DIY: George Nakashima Rope Chair by

Issue 8 · Wabi-Sabi Week · February 23, 2012

DIY: George Nakashima Rope Chair

Issue 8 · Wabi-Sabi Week · February 23, 2012

As an homage to George Nakashima (aka "the Japanese Shaker"), we're creating our own version of his classic 1940s grass-seat chair.

I have several thrift-shop chairs in my apartment in desperate need of proper restoration. In the meantime, I'm planning to try this DIY idea (spotted on Notes from Apart) and revive my chairs with woven cotton rope and jute. If you're not quite ready to invest in a set of Nakashima chairs, try this alternative with our instructions and sources for materials.

George Nakashima Grass Seat Chairs

Above: A residence on NYC's Prospect Park West features Nakashima's Grass-Seated Chairs and a large walnut plank table fastened with his famous butterfly joints.

George Nakashima Grass Seat Chairs

Above: An original grass-seat chair by George Nakashima, circa 1950. A pair of original chairs from the 60s and other vintage Nakashima furniture can be sourced via 1st Dibs.

DIY George Nakashima chair made from rope

Above: A rehabbed chair spotted by Apiece Apart outside of Frankies 457, a restaurant in Brooklyn. For a similar look, measure enough cotton cord to wrap around your chair about 30 times. After you're done wrapping, tie off the rope on the underside of the chair. Then weave through a length of natural jute at the top and bottom of the chair to keep the rope in place. Weave in the ends of the jute to create a seamless look.

Rope and twine for a DIY project

Above: Wellington Cordage 1/2-Inch Cotton Rope (L); $106.16 for 300 feet from Amazon. A less expensive option is the Ace Cotton Clothesline Rope; 200 feet for $11.09 from Amazon. Wellington Cordage 4-ply Jute Twine (R) is $4.51 from Amazon.



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