Ladder Back Dining Chairs with Rush Seats
Ladder back dining chairs with rush seats are a popular design for those who want a natural, unadorned even old-fashioned dining room. With its high back that resembles the rungs on a ladder, its legs crafted from wood, and its natural seats made out of woven reeds, the design evokes the early days of American history.
Ladder-back chairs were commonplace in colonial America. Their simple design was easy for furniture makers to design with native woods. Reeds were easy to find in marshes and woods nearby. For its place in the history of American furniture making, the ladder-back dining chair with a rush seat is an iconic symbol of colonial American design that has endured until today.
With their natural materials and clean lines, ladder-back chairs can pair well with contemporary dining rooms as well as colonial-themed ones. They make a fine choice for a dining space with casual country décor. Surrounding a rugged farmhouse table, ladder-back chairs create a cozy nook for dining and conversation.
While authentic colonial ladder-back chairs are rarely found outside of museums, there are reproductions from the 19th and 20th Centuries still available in antique shops and occasionally, in flea markets. Contemporary reproductions both finished and unfinished abound in furniture stores.
20th Century and later reproductions often feature synthetic rush, which uses a heavy version of the paper used to make paper grocery bags create paper. While natural rush often gets dry and brittle, rush made from heavy brown craft paper does not and often lasts longer than the real deal.
To care for synthetic rush seats, furniture makers advise homeowners to spray them with several coats of fabric stain repellent. After the initial treatments, a thorough going-over with a vacuum cleaner once a month is about all that is needed. A damp cloth can clean away any spills that the vacuum cleaner cannot catch.
Homeowners that have vintage ladder back dining chairs with rush seats July, at some point, need to get their treasures re-rushed. It is an expensive process, but well-worth the effort in maintaining these American classic dining chairs.