Shaker chairs

Shakers traditionally made chairs for themselves, but in the late 1800s they started making chairs for the outside world. They offered eight standard sizes (Nos. O through 7), and while earlier Shaker chairs could be fairly severe, these were all very comfortable. Thousands were sold.

In ordering a chair, you need to decide:

Size:No. 4, No. 5 or No. 7
Wood:Cherry, plain maple, figured maple
Finish: Natural, dyed, milk-painted
Arms:Yes or no
Rockers: Yes or no
Back:Woven or bent wooden slats

Seat:Cloth tape colors, weave pattern

About wood and finish. Cherry is finished undyed with oil and varnish. It will darken naturally over time. Plain maple can be dyed or milk-painted in various colors. Figured maple (tiger or birdseye) can be dyed or left natural, then oiled and varnished.
About seats. Seats are woven from cotton tape. A foam cushion is inserted within the weave. A checkerboard is a standard weave, but more complex designs add interest. Click 1" wide tape or 5/8" tape for seat patterns. The 5/8" patterns cost more and are worth it. Click here for colors.
About backs. Shakers offered both woven and slat backs. We think woven backs are more comfortable, and they cost more because they take longer to make. But slat backs are comfortable, too, and have an open look that feels traditional. They're also nice for showing off the grain of figured wood.
Please email us or call 203-912-9277
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