Chair Wear started as a mildly ironic joke, and ended up in a very inspiring new way of looking at furniture upholstery, of seeing it as a separate item, leading to new constructions, productions techniques and materials. With a real collection as a result.

The idea of dressing up chairs evolved while working on the Triennial Chair for Gispen. This chair has a separate cushion in the back, which allows it to be upholstered in two different kinds of fabrics, in endless combinations. With Chair Wear, the idea is taken even further: Bernotat&Co looked at upholstery as a separate item, as clothing for chairs, specially designed and custom-made for this purpose.

Chair Wear stimulates re-use by upgrading old furniture. But the aim is not just restyling. Instead, Bernotat&Co researched the possibilities of adding comfort to hard wooden chairs, or of creating additional functions for simple chairs. For this purpose, the chairs are dressed up with unexpected textiles, ranging from high-tech to industrial to traditional.

For our ‘Prêt-à-Porter models’, we used a variety of techniques and materials, like we did in the initial ‘Haute Couture collection’: Three-dimensional knit-and-wear for Knit Net, the innovative 3d knitted textiles from Innofa for Pique Pocket and Hoodini, and for Big Baggy we used heavy duty canvas that is normally used in overalls and work wear. All of them provide a soft contrast to the hard, basic chairs forming the framework.

In addition, the Chair Wear models give a nice twist to the rather tacky subject of chair covers. As ambiguous objects with various sources of inspiration, they’re open to associations. Being slightly strange, some of them maybe even awkward, they trigger emotional reactions. People relate differently to the chairs when they’re dressed-up, and the chairs suddenly acquire a certain antropomorphic quality. After all, the Dutch word for upholstery is ‘bekleding’ – its root including the word ‘clothing’, creating a direct relation to the human body.

via Dezeen


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