April 08, 2013

Before & After: Jacobsen Egg Chair

We just finished the restoration of this Egg Chair, shown above when it arrived at our workshop. The Egg Chair was designed in 1957 by Arne Jacobsen, and many believe the inspiration was taken from Eero Saarinen's Womb Chair (which is somewhat similar). One of the traits the Egg Chair has in common with the Womb Chair is the use of molded foam. While this adds to the beauty, practicality and comfort of both pieces, it has its' drawbacks.

The above picture shows the foam after the fabric has been removed. Many times, if the chair is older than 2 or 3 years, the foam almost always has to be replaced during the reupholstery of the chair. This is because the foam actually adheres to the fabric, making the removal of the fabric alone nearly impossible.

Another issue is that oxygen destroys and dries out the foam as it breathes through the fabric. Think about it this way: each time you sit in the chair, the foam compresses and when you get up, it decompresses. The oxygen breaks down the foam and after a while (granted, usually a long time!) the foam has dried & deteriorated. Interestingly enough, this does not happen if the chair is covered in leather - the foam will remain intact.

After a complete restoration & reupholstery, the chair is back to its' original condition! I love the way it looks in white boucle!

The Egg Chair is still in production and is available through Fritz Hansen.

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