This is the classic, traditional piece of Orcadian furniture. A stunningly simple design that has evolved through generations of islanders, it’s an instantly recognisable part of Orkney’s identity.
Centuries ago, these chairs were built using driftwood collected from the shore. The seats were kept close to the ground so the occupant could stay below the smoke created from the open peat fires in Orkney’s old croft houses. They came with no frills attached, just plain and functional furniture that served a purpose at a time when resources were scarce.
These days we try to maintain the links with the history and heritage of the chairs but with some modern adjustments. Our chairs sit higher, with wider frames, and come in a range of timbers. You can also choose seats made from seagrass or Danish cord, or opt for a simple solid version. The chairs can also come with rockers.
You can also choose to add a drawer to your chair. Drawers would feature on the early Orkney chairs if there was extra driftwood found, but they became popular once the chairs started being produced commercially in the late 1800s.
There are many tales about what the drawer would have been used for all those years ago, including the thinking that it was used to store both the Bible and a bottle of whisky! In a modern chair the drawer is a handy and stylish addition.