25 Jan 2024

The Making Of: The Hendal Armchair

The Making Of: The Hendal Armchair
Designed in partnership with luxury furniture makers Lorfords Contemporary, The Hendal loose-cover slipper chair is a new, debut addition to the British brand’s responsibly-made furniture collection. Find out what inspired the design from Haines Founder Jules and Lorfords Contemporary Managing Director Nasia below.

Haines Founder Jules and MD of Lorfords Contemporary Nasia de la Haye with The Hendal.

How did this collaboration come about?
Nasia: We like to keep an eye out for other brands who share similar values in the industry of luxury interiors. Haines came to our attention for its ground-breaking initiative to minimise fabric waste - an area we feel really passionate about as we find it to be one of the most wasteful parts of the process of covering custom furniture. We admire and share Jules’s passion and commitment to a more sustainable future, so what better way to bring sustainable craft and resourcefulness together than to create beautiful pieces of furniture that will last a lifetime?

What inspired the design of The Hendal chair?
Nasia: We wanted to design a chair that is versatile and can be used in various rooms and settings around the house. A versatile piece is always a more sustainable piece since you can use it in various settings and don’t need to keep changing it per the function of a room.

Jules: For me, the scallop shape is a look that will define this decade. I remember seeing it for the very first time at Decorex at Chelsea Harbour a few years ago when Matilda Goad exhibited one of her iconic raffia lampshades - I was absolutely hooked! I was really excited to include a scalloped edge in the design of The Hendal, with its distinctive skirt that floats above the floor and gives the chair its quirky character.

The Hendal - Fabric by Pomily - £5,040

What other sustainability considerations influenced the design process?
Nasia: In terms of materials, each chair is handmade to order in our workshop with an FSC-certified beech wood frame and all-natural inner fillings, including calico, hemp, cotton webbing, wool, twine, paper, jute, coir, recycled textiles and natural latex foam cushioning. Considered to be one of the best eco-friendly foams to use, natural latex is a 100% natural product made from renewable sources, as well as being fully biodegradable and recyclable. It’s the first loose cover armchair that we’ve created, meaning there’s no need for cushion zips and minimising hardware.

Jules: We decided to launch The Hendal in the distinctive ‘Checkers’ print designed by British sustainable fabric house Pomily, who recently joined our Haines Curates collective of eco designers. Founded by Emily Bowring in 2022, Pomily’s studio is UK-based and focuses on digital printing to order - which requires less ink, water and energy than some other printing methods - and only uses sustainably sourced linen and cotton blend fabrics which are chosen for their biodegradability.”

What are your favourite parts of the design?
Nasia: For me, it’s the combination of the clean, elegant silhouette of the chair paired with the incredible comfort that the all-natural materials and craftsmanship provide. I love the juxtaposition of the geometric pattern of Pomily’s fabric combined with the scalloped skirt and the effortless feel of the loose cover.

Jules: I am pretty obsessed with the fabric-covered buttons down the back of the design! It reminds me of how beautiful ball gowns have been fastened for centuries and really elevates the design. I love how Lorfords Contemporary chose to make a feature of them and mix up the colours - just brilliant.

Final question: why is it called The Hendal?

Jules: The Haines studio is based on Hendal Farm in Kent, where we rent a beautiful converted barn between a pond and a large field. As the place where we first started, it seemed a fitting name for our first furniture design.