COUNTRY EASY CHAIRS
The first truly comfortable seating form in the
colonies was the wing chair, or "easy chair," as it
was traditionally called.
England around 1700, easy chairs were not found in parlors
during the 18th century, but instead were placed in bedrooms.
The tall, winged back fended off drafts, and the down-filled
cushion seat and upholstered frame allowed sitters to doze in
comfort by the fire.
Easy chairs were
extremely expensive: Upholstering was a technique practiced by
highly trained specialists, fabric was costly, and building
the frames required skillful craftsmanship.
Few people in rural
areas could afford the luxury of owning a chair made in this
way. The easy chair was nevertheless in demand, and country
craftsmen copied the form in wood or produced simple
frame-and-upholstery versions. Although relatively
unsophisticated, country easy chairs still helped keep drafts
of the sitter's back.
It's easy to see the
foundation of the easy chair from crude wood to the finest
fabrics of today!