Everyone knows what hairpin legs are these days and, even if you don’t, the name is really suggestive so you can probably guess what it’s all about. But how did it all start? It’s a pretty interesting story actually and it starts in 1941. At that point, the war put a pressure on everyone, limiting the available materials which could be used when making furniture and other things. At that point, Henry P. Glass came up with an innovative design idea which allowed him to create a new type of furniture legs which required considerably less material than the traditional kind without interfering with the strength and durability of the piece.
This war-time invention was so incredibly practical that hairpin legs started being used on furniture pieces of all kinds. The name was coined after the original collection (American Way) was released. It was inspired by the shape of the steel wire legs and it became so catchy that everyone started to use it.
Hairpin legs are a wonderful example of a design that perfectly blends form and function. Although created from necessity, they created a trend and all the modern furniture pieces that feature them now use them because of their aesthetically pleasing design. We’ve left behind the practicality of the design and we embraced the beauty of the hairpin leg as we see it now.
Hairpin legs are commonly used on mid-century furniture pieces although their use is not limited to this category of products. A lot of contemporary furniture pieces use this element in their designs as a way to look chic, sleek and stylish.
The original series created by Henry Glass, which featured the hairpin legs, was coined the Hairpin Group and even though most of the products were released in limited numbers, their popularity grew and the name stuck. Hairpin legs are now widely used on pretty much everything from chairs, to tables, sofas, consoles and even decorative pieces.
Compared to traditional chair legs or to other types, the hairpin leg design is a much better choice if the goal is to make the piece more lightweight. Take these bar stools for example. They’re pretty sleek and elegant and they’re a good match for this solid kitchen island.
Looking at these chairs, there’s no better option for it than hairpin legs. They match the design of the seat and backrest perfectly. We imagine these chairs somewhere out in a garden or on a deck where they’d look stylish without standing out.
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