I spotted the woven top on this bench in a thrift store and of course had to check it out. It was marked Made in Yugoslavia, which was no surprise–it has the same look as the folding lounge chairs that are so common. But I’d never seen a bench before!
The lacquer on the beech frame was very chipped and there was permanent water staining on bottom of the base. It was a perfect candidate for stripping and ebonizing with India ink.
I also didn’t like the way the weaving had sagged; this is the nature of this particular weave but it’s more pronounced when warp strands have to span a longer distance like they do here. Chair seats are not usually this saggy with this weave.
First I stripped all the lacquer off with acetone and applied the India ink. Then after giving it a lot of thought, I decided to convert it to a Danish style weave with L nails on the inside of the frame. I added about 170 nails in all. There was just enough room for the nails in the inside edge of the frame and it worked out pretty well.
This weave is way less prone to sagging and it has a firmer feel. It’s so flat that the bench could even be used as side table.
I think the ebonized frame gives it a much more stylish look. I’m a big fan of paper cord on black!