Designer Johan Lindstén’s Wild Take on Embroidery for Cappellini

The Swedish designer relied on old school handicraft methods to create an utterly unique new chair for the Italian furniture manufacturer.

Johan Lindsten Cappellini Chair
“The embroidery was the hardest part of the production,” says Lindstén. “We had to take this old technique and manufacture it with modern machinery. You can do small scenes, but to do something this big with rich colors, that was challenging.” Courtesy Cappellini

Ask Johan Lindstén and he’ll tell you: Embroidery has been relegated to the dusty shelves of resale shops for too long. Growing up in Sweden, Lindstén was surrounded by textiles painstakingly crafted by his grandmother, who could spend weeks working on a single piece.

His fascination with what he sees as an underappreciated artform inspired Lindstén’s Embroidered Chair collection for Cappellini in 2016. “There was a little bit of struggle with myself as a designer, because my role is to create new and interesting design all the time,” he says. “But also I find these old objects really beautiful.”

This past year, Lindstén worked with Cappellini’s art director, Giulio Cappellini, on a new iteration of the design—one upholstered in sumptuous purple velvet and emblazoned with the image of a leaping tiger. Updated with a swivel base and a fabric-covered back panel, the chair boasts contemporary air with a nod to the craft tradition.

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