Popular the world over, the iconic Bentwood chairs exude classic elegance. Our replica bentwood chairs take their inspiration from the classic designs of Michael Thonet, an acclaimed 19th-century German craftsman with some designs having been given a modern twist.
These delightful chairs combine the traditional technique of bending wood with steam with the timeless shape and appeal of European furniture.
A breath of fresh air
Michael Thonet was the founder of bentwood technology and his original methods are still utilised in the factory that he founded in 1861. After centuries of carved furniture that was heavy and ornate, Thonet’s light-weight mass-produced Bentwood chairs felt like a breath of fresh air and were loved for their simple functional design.
Bentwood is so-called because the wood on the chairs is bent into the sinuous curves that are synonymous with bentwood styles. Using a combination of moisture and heat, the wood softens and is flexible enough to bend into different shapes. Once the wood has dried out, it becomes hard once more and retains its curved shape for many years.
There are several types of wood which can be used in this technique but typically beech and ash are best because they bend easily and don’t crack like harder woods tend to do. Bentwood chairs have never really gone out of style and can be found today in millions of businesses, homes, and facilities.
Interesting facts about Bentwood chairs
Bentwood chairs have been owned by several famous people from painters to scientists and world leaders. These include
Pablo Picasso and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec
If you were to look closely at Lautrec’s painting entitled ‘At the Moulin Rouge’ you will see 2 bentwood chairs.
Another interesting fact is that while more than 80 million bentwood chairs have been sold since they were first created, more than half of those sales took place before 1930. This shows that other styles of chairs became popular with the public although bentwood continues to have its admirers.
Take a look at 2 of our favourite replica Bentwood Chairs
No 18 timber Bentwood chair with embossed seat
When a person thinks of a bentwood chair, it is probably the No. 18 chair which first comes to mind. Indeed, it is considered one of the most successful chair designs that have ever been produced.
Our replica No 18 chair is made from solid beechwood and has been given a walnut finish. It has a light yet sturdy frame and features a curved back with an inner curve that makes the chair instantly recognisable. The legs are gently splayed while the rounded seat is a decorative embossed seat which is supported beneath with a curved piece of wood.
This Thonet chair is produced by FAMEG in Poland, which is one of Thonet’s original factories.
Cross Back Metal Bentwood chair in light timber
An alternative to the widely known No. 18 chair, the cross-back bentwood chair is sure to turn heads with its stunning design. We particularly like the marriage of metal and wood in this chair which gives added versatility and helps it fit into more diverse decors.
The frame and cross on the backrest are made from tubular steel which is strong but lightweight and durable and this contrasts nicely with the reclaimed timber used for the backrest and the seat. The use of reclaimed timber also means that no two chairs are totally alike since the imperfections in the timber create a unique distressed look.
Both of these replica Bentwood chairs are produced for commercial use with the cross-back chair having also passed stringent AFRDI testing.
We stock a variety of bentwood chairs as well as stools and bar stools. Why not browse our online store, download our furniture catalogue, or pay a visit to one of our showrooms where you can see the quality of our replica Bentwood chairs for yourself.