Walking Cane-Primrose. This walking stick cane has an elegant ladies primrose print on maple wood shaft. This walking aid has a countour wood fritz handle good sore hands. This wooden cane has a weight capacity of 250 pounds and 35 inches longLadies Derby Cane Black Chrome Plated Handle -Affordable Gift!
Women have been using Walking Canes throughout history
In all time, the cane is used like support, parade and defence…
The marvel cane or clothing cane is refined. We took care of the
top more than another part, it is a precious element. It is this one
which gives a character, an originality to the cane. Other are used
for help to walk in the city or for an using for social events.
The common cane, it is an utilitarian cane for help, for walk, like
old people, or like traditional or special in history or like folklore.
It can be symbolic cane like masonry cane or also variant like
trade cane. It can be the medical cane, orthopaedic with several
legs, English canes or white cane for blind.
(source: from the French book “Les Cannes” by Pierre Faveton.)
Please tell your story in the comments section below
Do you have a walking cane that brings you compliments? Has your cane saved your life by beating off a criminal? Please share your stories here. We want to know!
Please tell us about your walking cane experiences. How long have you used your cane? Do you have a stylish one or a medical one? Is it straight or ergonomic? How has your cane helped you? Do you have a loved one who uses a cane? How are they getting along with it?
Some people just love looking at fashionable canes and even collect them. How many canes do you have?
Do you have a cane stand to display your canes?