bentwood furniture


bentwood furniture
Type of furniture made of wooden rods bent into shape after being heated with steam.

The method was used on the 18th-century Windsor chair, but its principal exponent was Michael Thonet, who exploited its possibilities in the 1840s. His bentwood chairs are among the most successful examples of early mass-produced furniture. Bentwood is light, comfortable, and inexpensive, as well as strong and graceful.

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      type of furniture made by bending wooden rods into the required shape after they have been heated with steam. Although this method of bending wood was used by makers of the Windsor chair in the 18th century, it was not until the 1840s that its possibilities were exploited fully.

      Michael Thonet (Thonet, Michael), an Austrian cabinetmaker working in Vienna, experimented with designs based on birch rods bent into curvilinear shapes. His bentwood chairs (chair) are among the most successful examples of early mass-produced furniture. They were exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London and were sold in vast quantities throughout Europe and the United States for the rest of the century. Because bentwood furniture was light, comfortable, and inexpensive, as well as strong and graceful, it was widely used in clubs, hotels, shops, and restaurants. Many of the early bentwood pieces were stained black or dark brown. Seats were commonly made of cane or plywood and were the only portions not made by the bentwood method. One of the most aesthetically pleasing examples of bentwood furniture is the Thonet rocking chair.

      The bentwood technique was revived by Le Corbusier (Corbusier, Le) and other leading designers and architects of the 20th century. The early tubular-steel furniture of the 1920s was also based on designs by Thonet and his sons.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • bentwood — adjective Date: 1862 made of wood that is bent rather than cut into shape < bentwood furniture > • bentwood noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Bentwood — is a term used to describe furniture made by steaming wood, bending it, and letting it harden into curved shapes and patterns, and is most often used in the production of rocking chairs, cafe chairs, and other light furniture. The process was… …   Wikipedia

  • bentwood — [bent′wo͞od΄] adj. designating furniture made of wood permanently bent into various forms by heat, moisture, and pressure …   English World dictionary

  • bentwood — /bent wood /, n. 1. wood steamed and bent for use in furniture. 2. an article of furniture made of bentwood. adj. 3. of or pertaining to furniture made principally of pieces of wood of circular or oval section, steamed, bent, and screwed together …   Universalium

  • bentwood — /ˈbɛntwʊd/ (say bentwood) noun 1. wood steamed and bent for use in furniture. –adjective 2. of or denoting such furniture …   Australian English dictionary

  • furniture — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Movable equipment for office, home, etc. See also light, music. Nouns 1. furniture, [home] furnishings, household effects, movables. 2. seat, throne, dais; [Adirondack, Bath, Barcelona, barber, basket,… …   English dictionary for students

  • bentwood — bent•wood [[t]ˈbɛntˌwʊd[/t]] n. 1) fur wood steamed and bent for use in furniture 2) fur designating furniture made principally of pieces of wood steamed and bent into curving shapes • Etymology: 1860–65 …   From formal English to slang

  • bentwood — noun Lengths of wood that have been made pliable by heating with steam and then bent into the appropriate shape (to make furniture, ships hulls etc) …   Wiktionary

  • bentwood — n. wood that has been bent using heat and pressure (used for making furniture) …   English contemporary dictionary


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