The folding chair is a type of seating that is collapsible and stored away with ease. A basic chair of this type is constructed with four legs, a seat, and a backrest. The components of folding chairs are assembled in a manner that allows the devices to be collapsed or folded into a flat position. The traditional folding chair is normally no more than three inches thick at the widest point. However, some modern variations may be at thick as six inches when in a folded position.
Folding chairs have been around for many centuries. While the exact date for the creation of the first chair of this type is lost to antiquity, there are examples of folding chairs that date back to the 17th century. The earliest versions of the chair were constructed with wood. By the 20th century, metal folding chairs had become increasingly common.
Most folding chairs retract with great ease. To fold the chair, the top of the back is gripped with one hand, while the outside edge of the seat is gripped with the opposite hand. Gently pulling the seat upward results in the legs folding together and the seat folding into the contours of the back.
While older versions of the chairs usually did not include any padding, modern versions of both metal and wooden folding chairs often include a thin pad on the seat and the back. The introduction of padding helped to make folding chairs more desirable to consumers, paving the way for folding chairs to begin making inroads into homes as well as public settings.
Today, folding chairs are found just about everywhere. Schools and houses of worship normally have a few folding chairs on hand for use when other seating is filled. In the home, padded folding chairs are often coupled with a padded table. The set of table and chairs can be stored in the closet and pulled out for use at holiday gatherings or for use while playing cards or board games.
Along with the wooden and metal versions, folding chairs today are also manufactured from hard resin plastics. These durable resin folding chairs are lightweight and ideal for use on a patio. In recent years, folding chairs constructed with a metal frame and canvas arms, backs, and seats have become popular to take along to outdoor events, such as concerts in a park or a family picnic.