Design Moment: Lloyd Loom chair, c.1917

In 1917 Marshall B Lloyd invented a technique of wrapping paper around wire which was then woven into a durable material

Lloyd Loom chairs are still being made, after 99 years: you can find vintage versions in junk shops and at house clearance sales

Lloyd Loom chairs are still being made, after 99 years: you can find vintage versions in junk shops and at house clearance sales

 

What image pops into your mind when you hear that a chair is made from paper? Something experimental, maybe even architecturally avant garde?

Most likely the first mental image isn’t a Lloyd Loom chair – that pleasantly shaped, reassuringly solid, appealing old-fashioned chair .

In 1917 Marshall B Lloyd, an American, invented a technique of wrapping paper around wire which was then woven – on a loom – into a durable material. Combined with a beechwood frame, it made furniture far more cheaply than the laborious process of weaving cane.

A few years later Lloyd sold the patent to English company W Lusty & Sons, a prolific and inventive manufacturer, and by the early 1930s buyers could choose from more than 400 Lusty Lloyd Loom designs that ranged from Moses baskets for newborns to laundry baskets and bed headboards, to a range of chairs.

By then a Lusty Lloyd Loom chair was a familiar sight, in many colours, in homes, tea rooms and on the decks of ships, blending a sort of glamour with utilitarianism.

The Lusty Lloyd Loom company survived bombing of its vast factory during the second World War, but there were many turbulent years for the business until 2008 when the Lusty Furniture Company, backed by private investors, emerged.

In addition to reproducing some of the original designs, it offers new ones, all produced in Indonesia. Several other manufacturers also produce Lloyd Loom chairs, usually in the Far East.

It’s still possible to pick up vintage Lloyd Loom in junk shops or house clearance auctions – and it’s a poor car boot sale that doesn’t have at least one person selling a slightly rickety Lloyd Loom laundry basket, usually painted green or pink, with gold corners.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.