Italian Chair District
The Chair District is a production area located in the heart of Friuli Venezia Giulia.Initially, this industrial district was made up of the so-called “Chair Triangle”, i.e. the municipalities of Corno di Rosazzo, Manzano and San Giovanni al Natisone; the area has subsequently expanded to include 11 municipalities in the province of Udine.
But how did the District come about?
To find its origins, we have to go back to the 18th century. Towards the end of the century a nucleus of workshops producing straw-bottomed chairs had developed, thanks to the work of craftsmen who had come from the area of Gorizia and Cormons and to the authorisation of Maria Theresa of Habsburg to cut down the Ternova forest (a Karst plateau now in Slovenia).With the passage of Friuli Venezia Giulia to the Kingdom of Italy in 1866 and the consequent increase in duties, many craftsmen moved again and occupied the first nucleus of the District, the Triangle of the Chair.
As time went by, the workshops, increasingly linked by family ties, became larger and more important, and as a result, schools of arts and crafts in the province of Udine grew.In the first half of the 20th century, there were inevitable difficulties in the sector; first there was the First World War, which wiped out 70% of the industrial potential. After a revival in the early 1920s, the crisis of 1929 and the advent of fascist policies severely penalised exports. The Second World War made the situation even worse, leaving the sector in a backward state.
It was not until the economic boom of the 1960s that the District’s companies were finally reborn, undergoing unprecedented industrialisation for the first time. It was during these years that the first generation of Italian designers made the “Made in Italy” famous. In the 1970s, the oil crisis and the terrible earthquake that hit Friuli Venezia Giulia in 1976 heavily penalised the District’s wood-furnishing sector once again, but post-earthquake reconstruction led to a significant modernisation of the region and, consequently, of its industrial sector.
In the decades that followed, the sector was transformed, withstood periods of crisis but still produces top-quality products that are always different. The set of companies that have been able to innovate, hand down the craftsmanship experience of all the stages of the production chain with a company management with certified and guaranteed quality (ISO9001 certified Made in Italy chain); this has allowed the Italian Chair District
to establish itself not only on the national scene, but also on a global level.
On their website you can search for all companies by production stage, by product, by style or even by material. Everything you need can be found here: Distretto della Sedia.
Here (Comunità del distretto) you can find an interesting article about the new project the District Municipalities are working on: the establishment of a Chair District Community.
Some chairs of the District on display in the Showroom of our IAT office
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