Modern design is iconic and unique in its own simple way. Just like the Hardoy Chair known as the ‘’Butterfly Chair’’. It is a one mid-century chair design we have seen each time in residential interiors all around the world. It has a story as interesting as its design.
Modern. The ‘’new’’ reality loved by many and yet judged by many. Quoting ‘’new’’ because Modernism is not that new, it has been around longer than we know, longer than the phone, laptop or sparkle water.
This fresh area started in the early 20thcentury when artists and innovators looked for new creative ways to simplify art and design. They started by removing all of the ornamentation that they have been applying to all aspects of design.
Image source: Cathy Schwabe Architecture
The ‘’Butterfly Chair’’ was designed in a collaborative environment such as ours, by an architectural firm called ‘’Grupo Austral’’in Buenos Aires, Argentina. ‘’La Tripolina’’ a furniture designed in 1881, was the muse in 1938 for the three recognized Argentine designers who met while working as assistants in Le Corbusier’s Paris atelier; Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, Antonia Bonet, and Juan Kurchan.
Later than expected, in 1930 modern was finally truly accepted in the furniture design world. People began to admire and appreciate the simplicity of things. Since then, when the Bauhaus movement took off, the world of design has never been the same.
Today we can find different versions of the classic modern folding chair in different variations of materials and colors such as; leather, fun animal print replica etc. Most of the top residential interior designers have included the butterfly chair in their furniture selections for some of the best-designed homes.
The butterfly chair frame
Image source: NDC Homes, Inc
It’s easy to spot a poorly-designed replica only by itsframe. Hardoy created a welded frame of ultra-light, ¼-inch steel rods rounded into curved angles to form a shape significant of butterfly wings by playing and evolving the wood-and-metal Tripolina frame. Not original models usually use variously typed of steel and include hinges or joints which do not follow the original design specs.
Cheaper or inauthentic models may use different types of steel and contain hinges or joints, which do not follow the original plan specs. Disappointing versions are in demand for the flexibility they offer but they do not honor the original intent. The unique shape of the steel and the beauty it gives to the chair plays a huge role in chair’s appearance.
From its origin, butterfly chair frames were made by a solid steel, so it’s not impossible to change from the vintage frame. In these cases, its normal to have a traditional cover made seeing that covers have changed so much in over 75 years, which makes finding a nearly vintage match mostly impossible. Don’t forget that the process of making a butterfly chair frame can be dangerous as wellsince not every specialist can make an absolutely suspended seat that is not too tight nor too loose.
The butterfly chair cover
Image source: Shelby Wood Design
Rossi & Caruso’s Argentinean artisan Cuatrini was the first to invent the handmade sling seat. The country’s old top makers of polo mounts are now selling their leather as clothing, accessories and more. Butterfly chair leather covers still remain loyal to their original designs and an alluring known Argentinean element that offers the same luxury are the hides.
A lot of affordable versions/sorts were produced at the same time as clever options like canvas and fabric covers which are mostly used outdoors This type of fabric, if suspended from its “wings”, the covers will become equivalent to a hammock, adjusting to the body and in motion with you as you move. This quality was what made the seats so popular among the teenagers.
The fabric version having its casual design hasn’t acquired the sophisticated áppearence as the leather has. The butterfly chairs soon became the new modern-classic attraction because of their versatile,distinct design that hasn’t lost its spark even to this day which makes them even more tempting
Before purchasing the unique Butterfly chair you might want to read this:
Image source: Casey St. John Interiors
- This is not an article for you to read if you’re not already the owner of an old butterfly chair. You will probably want to check the button below and make yours a new butterfly chair!!
- Use your imagination and picture a perfect butterfly chair somewhere in your home. Amazing isn’t it? When finishing reading, you will be in a better place to make that vision become a reality.
- Also If you are looking or planning to purchase new upholstery for your old butterfly chair frame, keep reading.
Why everyone looks for a butterfly chair cover?
Image source: Terra Firma Design
This masterpiece designed in 1983, it started being mass produces all around the world during the 50s. Millions of teenagers’ rooms all over the globe had an armchair. It was the ultimate armchair for youthful, long-haired, rebellious kids that wanted to sit in their own different ways. I remember even my grandmother had one of these unique pieces of furniture which I now use today. One of them most likely ended up in your parent’s or grandparent’s room as well.
It is recommended to change the butterfly chair cover time to time. Because as time passes by, the upholstery begins to lose its luster. The frame is still intact even today because it is made of solid steel. However, nothing is forever and the materials begin to crumble in one way or another and most of them are surprisingly useless today.
But before you get into action and buy a butterfly chair cover, listed below there are a couple things you have to keep in mind;
It’s risky! It might not fit the structure.
Image source: Ana Williamson Architect
By now you know this chair comes in different versions, different materials, also different sizes. If you buy a new matching cover it might not fit if you don’t have the right information. It might be too small, too lose or even un-comfy and impossible to sit. It surely will lose its spark as a chair and it’s own unique technique.
OOPS! You bought a fake junk!
Image source: The Brick House
You’re casually looking at an upholstery because it looks and you think it is original. But sadly, you are up for a disappointment. Old as your butterfly chair frame is, it might be worth a lot of money if only polished and matched with an appropriate seat, right? Your piece is unfortunately not an original butterfly chair.
Saving money by buying only leather? IMPOSSIBLE!
Image source: Rusafova Markulis Architects
Costumers often think that the most expensive part of the furniture is the leather. If it only was true then restoring an old Hardoy chair would be way cheap, right? But actually, the frame itself is quite inexpensive compared to the seat. Of course, this is at least true for any cover made of the finest quality material.
NOT so comfortable!
Image source: Falling Waters Landscape
The butterfly chair is a lounge chair, which means you are supposed to lounge in as much as you like. Which also means it should be as comfortable as possible. But not all of them are so since most of them are way smaller for the humans of today to sit in. Maybe it is because they were made for teenage rooms or maybe because back then the average height was shorter than today. However it is a major problem with antique designs, they for sure do look magical but not so comfortable.
Whatever the reason, It is not a good idea to cause yourself stress in search of a matching butterfly chair cover for your old frame.
You need great quality
Image source: Nook Architects
Since you are buying a masterpiece, you should make sure that the quality of the leather butterfly chair is made to last long enough the price. And it does not insult this unique design. Want to buy leather for example? You need to make sure that is good enough. Is it vegetable tanned? Or chrome tanned? It is not recommended latter for the butterfly chair cover pattern because chances are that your furniture will not be strong enough.
Ending thoughts on the Butterfly Chair
Image source: Ben Callery Architects
This unique design looks almost perfect in every spot you think of placing it. It sparks the place up, your reading nook, your coffee table, your dining room or even outside on the balcony or terrace.
If you enjoyed reading this article about the Butterfly Chair, you should read these as well:
- Tips for adding a wingback chair in your room
- Recliner Chair: tips on buying a modern, comfortable and ergonomic one
- Rocking Chair: Tips For Choosing The Best