When creating a product that has been made as often as a sofa, one could get the idea to do things completely different. The Director of high-quality furniture manufacturer Gelderland was up for a change. Most sofas are made of voluminous foam blocks to break the fall when sitting down but not necessary for comfort when sitting. As the price of oil (of which foam is made) keeps on rising, it is wise to think about ways to reduce the use of foam. So, The Ritz was seriously downsized. Despite her skinny looks, The Ritz really is comfortable in every way. Stretched elastic bands covered with a thin layer of foam assure a soft seat. Upholstering was made simple by using a zipper all around. High legs make it easy to sit down and get up. And off course like every good sofa The Ritz is long enough to lie down on and be lazy with the help of a firm and again, comfortable pillow.
When I first made the seamless chair that took 40 hours of felting by hand. I never thought something industrial would come out. But when I ran into some machines at the textile museum in Tilburg it turned out to be not that impossible at all. Jumper is a chair upholstered with a knitted woolen cover. The cover was knitted on a special machine that knitted the whole piece in one go. normally a knitted woolen cover would not make it trough an abrasion test very well, but because we felted the cover by washing it at a high temperature the textile became very dense and durable. Jumper was designed for the British brand Established & Sons and was on show in their 2010 presentation in Milan.
For the non Dutch language reader: Jumper is Dutch for Sweater
was made for a project organized by “Stichting Sofa” and “De Ploeg”. Sofa and De Ploeg asked a few designers to come up with new ideas for upholstered furniture. One of the fantasies I had about upholstering was, what if it could be done seamlessly. After a small quest I came to felt. I have seen several art projects were things were covered seamlessly in felt and since most felt is 100% wool and most upholstery as well…….
In normal furniture upholstered with wool, after a few years the fabric starts to peel and turns in to felt. My hope is that it will also happen with this chair and therefore will only get nicer. Another small advantage is that this chair will not ruin your wooden floor because it doesn’t need those stick-on felt gliders. The proto-type was upholstered by the Amsterdam company Van Vilt.
I came across the refreshing site of Dutch Designer Bertjan Pot, currently working in Schiedam and as many well known Dutch Designers an alumnus of the Eindhoven Design Academy. The site is refreshing, because it is simple. It provides good photos and it is not only about Bert Jan’s big successes as a designer, but it shows you also some failures and the line of thought behind a design, or the path to come to fruition.
I start here with one of his older pieces:
The Shrunken Stool
was made by sucking a resin drained circular knit on to a eps stool. Because of the forces created in the vacuum, the stool is slightly bent. This gives it it’s organic appearance. It used to be produced by goods but never was a big success.
I like this frankness and presume production will be taken up again in the future.