Published at Wednesday, April 04th, 2018 - 04:43:26 AM. Side-Chair. By Ernest Barnier.
In the last few years as these countries have one by one joined the European Union, the costs of making these very labour intensive chairs has increased considerably for these factories, giving them no alternative but to increase their prices. This has led to some UK banqueting furniture suppliers looking to factories in China and Malaysia to produce copies of these chairs but without the many years of experience of the traditional manufacturers, the quality can be very variable. Often, where the European factories would use steam bending to shape the elegant curved forms of the banquet chair, the Chinese and Malaysian manufacturers use simpler wood joining methods, for example finger jointing or even butt jointing, methods which are not nearly as strong as the steam bending process which produces the part without affecting the strength or integrity of the wood. Therefore purchasing these cheaper chairs can often be a false economy and can end in very early replacement of an expensive investment.
The other styles of Banquet chair are produced in either tubular steel or tubular aluminium and have one great advantage over the wooden styles. That is of course great strength and longevity at a lower unit price. The steel chairs are usually made in 3/4 inch square section 18 gauge tubular steel that can be finished in any colour, with gold being the most popular and silver or black being the next most popular choices. The Aluminium chairs are most popular in extruded aluminium tube 1 inch square section. As it is extruded it gives the manufacturer the opportunity to offer a wide choice of tube section designs, either plain or fluted. The other big advantage of both the steel and aluminium chairs over wooden banquet chairs is that because they are machine bent to great accuracy, they can be manufactured to stack very tightly and have plastic frame protectors to prevent damage from frame to frame contact. Recent advances in painting technology mean that both the steel and aluminium banquet chairs can have a painted finish that imitates the deep red colour of mahogany or walnut, oak or many other timbers and can even be printed with a wood grain effect if the customer likes this. These offer the best space saving option which is a big advantage if this style of chair is only used at the hotel's peak time and needs to be stored afterwards. The aluminium and steel banquet chairs are produced in a variety of attractive shapes and designs as either side chairs or carvers (armchairs). As many of the chair components are standard, it is possible for the manufacturer to offer different chair designs and even seat widths without the need for expensive re- tooling.
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