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The most important thing to keep in mind while shopping for a folding director’s chair is the importance of quality materials and construction. A director’s chair is a very simple piece of furniture and, as a result of this, quality must be a key consideration, even more so than when purchasing other types of furniture. Considerations of size and comfort are also important when shopping for this type of chair, since a badly-built or incorrectly-sized director’s chair can be a very uncomfortable place to sit. The style and appearance of a folding director’s chair should also be considered, as should the availability of duplicate or replacement canvas covers.
A folding director’s chair is a very simple piece of furniture, with simple supports, hinges, and a fabric cover that provides seat and back support when the chair is folded open. The simplicity of these chairs means that a flaw in any element of the chair’s construction can cause the whole thing to break when used. If the chair’s frame is made of wood, then all the places where pieces join should be tightly fastened, ideally with both wood glue for strength and also some other fastener, usually metal, as a backup. The hinges of the chair should be of good quality and should be affixed solidly to the legs of the chair.
The fabric portions of a folding director’s chair should also be checked for quality. The stitching around the pockets that hold the back support posts in place should be tight, as should that on the seat of the chair. A loose thread end is acceptable, but stitching that is beginning to pull out is not. The fabric panels themselves should also be checked, to make sure that there are no weak points in the fabric. The heavy canvas normally used in these chairs is a very robust material, but flaws in the fabric can cause it to rip and fail.
Once durability and safety have been assured, comfort should be considered. Sitting in a folding director’s chair should feel natural and comfortable. If the chair feels narrow, or if any other part of the chair, perhaps a badly-designed support piece, comes unpleasantly into contact with the body, then a different chair should be considered. Size is usually the most important factor here.
Finally, issues of style should be addressed. The most important style element in a folding director’s chair is usually the design, if any, on the fabric panels. Some of these chairs may also feature ornamental woodwork, particularly on the sides of the chair, and this may be a factor for some shoppers. Some manufacturers also offer replacement fabric components, which can be used to replace fabric panels that have become faded, or that are not visually appealing, and this feature, too, may be of interest to some.
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