Bertoia Diamond Chair Cover

This is an entire post about a chair! I’ve wanted a vintage black and orange Bertoia diamond chair forever and it finally came to me on Craigslist. (If you can’t land a vintage one but want one of your own, they are still in production for so much money at Knoll, or several of companies sell reproductions.) The chairs are insanely elegant as is (my future architect is super interested in the bent square construction heart) but the covers, in orange especially, push them over the edge.
I think it will live right here by the fireplace in our family room (and maybe I will even track down a matching ottoman one of these days!?), but I need to address the cover first. The fabric is in stellar vintage condition. No rips or worn spots and only slight fading along the edges. The orange is vibrant and the texture is nubby. But there are some “vintage” cigarette smells and the interior foam is deteriorating, leaving lumps and dust. :(

I’ve never really had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a vintage cushion before and I naively hoped I could remove and replace the foam myself, clean the vintage cover, and be good as new. But upon closer inspection, that idea is wacko. It’s not like a giant pillow. The cover construction is much more advanced than I could ever replicate. The foam is cut and sewn in a 3D shape, and I believe spray adhesive was also employed so I don’t see how I could successfully remove the old foam, which throws quite the wrench in my uninformed plan.

I had a hard time finding detailed pictures of original covers, so in case any of you need some up close visuals of cushion construction, here you go. The front and back panels are sewn together and a channel runs the perimeter so that a piece of twine with hooks on the ends can hold the entire piece in place on the frame. string twine hooksI’m not sure where to head at this point. At minimum, I could use the chair without a full cover. Umm, see below (from Knoll)! Like I said, gorgeous as is. But the chairs are over the top striking and more comfy with upholstery. I had a few Instagram friends suggest an eBay seller (update: they sell on Etsy now!) that makes decent reproduction covers. Sounds like my best option, though I need a little time to stomach the unanticipated, though reasonable, costs. (UPDATE: I ORDERED A COVER FROM THAT SELLER! READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.)


7 thoughts on “Bertoia Diamond Chair Cover

  1. Wondering if you managed to solve the cover problem? I’m in a similar situation (Upholstery with a slight cigarette smell and crumbling foam). Knoll sells replacement covers but they are $700 each and I’m looking to avoid that cost…

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  2. How did you remove the cover? I’d like to remove mine to clean and put it back on after. I see the two hooks, but don’t see any easy way to remove them with how much tension is on them. Thanks!

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  3. Hi Jenny!
    Thanks for post! I cant afford covers and want to make my own pattern.
    I believe if you just fold your cover in half along the seem, (exposing hem or underside), and flatten out as much as possible this will provide your two basic shapes to be sewn togethor. I believe your body will contribute somewhat to moulding the cover to the chair but the most important element is the shape/curvature of that seemline!!
    If you could photograph the seemline I might be able to draft a pattern to update your post.
    😀

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  4. I just looked on ESTY and they have covers in many different colors for $279.00- just slip on. Probably not Knoll quality, but a bit less pricey. I have two chairs, so intend on purchasing a blue and a red. Will let you know how they look.

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