Bentwood chairs are often used in cafes and not without good reason. They add charm and elegance and are instantly recognisable by their glorious curves. At Cafe Solutions, we stock a variety of replica Bentwood chairs and with a choice of materials, colour, and design there’s sure to be one that you fall in love with.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with Bentwood, we’ve put together a short potted history.
The history of Bentwood
Bentwood chairs are one of the longest established cafe chairs and date back to the early 19th century. This simply constructed chair has universal appeal around the globe and is one of the most recognised chairs even in modern times. When it comes to construction, beauty, and sturdiness, the original Bentwood chairs are firmly at the top of their class.
Bentwood refers to the name of the procedure used to make these lovely chairs and is also the name of the factory they were designed for. It was in the early 1830’s that Michael Thonet, mastered the art of bending wood into curves by using steam to soften it. This means that hard wood like birch, could be bent into graceful curves and arches which when the wood cooled, hardened, and retained their shape.
Thonet opened up his first factory shortly after this and began to create a variety of designs. One of his most popular designs was simply known as the ‘No. 14’ which was often referred to as the Vienna chair or the bistro chair. It’s this design that is mostly used in cafes around the world.
Thonet revolutionised furniture design at this time by making it so quick and easy. The No.14 chair consisted of just 6 pieces of wood which had been bent, 10 screws, and 2 nuts. The beauty of this simplicity meant that they could be easily created by unskilled labour and sent like a modern-day flat pack ready to be assembled when they reached their destination. The seats were often made from woven cane or palm to let any spillages drain.
Modern Bentwood Chairs
As well as traditional wooden Bentwood chairs, 2 of our favourites include the No. 18 chair which is made from powder coated steel and comes in a variety of colours and the cross-back bentwood chair. This features a metal frame and cross on the backrest and a reclaimed timber seat. We also have a resin version of this style which is designed for outdoor use.
Check out our furniture
At Cafe Solutions, we stock a wide range of cafe furniture so why not browse our online store and be inspired. We also have a physical showroom in Brisbane where you can examine the furniture in more detail and try it out for size.