Another Yugoslavian folding chair gets new life


I got this poor old thing awhile ago and kept putting off work on it because the frame needed refinishing.  It’s beech with a stain and then clear lacquer on top—it’s supposed to look like walnut but of course once the finish gets a little worn it is obvious that it’s not.

I chose to strip the lacquer and ebonize the chair with India ink, a process I’ve done on a number of other chairs.  I think it looks especially good on these chairs and any dings can be easily touched up with a dab of ink!


There are at least several different versions of these chairs, which were mostly made in Yugoslavia but you will see some marked Italy and Japan; they were inspired by Hans Wegner’s folding lounge chair.  You might see one once in awhile being described as a Wegner original but that would be an incorrect attribution.

I like this version without the handles on the sides.  It looks so much more sleek.



The paper cord didn’t have a lot of broken strands but it looked pretty awful nonetheless.


ebonyugo-06I also like that the seat is solid weaving—no gap towards the front the way more are done.
ebonyugo-07 ebonyugo-08Love that clean line!


ebonyugo-11These chairs often have a lot of visible knots.  This was the only visible one on this chair, at the lower outside back.
ebonyugo-12 It takes a little more work—mostly math and measuring—to weave it without knots, but it can be done.   There are two cord joins in the lower rail above.


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6 Responses to Another Yugoslavian folding chair gets new life

  1. I have the same chair and footstool. A Yugoslavian knockoff of a Hans Wegner chair. No one here does Danish cording. I’m afraid to ask, but how much would you charge to ebonize and reweave the seat and stool?

    • MCR says:

      There’s not much point in telling you my rate for weaving since people charge wildly differing rates depending on their business set-up, their overhead costs, and what part of the country (or the world) they’re in. I also don’t publish rates in comments on my website because eventually they will change but people see the old quotes.

      I also don’t do refinishing on clients’ pieces, only on the few things I’ve picked up here and there that need it, that I bought to resell. I don’t have room to do it and it takes me longer to do than it would a professional refinisher. The good news is that lacquer is relatively easy to strip and it’s a very common finish, so you should have no problem finding someone local to do that part of it. Ebonizing with ink is also very easy, just brush the ink on with a foam brush, let dry, do a light sanding where needed, apply second coat, let dry, and apply paste wax finish.

      These chairs are not too hard to ship since they fold up pretty flat, so maybe you can find someone who weave and is willing to deal with return shipping. Good luck!

  2. Taylor C says:

    Hello! I’m currently redoing my own folding chair. Any chance you could let me know how much cord is required for this piece? Any help would be great! Thanks!

    • MCR says:

      I don’t know offhand without doing the math because I work off 11 lb spools of cord. But I can tell you that a dining chair with the same weave pattern, measuring about 18″ wide x 17″ deep takes around 2 lbs. So just figure that area in square inches and compare it to the area of your chair’s seat and back in square inches and go from there.

  3. Annette Blum says:

    Yugoslavian chairs! Yippee! I just passed my mom’s that we have had for decades to my son. They last forever and are surprisingly comfortable.

    • MCR says:

      They are good looking and comfortable but you do have to watch the joints and get them reglued when they start to get wobbly. When a chair joint is loose, there is more strain on the rest of the joints and the risk of more serious damage starts to go up.

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