Hand-made from start to finish: crafting the Karla armchair.

Piles of neatly stacked planks of oak stand like towers, spreading across the workshop. Artisans weave in and around them as they cross the workshop floor and we do the same. “It’s strong, hardwearing,” our carpenter tells us as he slides a plank out from the pile. Calling over a colleague, together they carry the plank to where the electric saw sits. The machine squeals as they cut out the iconic shapes that form the Karla armchair’s frame.

 

armchair, retro style in oak

 There are piles of Karla pieces beside the spinning and sanding machine. Used to create the driftwood effect on the Karla’s oak frame, the artisan moves quickly, covering every surface of the piece he holds, placing varying degrees of pressure on the wood. “The point is to create a finish that’s imperfect,” he tells us. “To give the chair a weathered texture. It can be harder to reach imperfection than perfection sometimes.”

 

armchair, retro style in oak

 Once assembled into its statement structure, the Karla is coated with a dark wood stain. The finishing artisan applies a single coat by hand, careful to ensure the entire piece is covered. Once dry, he hand-sands it using a sandpaper sponge. “It makes it smooth,” she tells us, “but without losing any of the weathering.”

 

armchair, retro style in oak

 In the stitching section of the workshop artisans roll out reams of our Grey canvas fabric with its stonewashed effect. They trace out the Karla’s cushions, their hands never waver and there’s virtually no wastage.  “It takes a trained eye,” our artisan tells us, cutting through the canvas with heavy tailoring scissors. “To get the shapes first go and make the most of all the fabric.”

 

armchair, retro style in oak

 Once sewn, the cushion cover is pulled over an interlining stuffed with foam and feathers, for that sink-into feel. Placing the cushions against the finished frame of the Karla armchair, our stitching artisan pats it with her hand and smiles. “It’s calling to me!” She says, placing her palms together in the sleeping gesture. We encourage her to try it out, and she does, sinking into the cushions and rubbing the arms of the frame. “Yes. This is nice,” she says.

Take a closer look at our Karla armchair collection

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Sarah
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