Materials and Processes

Wood, the essence of our products

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 technique

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.

the patent

In 1842, Michael Thonet patented the process that made him famous throughout the world: the wood strips (beech, by far the favorite for its long, regular and knotless fiber) are turned, placed in an autoclave to absorb moisture, bent by force and fixed in metal forms, and finally dried; the finishing of the pieces was followed by the assembly of the “Vienna straw”, another element that became characteristic for the company.

A real industrial process that went hand in hand with the progressive elimination of ornaments and joints, in favour of a rigorous line and careful attention to the simplification of the joining elements.

Formal elegance, solidity and lightness have determined the success of the company that in a few years started production sites all over the world.A unique production process that has its roots in a history rich in suggestions and that is now renewed in the high quality of materials that Gebrüder Thonet Vienna chooses to make its products, characterized by valuable elements that unite them with high craftsmanship.The woods, selected for their strength and versatility, are combined with fabrics that enrich the range of colors proposed by the collection with precious nuances.

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Please note that the use of the Gebrüder Thonet Vienna GmbH trademark and company name in U.S. and the use of the Gebrüder Thonet Vienna GmbH trademark in Germany entails restrictions, due to agreements executed with other companies.

For more details on this issue, please contact [email protected].

Gebrüder Thonet Vienna GmbH
Prinz Eugen Strasse 42 1040 Wien Österreich

Offices of the trademarks licencee Production Furniture international S.p.A
Via Vincenzo Vela 35/B – 10128 Torino (Italy)
Tel.: 0039 011 0133330
[email protected]
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