Leigh Rivers. Bar Stools. January 19th , 2018.
6. Finish and Fabric- What You Need To Know. Wood Bar Stools: Wood bar stools are typically offered in a few stains or painted colors. Look for chip-resistant finishes and/or stains which are sealed to protect the wood as well as the underlying finish. Look for metal protectors on the foot-rest as any painted or finished wood subject to the wear and tear of peoples feet will wear through over time. Many manufacturers intentionally distress their finishes to provide a used or worn look. Some more expensive wood bar stools feature rich, multi-step finishes that can be custom matched to you particular needs.
Chairs have been around since the early days of civilization. The ancient Egyptians fashioned richly ornamented chairs out of ebony, ivory, and carved or gilded wood. The Romans and Greeks used the same chairs as the Egyptians. In fact, there was little change on the structure of the chair until the year 1749, when a new type of chair called the stool was made. The invention of the stool is credited to a Swiss woman named Maria Schitonstool. Maria was a pathological gambler. As with other habitual gamblers, Maria had severe problems managing her money. To deal with her cash problems, Maria would often sell her furniture. There were times when Maria would not have enough money to buy wood to keep her house warm during winter. In one cold night in 1749, Maria scavenged for wooden furniture to keep her fire going. There was none left except her bed and chairs. Instead of throwing all her chairs to the fire, Maria just sawed off the back of her chairs and accidentally invented the stool. Soon her neighbors followed Marias example and made stools out of their chairs. Then stools evolved and became fashionable.
Once restricted to the local public house in the United Kingdom and Ireland and to the imitators in North America, 30 and 24 bar stools are now common place household furniture. Not only have these stools entered into the residential furniture market but they have broken out of a centuries old mold. For centuries bar stools seemed to be of uniform size and material. Times have changed. For literally centuries, stools found in bars were 30 inches in height. Of course, the height was specifically engineered so that a person could comfortably belly up to the bar and consume much ale. The stools were generally constructed from oak or another hardwood. The stools were firmly balanced upon 4 legs that were each attached to the underside of the stool seat a few inches towards the centre from each corner. As you can imagine, having a sturdy base of support was an important element in early bar furniture.
What all these stools have in common is that they are made of wood. Back in the times of wild west, metal was not as prevalent as it is today, and the cowboys had to make do with the materials that were more readily accessible, in particular wood. So the cowboys had to master the art of woodworking to create these stools. The other materials the cowboys had available were natural leathers, either coming from caught wild animals, but more commonly from the cows that were slaughtered for their meat. Another thing these western saddle bar or counter stools have in common is that, just like the horse saddles, they never feature a back rest, or the arm rests. Lets look at these three styles of saddle bar/counter stools.
Metal Bar Stools: Metal bar stools are often available in dozens of finishes. Look for a powder-coated and baked on finish. These finishes are by far more chip and scratch resistant than spray painted finishes. In addition to a more durable surface a powder coated finish is much less likely to be damaged by cleaning products than a painted finish. Fabrics: Both wood and metal bar stools may have countless fabrics to choose from. Look for high quality fabrics that complement your homes decor, as well as a fabric that works well with the finish you have selected AND the style of the bar stool. An Antique Tapestry is a beautiful fabric, but NOT on a silver modernized frame! Synthetic suede fabrics are very durable and easy to clean. They simulate the look and feel of suede, but are far more easy to care for than cotton or other natural coverings. Some manufacturers offer the ability to use your own fabric.
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