Eames Lounge: The Story of the Iconic Chair
When it comes to mid-century modern furniture, there’s one piece in particular that stands above the rest: the Eames Chair. Originally known as the Eames Lounge Chair, this iconic piece is showcased in countless design magazines and social media feeds alike. The Eames Lounge Chair is a wood-and-leather seat resting on a six-legged base, often paired with a matching ottoman. It’s become synonymous with mid-century design and remains a highly sought-after piece in contemporary, modern, and even traditional homes.
But what exactly sets the Eames Chair apart from other furniture designs? Let’s take a closer look at the history and design of the Eames Chair to find out.
The chair was designed by the husband-and-wife duo Charles and Ray Eames. The pair met in the 1940s while studying at Cranbrook Academy of Art and went on to found the Eames Office in Los Angeles, where they began experimenting with materials such as plastic and plywood. This led to their goal of creating furniture that could be mass-produced for affordable prices.
The Eames Chair, also known as the Eames Lounge Chair, was their take on luxury and a reinvention of the classic club chair using modern technology and a keen eye for comfort. It was first created in 1956 and has been continuously produced by Herman Miller since then.
The Eames Lounge Chair has become an iconic representation of mid-century modern design, with its clean lines and ergonomic form. The chair takes inspiration from the classic English Club Chair but elevates it with its innovative use of materials and design.
The chair’s frame was first made using the bent-wood technique, which was first pioneered by Charles and Ray themselves. It involved using their “Kazam! machine” to press layers of thin wood veneer together, resulting in a seamless and durable frame. The luxurious leather upholstery was carefully chosen to provide both comfort and visual appeal, giving the chair a warm and inviting feel.
The Manufacturing Process
The process of manufacturing an authentic Eames Chair has remained largely unchanged since it was first introduced in 1956. While Herman Miller has implemented some streamlining improvements, the overall process remains true to the original techniques developed by Charles and Ray Eames.
Additionally, to ensure the highest quality of leather is used, Herman Miller has developed a special cutting table that scans each hide for any defects and determines the best way to cut it.
How to Spot an Authentic Eames Lounge Chair
Herman Miller and Vitra are the only licensed manufacturers of the Eames Lounge Chair, with Herman Miller being the sole manufacturer in North America. To ensure that you are purchasing an authentic Eames Lounge Chair, look for labels from the Eames studio, Vitra, or Herman Miller, on the chair.
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