Old Orcadian Design

Our chairs are based on an old Orcadian design which Jackie and his master joiners have sympathetically developed over the years to create the Scapa Crafts signature style.

The Wooden Frame

The beautiful wooden frames used for our Orkney chairs are all handmade by highly skilled local craftsmen, using only the finest quality hardwoods and carefully selected local driftwood.

Frames take a least a week to create in a process that involves the fitting together of over 30 different pieces of wood, all with handcrafted dovetailed joints.

Each frame is then meticulously sanded to ensure the smoothest of finishes, before being treated with natural oils and waxes to bring out the colours of the woods.

Orkney-Grown Oat Straw

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The straw work for all our chairs begins with the harvesting of Orkney-grown oat straw using a traditional binder or scythe. These methods and tools ensure the straw stalks remain as long and unbroken as possible.

Once cut, the straw is painstakingly cleaned by hand, usually by Marlene, and often with the help of her grandson, Magnus.

It takes 12 hours to clean the three to four sheaves required for a straw back chair, and 24 hours to clean the seven to eight sheaves needed for a chair with a hood.

Hand Stitching

The prepared straw is then handstitched to the wooden frame, a highly skilled task that takes around two weeks to complete. A typical chair will require over 200 precise stitches.