I am not a gambling man but I’d bet you that if you have been to a tennis or cricket pavilion, a seaside hotel or the Orangery of a grand house at any point in the last 75 years you will have sat on a Lloyd Loom chair. Often in white, sky blue, pink or pale green these beautiful and iconic chairs not only have huge eye-appeal they are also very comfortable – if a little creaky as they age.
Many will attest to snagged legs or backs of thighs caught on the frayed and exposed wire that forms the basis of this patented construction. Patented in the USA 1917 by Marshall Burns Lloyd the process entails kraft paper being twisted and wound round metal wire that is then introduced into a loom and woven to become Lloyd Loom fabric which is then bent to fit over, often, a beechwood frame.
In 1921, Lloyd licensed the patent rights for the UK market to W (William) Lusty & Sons who developed over one thousand designs and produced over ten million pieces prior to 1940. Lusty Lloyd Loom was based in Bromley-by-Bow (East London) and at its height employed over 500. The factory was destroyed by a bombing raid in September 1940 during the London Blitz. Whilst the Lusty family relaunched the business in 1951 it was short-lived with manufacturing ceasing in 1968. Production in the US resumed in Menominee in 1982. The business was subsequently sold to Flanders Industries and the new company, Lloyd Flanders, continues to make Lloyd Loom furniture and artefacts.
This American invented British adopted design icon is featured in the collection of many design museums around the world including the amazing Cooper Hewitt which is part of the Smithsonian Institution and housed in Andrew Carnegie’s former mansion home in New York at 2E 91st Street, Between 5th and Madison Aves.
My Grandmother house in Hertfordshire, during the 1960’s to 1970’s, in an large area with stripped oak floor, that she described as the Loggia, housed several green Lloyd Loom chairs, a Lloyd Loom sofa – that was surprisingly comfortable – and a Lloyd Loom garden or card table with a glass top and woven legs. Upstairs in her bedroom was a wide white Lloyd Loom ottoman that contained a stack of Witney Wool blankets.
Various start ups including The Lusty Furniture Company and The Lloyd Loom Manufacturing Company seem to offer well made Lloyd Loom products to some of the original designs. Whilst much of the current production of Lloyd Loom furniture takes place in the Far East it seems that only The Lloyd Loom Manufacturing Company continues to manufacture in the UK.
If you’d like to share your home with an iconic piece of Lloyd Loom furniture why not click the following AMAZON links
Lloyd Loom Tivoli Chair (Natural)
Lloyd Loom Tivoli Grande (Arctic White)
Lloyd Loom Lansdown Chair (Crisp Linen)
And if you’d like to read more about the Lloyd Loom story, please click the following AMAZON link to buy the excellent book “Lloyd Loom: Woven Fibre Furniture”
Lloyd Loom: Woven Fibre Furniture
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Image Credits with thanks: W Lusty and Sons, The Lusty Furniture Company and The Lloyd Loom Manufacturing Company
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