Scandinavian design in general has a wide appeal, and we’re certainly fans of the elegantly simple contours, tones and textures that have given it such a reputation. Classic Scandinavian pieces seem to work just about anywhere, lending a warm yet sophisticated edge to the most bland of surrounds.
The Moller chair is a perfect example of this, representing the pinnacle of not only mid-century Danish design, but mid-century design full stop. The clean, almost radical simplicity of these chairs – designed and made in Denmark in the 1950s and 1960s – remains relevant even today.
Born in 1920, Niels Moller founded his cabinetry company in 1944 and set up the JL Moller factory two years later. Almost 70 years on, JL Moller is still a small family business, now run by Niels’ son Jorgen.
The famous Moller chairs, designed by the elder Moller himself, hark back to the substitute of cord for rubber in Denmark during World War II. Using this extremely durable material for the seat of his chairs, Moller incorporated this traditional, twisted paper cord into his design. The designs of the various Moller chairs vary in subtle ways – from the curved back of #71 and the traditional angles of #77 to our personal favourite, the timelessly simple #78.
What sets JL Moller apart is their commitment to doing things by hand and according to tradition. The cord seats of Moller chairs are made from one single piece of 425-foot-long cord, the company selects the raw timber itself and all the components are hand-polished. It’s Scandinavian furniture at its best.
Paper cording isn’t just a Scandinavian phenomenon, however. Right here in Australia, Rob Pink from W. Pink & Sons is practicing this traditional technique. From his workshop in Glen Iris (Melbourne), Pink restores and repairs paper corded furniture. Check out the above gallery to familiarise yourself with his technique.
This is one in a series of articles exploring Scandinavian design and its key designers, brought to you by Great Dane.
Great Dane is a contemporary design retailer specialising in the best of Scandinavian design. Their selection of new and authentically Scandinavian furniture, lighting and homewares is intuitive and second to none. Visit their Redfern showroom to view the range of Moller chairs.