The famous Italian furniture company, Zanotta, was the birthplace of the bean bag chair. Three furniture designers, Piero Gatti, Franco Teodora and Cesare Paolini are said to have developed the beanbag chair almost as an afterthought. As one story goes, a company that produced Styrofoam took some left over pieces and placed the material in a bag. Like many Italian companies, the Zanotta Company grew out of the ashes of Europe after World War Two. Known for modern and some would say avant garde designs, Zanotta became world famous for its award winning designs. It is against this backdrop that the bean bag chair was developed.
Zanotta developed what they called the Sacco chair, releasing it to the market in Nineteen Sixty Nine. With its unmistakable teardrop shape, the Sacco chair was not an immediate hit. The company was said to be plagued with production difficulties but these were overcome and the Sacco chair made its way to America. Like so many quirky products that came before, the bean bag chair was thought to be a fad at first. And like so many products that were considered a one time wonder, the bean bag chair has gone on to be one of the most iconic pieces of furniture in modern history.
As with almost any popular product, there eventually comes a flood of copycat products. Often, the copycat versions are of a lower quality, though the price may be right. The combination of low quality and low price often spurs people to take get in on a trend or fad. Early copycat bean bag chairs were prone to fail with consequences that ranged from the annoying to the dangerous.
Most early bean bags were stuffed using very small beads that were made from polystyrene. The beads were very reactive to sources of static electricity and would stick to almost any surface. If the bean bag was to rupture, the result was a storm of tiny foam pellets. Family pets and small children were particularly at risk since the tiny plastic pellets posed a serious inhalation hazard. The small plastic pellets could easily become stuck in the throat, sinuses and the lungs.
Considering the enormous potential for injury and even death, bean bag chairs have been redesigned. In the old days, the polystyrene beads would be placed inside the outer cover. The stuffing material is now encased in a separate bag, thus reducing the chances or the stuffing being released. In another significant change, the many manufacturers have taken other steps to reduce or eliminate accidental inhalation. Switching from tiny polystyrene beads to larger pieces of polystyrene keeps the chair comfortable to sit in but greater reduces the danger from inhalation.
The tiny beads did serve as a way for the chair to mold itself around the user. This was a selling point for early bean bag chairs. Simply making the polystyrene pieces larger did no result in the same feel as early chairs. To compensate, pieces of shredded foam rubber are mixed with the polystyrene. The foam rubber helps in molding the chair to the user while the polystyrene provides support.
While the 1970’s were considered primetime for the humble beanbag chair, the bean bag chair has kept a steady base of fans. The popularity of retro jewelry, furniture and clothing has breathed new live into bean bag chair sales. With new materials and improved construction, today’s bean bag chairs are more comfortable and more durable than ever.
The original bean bag chairs designs from Zanotta had a teardrop shape. The narrow end of the chair was intended to support the head and neck. Many of today’s bean bag chairs typically have a rounder shape that places less emphasis on supporting the upper body. Size seems to matter when it comes to beanbag chairs and modern chair designs place a greater emphasis on a larger chair, rounder chair. Even from the early days of the bean bag, oversized or jumbo size bean bag chairs were very popular, and remain so today. Measuring some 50 inches across, oversize and jumbo size bean bags give the user room to relax.
From Sports to Kids, Beanbag Chairs Strike a Theme
If you have a favorite sports teams, there is a beanbag just for you. Sports and college themed bean bag chairs are the perfect furniture item for the den or the man cave. Quality sports and college bean bags can be found in a wide variety of sizes and fabric choices. Kid’s bean bag chairs are the perfect furniture accent for a child’s playroom or bedroom.
Durable and stylish beans bag chairs can be had in fun fabrics like denim blue, faux fur and animal prints. At Bean Bag Chairs.com there is a bean bag chair perfect for any room or decorating theme. Sportsmen and hunters will really appreciate the look of camouflage bean bag chair. From the greens of the forest to hot lime and red, camouflage bean bag chairs are the perfect gift for the outdoors person in your family.
Sports fans all have their favorite teams. From baseball, football, soccer and other popular sports, there is a quality bean bag chair guaranteed to please the sports fan. Fan can choose from a wide selection of sports team bean bags. Pro teams, college teams even NASCAR racing bean bag chairs are the perfect accessory for the den, family room, or man cave.