The craft, in Denmark, can be traced back to the early 1800. During the long winter years, the production of cords made of straw was used to tighten hay stacks to be easily
transported to the stocking barn. Farmers concerned with using easily available materials rapidly started using twisted staw cords to make sitting furniture more comfortable to rest on. Later on, was seagrass introduced, with its characteristic grayish green tone, and chosen for its nearby availability.
The technique of weaving furniture has now been used in Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia for over a 100 years by furniture makers.
During world war II the supply of seagrass reduced drastically and experimenting with paper cords gave good results, smooth to use with its strong hold made it an ideal material for producing cords and applying weaving technics.
Paper cords today are found in various type and quality. The straight cords are used for their smooth esthetic on Danish chairs like the popular H.J Wegner “Y-chair”, or “Peacock chair”, the more rustic and coarse twisted paper cords are seen on funiture like Kåre Klint “Church chair” ( Kirkestolen for FDB ), or Børge Mogensen J39 chair also called the people´s chair, ( Folkestolen ). Black cords, a later introduction, are now being used on recent models.
Like most time consuming handcrafted production today, paper cord weaving is mostly applied on quality furniture that will have a higher prices tag.
Although not that common in every Europeen country any more, specialized craftsmen can restore your furniture to an original standard with seagrass or papercord, and give them a new life span that can stretch up to around 20 years.
This valuable craft that mainly derives from a rural environment has now found its place in tasteful and privileged interiors, and it is particularily reassuring for us to witness that mankind has a way of holding on to the clever technics discovered through its creative history.