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Seat Cover Prototype


This seat cover prototype gives a sense of how the Eameses’ initial idea for a simple sling seat was actually very sophisticated. The sling is a “sandwich” made up of three layers. Between the top and bottom layers of Naugahyde there is a sheet of vinyl foam and three strips of Fiberthin, a stiff material made of vinyl-coated nylon that was produced by the United States Rubber Company. All of these layers were heat-sealed together along lines spaced 1 ⅞ inches apart using a heat-sealing machine. Significantly, this process created the pad’s horizontal grooves and also produced a sealed border about half an inch wide, to which another stiff strip of fabric would be attached. This stiff border allowed the pads to be wedged into grooves in the aluminum side rails; this was achieved by first softening the edges of the pads using an infrared heat lamp and then carefully inserting the pads by hand. The heat seal lines serve to keep the padding in place consistently across the entire sling of the chair, preventing it from bunching up. The only place that required a connecting device was at each end of the sling, on either side of the upholstery.
There are marks on the back of the seat cover on a piece of tape reading 'Approved pad - April 22, 1958 - Dining'.

  • Medium:Naugahyde, Fiberthin
  • Dimensions:35 x 20 1/4 x 1/2 in. (88.9 x 51.4 x 1.3 cm)
  • Item:2019.2.352