Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hickory bark vs. Danish cord -- what do you think looks better?

As you might recall, I'm building two chairs this semester (scroll down a couple of blogs to see a pic or click here and go to the bottom.)

The process is coming along and I'm now working on connecting the glued-up fronts and backs of the chairs, with seat rails and stretchers. This is what they currently look like:
I'm starting to think about the type of seat material I want to use, and I'm looking at two main options: Danish cord and hickory bark, and I need your input.

Danish cord is a paper based product used in many Danish or Scandinavian chair designs. It's durable and sustainable and has a low-key, subtle look that draws attention to the furniture, not the seat.

Hickory bark (also called 'splint') is also sustainable, subtle, and arguably could better compliment the wood of the chair frame, since it is also made from wood. It is typically used on 'country chairs' in the Shaker, or Windsor style but also occasionally in Danish-type designs - though not commonly.

I like them both. Ben, a second-year student who built the Vidar chairs last year, used Danish cord and it looks great. I'm considering hickory because it's a small way to put my fingerprint on the design and make it my own.

One other thing to consider: Ben's chairs are oak, which is quite brown, and he used white Danish cord. My chairs are ash, which is much lighter than oak, and the splint would be brown, which would mean the colour scheme from Ben's chairs would be reversed on mine. Which could be kind of cool.

Enough talk, here are the options. Would love your feedback!

Here is Danish cord on a chair by Caleb James (
Here is a stool with hickory splint seat by Brian Boggs (


  1. I vote for hickory split - looks rustic for sure, but lovely and shows such workmanship!

  2. Danish cord. Brent also votes danish cord. So do Violet & Zooey.