Hand-made from start to finish – crafting the Felix armchair.
In the workshop, artisans work to the beat, punch, and hum of a motley collection of tools. A chorus of noise that, Du tells us, he doesn’t even notice anymore. The components of the Felix armchair having already been traced and cut to shape, he takes the pine pieces and assembles the frame with lightening speed and precision; movements so automatic you can tell he’s an old hand at it.
Walking among towers of foam gives you the surreal sense of being in a castle of clouds. There are many kinds as different countries require different levels of comfort. In Denmark, they prefer a firm seat, in the UK we like our Felix armchairs to be a little softer. The colour of the foam is bright yellow, which denotes fire resistance.
Stitching artisans work in pairs, passing the cover for the Felix armchair back and forth between two machines; one for a single line of stitching, and one for more detailed lines. Sewing the fabric for the Felix requires the highest level of expertise because the seatback is a patchwork of many squares, individually sewn together before being punctuated by covered buttons for a smart, tailored, mid-century look.
A physical job, there are only men on the upholstery room floor. Inch by inch they pull our freshly stitched fabric over the foam-padded frames. They stop every now and then to check that the seams and edges are smooth.
The head of quality control peers closely at the finished Felix armchair. Taking a small set of pocket-sized industrial clippers, he clips loose threads, inspects seams for straightness, and plucks each and every individual button until he’s sure they’re tightly attached and the whole piece is to his satisfaction.