Materials and Processes

Wood, the essence of our products

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The technique of wood bending is a very ancient technique existing in the craftsmanship of different civilizations, but remained in the corners for a long time due to a limited advantage in productivity.

The intuition of Michael Thonet took the moves from the observation that fresh wood is more flexible than dry wood : Starting from this consideration, Thonet and some of his contemporaries tested the bending of the wood sheets packets, dipped in boiling glue and then dried into rigid forms.

This solution, however, did not guarantee the strength of the product, because of the precarious nature of the adhesive. To overcome this problem, Thonet tried to work only on the physical properties of the wood, by excluding all the glue from his procedures, in order to recover a considerable flexibility of the material – even after aging – by increasing the smoothness between the fibers by placing them in highly humid environment.

In 1842, Michael Thonet got the patent of the process that made him famous throughout the world: the wooden strips (the beech-wood, by far the favorite for its long, smooth and node less fibers) are turned, placed in an autoclave to absorb humidity, bend with force and fixed in metallic molds, and then dried; for the finishing touch of the pieces, the “Viennese straw” mounting was followed, another element which became a distinctive feature for the company.

A true and real industrial process which was accompanied by the gradual elimination of decorative and joints in favor of a strict and cured approach in the simplification of the junction elements.

Formal elegance, solidity and lightness have led to the success of the company that in a few years set up production sites worldwide. A unique production process that is rooted in a history full of charm and that today is rejuvenated in the high quality of the materials with which Gebrüder Thonet Vienna chooses to create its products, characterised by precious elements that bond them with the high craftsmanship. The woods, selected for their durability and versatility, are combined with fabrics that enhance them with precious shades of the colour range proposed by the collection.

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