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.