Gemla Fabrikers AB
Passing through the beech forests and the small village of Diö by the river Helgeå, you will not only find Sweden’s oldest furniture
manufacturer, Gemla Fabrikers, founded in 1861. You will also encounter a curiously rich history, characterized by inventiveness
as well as stubborness, said to be typical of the region of Småland.
In the 19th century, craftsmen from Bohemia arrived in Diö, bringing the know-how and experience from Thonet’s factories
with them. Thereby, they were the first in Sweden to introduce the art of shaping wood, to make Vienna furniture. These craftsmen
did indeed lay the foundation of this art, which has developed ever since here at Gemla.
Throughout the years we have been through factory fires and changes of ownership, as well as several alterations in direction
and production. We have tamed the wood, shaping it into beautiful chairs, cinema arm chairs and even hockey sticks and tennis rackets. We have
quite simply developed and refined this technique, which we are now the only ones to master in the whole of Sweden.
If you visit us at Gemla Fabrikers, chances are you will bump into a renowned designer or students from the College of Arts, engaged in a vivid discussion with our craftsmen and women. Collaborating and developing the art of shaping wood has always been a tradition at Gemla.Through the years, we have collaborated with ambitious and innovatory architects and designers, ranging from Carl Bergsten,Gunnar Asplund, Uno Åhren, Sigurd Lewerentz,Yngve Ekström, and Peter Celsing to Jonas Bohlin and Mats Theselius as well as FRONT and Lisa Hilland.
It is quite probable that you have sat on a chair from Gemla, without knowing it. Ever before the Swedish gastronome, Tore Wretman, chose Gemla to furnish his famous restaurant Operakällaren in Stockholm, many leading restaurants and cafés in Sweden have followed suit. All around the world, people are sitting on chairs from Gemla; at embassies, in churches, dining halls and hotels as well as at the Swedish Parliament.
Many customers come back, fifty years or later, to have their furniture carefully restored, giving them a new life. This dedication to our chairs pretty much sums up our values – sustainable quality thanks to beautiful, timeless design, durable construction and quality materials. Quite simply, a unique and sustainable craft.
We are picky when it comes to our choice of wood. We only work with certified beech and ash, and only the finest specimens pass our critical eyes. After cutting and working the wood, we can start taming it. First the wood is steamed for between six and twelve hours, to make it soft and flexible. We then shape the wood by hand and then insert it into special metal frames, a craft that requires both experience, patience and strong hands. The wood is left to dry for days before we again work it by hand to make it rounded and soft. This shaping technique enables light, strong and extremely durable chairs.
Each chair that leaves Gemla has been in the hands of dedicated craftsmen and women for hours, days and sometimes even weeks. They scrutinize every step of the production before there is a final check and each chair is labeled with a date and Gemla.Some chairs are dressed in naturally tanned leather or textile. These chairs are padded using natural materials like hairlok, a mixture of animal hair and natural latex, as well as wool felt, but never polyether which we have excluded entirely.
Environmentally friendly materials age beautifully and well. That way our furniture can be used and appreciated again and again, one generation after the other. That is our way of paying respect to our planet and to our environment.
At Gemla craftsmanship, attention to details and natural, durable, solid materials have been a given the last 160 years.
We simply love working with products and material that age beautifully.
Wood from certified forestry and only natural upholstery. Vegatably tanned leather instead of chrome tanned
is for us the first choice.
We believe in products that are long lasting and can be passed on, from generation to generation.
Therefor we proudly stamp production date under the seat of every chair after final inspection.
An important part of Gemla’s business is giving service and restoration to chairs once sold by us.
We regularly get chairs, produced 50 or more years ago, back for care and repair. Bringing them into a second life cycle.
This is our way of caring for our planet and the environment.
Are you curious to learn more about our Sustainabilty work?
Give us a call or send us an email.
Do your Gemla chairs look a little tired and faded? We can renovate them in several different ways.
Do you need the chairs to use while we renovate them? No problem - we have loan chairs availible to you.
We collect, renovate and then return your chairs.
Contact us for more information on how it all workd or if you want more information about our renovations.
More info can be found here!
or call +46 70 439 09 90