The tour started in the old factory, a beautiful example of industrial heritage with dusty windows and old machinery. We were guided through the production of the Thonet collection and saw the making of chairs, sofas, cabinets and tables. The wood bending process was not only really impressive to see but we also got the change to do it ourselves! Wooden rods were made elastic by steam pressure and within 7 minutes, the time the wood will stay flexible, the rods were bend by hand in a metal mold to the correct shape by two men.
I am not a fan of chrome plated-tubular steel but in the showroom located in the former 1889 home of the Thonet brothers I discovered how beautiful and different the chairs and desks look when painted black. Looking at the chair collection I have a few favourites, Peter Thonet's personal favourite the Thonet 209 in light ashwood, well known with it's wicker seat, and in my opinion even more beautiful with a black leather seat, the the same model in black is really beautiful as well.
If you would like to see more of my trip to Germany have a look at this Thonet Album.