Naughtone is a furniture design manufacturing company based in the UK – i travelled to one of their factory sites that specialized in the upholstery side of furniture fabrication. They produced upholstered furniture pieces on a batch production scale – this was particularity interesting for me – in a dual mind set of a furniture maker and a customer – seeing the materials used and the processes that enable these products to be used in everyday life to a professional standard. Whilst there we followed a simple saddle like stool through each stage of production, and i was really surprised at the structural construction of it. A simple OSB framework was covered in cardboard (staplegunned), to create it convex or concaved form. Which was then covered in a soft foam for ergonomic comfort – stuck on with spray contact adhesive . The fabric was cut from pre-made cardboard templates and sewed together, once sewed the fabric was turned the right way round and also glued onto the now foam covered stool. Tolerances were applied during the template stages – and differ with each fabric, depending on how much stretch will give.There is just enough fabric to be pulled over the edge to the underside of the stool, which was then stapled to the OSB base, where a black upholstery covering fabric was neatly stapled over to hide any unsightly edges or fabric seams.
The whole process was so quick, but everything had a reason and each material was chosen specifically for a purpose – generally having costs and user interaction in mind e.g. cardboard was used due to it’s cheapness and meant that the stool frame could be hollow, decreasing the weight of the stool, which would increase the stools portability and ease on interaction with the user.
This is something i’d like to experiment with in my own work – working as one unit on a batch production method.