Seaside Seating

The Beach Chair Boom

Germans enjoying a German invention. Source: DPA
Germans enjoying the delights of their beach nook.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Demand for these distinctive beach chairs is growing in the niche beach-and-pool furniture market.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Strandkorb means “beach basket” in German.
    • The first ones, made from wicker, were developed in 1882 in the Baltic city of Rostock.
    • Germany’s biggest producers have begun exporting the specially woven basket-like seats abroad.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

A fast-fingered weaver needs up to forty hours to put together the meshing for a strandkorb, the traditional beach chairs that dot the beaches of the German coast. Once made from wicker, today they are woven from weather-resistance PVC plastic; but production still needs a human touch.

“No machine can do this; we are a workshop,” said Gerd Müsing, the founder and head of the eponymous Strandkorb company, as he showed off his production site.

Carpenters shape the wooden frames, while one floor above, workers sew the upholstery for the seat of the chair. In Mr. Müsing’s warehouse, located far from the coast in the landlocked northwestern city of Bielefeld, seats are being labeled for faraway destinations such as Halifax in Canada, Valencia in Spain and St. Moritz in mountainous Switzerland.

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