Chair weaving has a long history as people in the past used this technique to make furniture for themselves. However, not only chairs were made with weaving but other sorts of furniture, as well. A reason for that might be the fact that this kind of furniture is long-lasting and can be used even for a hundred year. It is important to know that people work with sedge when it comes to weaving but you have to be really careful with it as it can cut your fingers easily if you pull it in the wrong way. First, you have to make the sedge leaves wet, secondly twist them, and if you already have the ready-made chair frame you can start the weaving itself.
Unfortunately, this craft is dying out since between the two world wars hundreds of people did chair weaving but today only a few people own the necessary knowledge for it.
Personal life of Imre Nagy (Utila)
Imre Nagy (Utila) is the name of a man in his fifties who lives in Sălacea. He started chair weaving last year. The reason that he chose to start this kind of craft is the death of his neighbor, who was the last chair weaver in the village, so Imre didn’t want the craft to disappear. He lacks of experience and he never learned from anyone earlier, he only knew some techniques watching his neighbor till he could. Until now, he is still practicing and he has not made any money, because he can’t sell his products yet. He hopes that his income will increase, as he gets better and better. He is the last active crafter of chair weaving, as all the other crafters who have the knowledge don’t practice it because it’s not worth it, as it takes too much time and effort.
How to increase your income if you are a chair weaver?
- Promote your products in the museums with interactive workshops.
- Make contacts with various furniture companies to include your brand in their shops, catalogues.
- Consider applying for European Union funding to save money on supplies and possibly increase the profit.
- Take part in fairs, Sunday markets. That way you promote your brand and let people know about the craft too.
- Make generous discounts to attract people who have lower income.