Type of furniture made of wooden rods bent into shape after being heated with steam. The method was used on the 18th-century Windsor chair, but its principal exponent was Michael Thonet, who exploited its possibilities in the 1840s. His bentwood chairs are among the most successful examples of early mass-produced furniture. Bentwood is light, comfortable, and inexpensive, as well as strong and graceful.
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The process is still in widespread use for making casual and informal furniture of all types, particularly seating and table forms.
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