The new Eames chairs match the original with every fibre

When Ray Eames revealed his Side Chair in 1950, glass-fibre was the material of the era. Now, Vitra has returned to these roots and crafted the classic chair from polypropylene instead of plastic…

In the conservative furniture landscape of the post-War period, Ray Eames’ Side Chair was a revolution. Its seat shell was made of inexpensive glass-fibre and could be combined with a variety of underframes. Before long, there was hardly a place, from the living room to the lecture hall, where the colourful chairs were not used. However, in the 1990s, Vitra, which produces the chair for the European market, switched from glass-fibre to plastic. The design community was never able to befriend the new, less charming plastic chairs and mourned the originals with their characteristic and often wonderfully patinated material structures. Now, Vitra has returned to Eames’ roots and resumed the production of the classic glass-fibre seats.