Chiavari chairs are iconic in their design and innovation. Renowned for their robustness and featherweight qualities, Chiavari chairs are highly prized. Since 1963, The Fratelli Levaggi Chair Factory is the brand name in Italy who is known for handcrafting the famed Chiavari Chairs.
Invented by the great Guiseppe Gaetano a.k.a.“il Campanino”, the Chiavari is a unique invention of that time. The modern design which is minimal and clear is free from decorative excesses of that period. The innovative structure still amazes to this day. Admired for its extreme lightness and sturdiness, it found fame with historical personalities such as Napolean III and Francis I of Bourbon. In modern times, the Chiavari was used during the famous meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev. The classic banquet chair can often be seen at special events, most notably at White House dinners.
The Fratelli Levaggi name has been producing elegant, robust and very light chairs that have stood the test of time. Realising the production techniques of the Chiavari chairs, they are constructed with the utmost care and authenticity. Considered artistic and technical masterpieces, they are appreciated by the most exigent interior designers around the world. Today’s production of the chair of Chiavari still preserves its characteristics of craftsmanship and exactly reproduces the same steps that “il Campanino” himself used to make in its workshop, more than two centuries ago.
Construction of the Chiavari Chair
Home Plus Living takes you through the construction process of a Chiavari Chair. Closely adhering to the cutting, preparation and natural seasoning, every step of the process is handmade. From cutting the trunk to the final painting, craftsmen take utmost care with every handcrafted part. The workroom represents the highest expression of quality and detailed care.
Wood is first chosen from the Ligurian hinterland. It is here that the craftsman uses his expertise to personally individuate the best trees to cut. This is in response to special dimensions and morphology. And the cut is realised keeping in consideration of the seasons and the lunar phases. Just after the cut, the trunk is brought to the sawmill. According to the carpenter’s instructions, it is cut in different thickness boards.
At the Fratelli Levaggi Chair Factory, hundreds of patterns are hung on the walls. These tall, rough-edged planks of wood will be used to realise the different parts of the chair.
Once cutting is completed, work starts on the large sander. Dowels and spindles will be created to prepare for assembly. To complete assembling, animal glue heated bain marie is used, while the joints are calibrated one by one. Bain Marie is a heated bath to the glue warm over time. The glue will then dry to a hard finish. It’s actually a reversible adhesive. Once re-heated, it will be pliable again so the chairs can be taken apart for repair.
To accommodate varied tastes, there are a wide range of colours and finishings to choose from. This is in compliance with the artisanal nature of the products. The chairs might be light as a feather but they are very hardy. They are assembled without nails and angled joints are use for maximum support.
Adopting the concept of “Ligurian artisan craftsman excellence”, Fratelli Levaggi is committed to authentic and excellent handcrafted productions. It’s fitting that Chiavari Chairs are acclaimed for adding class to every home.
Find out more about Fratelli Levaggi here.