The Bean Bag: A Brief History

bean bag

The humble bean bag is one of those objects that does its job without begging for attention. It’s about fun and comfort more than design and luxury, right?

Not in our books! Here at Huxford Grove, we set out to design a bean bag that could do all of those things, but we wanted to turn it into your favourite piece of furniture in the house. Our mission was to make the bean bag a high quality, well-designed product that wasn’t just for the kids playroom or apartment living. Our bean bags are luxurious, high quality and of course, comfortable.

It’s where Huxford Grove started, but where and when did the bean bag itself come from? and How did it evolve to become the luxurious piece of Huxford Grove furniture it is today? Let’s step back in time and discover the origins of this unique, quirky, simple but ridiculously comfortable piece of furniture.

Believe it or not, the bean bag dates back thousands of years, but in a different form to the one we plonk our backsides on today. The Ancient Egyptians and Native Americans both used a small version of the bean bag for games and recreation. While in Ancient China bean bags were used to assist with Tai Chi, it’s also believed this is where the game of Hacky Sack originated.

The soft and comfortable chair we know today didn’t actually come into being until the 1960s. It’s hard to believe that a soft, shapeable chair filled with a cushy material wasn’t created before 1969. No, the bean bag was created in the time of Italian Radical Design by three fellows by the names of Piero Gatti, Cesare Paolini and Franco Theordore. They were inspired by piles of snow or volumes of water – substances that could take on new form based on pressure – to create a chair that would adapt to the world around it.

Coined the Sacco, the three inventors pitched their idea to Italian furniture company Zanotta and the rest, as they say, is history. The chair was an immediate success and was bought in the tens of thousands by a large US department store before it was even finalised.

So what does the bean bag look like in 2020? Until now, not much has changed about the humble bean bag. It’s soft and adaptable in shape and the outer material has also largely been made from synthetic fabrics since its inception.

Here at Huxford Grove, we decided it was time for a modern update. What better time to revolutionise the bean bag, than just after its 50th birthday? We’ve taken all of the original elements of the bean bag and made it a piece of comfort and luxury for the modern home. There aren’t too many materials as soft and luxurious as the sheepskin, so that’s where we started.

The best thing about sheepskin bean bags? They’re durable, they look great and they age gracefully. They are naturally stain and odour resistant making them easy to maintain. Sheepskin is an amazing insulator, so it not only keeps things cosy in winter, but cool in summer. On top of all that, it’s wonderfully soft and a delight to snuggle into.

Is it time you considered a bean bag for your home? Check out our range.

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