A furniture factory opened in 1861 by Michael Thonet in Bystřice pod Hostýnem, in what is now known as the Czech Republic. A factory among the oldest in the world, surrounded by thick beech woods that provide all the material needed for the creations by Ton.
A brand that is among the oldest manufacturers of bentwood furniture in the world and that for generations have been combining the quality of wood working artisanal tradition with the most innovative forms and techniques.
The Thonet family wuns a brand with a long history; it is not just a manufacturing company of wooden furniture, but it is a real family composed of the owners and over two thousand employees specialized in the different working phases.
It's interesting how the Thonet took care of their employees and over the years have build a real town around their factory: kindergartens, vocational schools to learn the art of woodworking, houses for workers and so on. And they have also contributed to the construction of a railroad and even a casino.
A place where woodwork is part of the general culture of the people who have developed it over the years, mixing it with the technologies and innovations typical of contemporary design.
Over the decades, the history of TON has gone through many evolutions and changes; after the end of World War II, which heavily affected world economy, the company merged with the company Kohn-Mundus, changing its name into "Thonet-Mundus". After the transformation of the political situation in the Czech Republic, in 1989 the organizational structure became a public company. Since 1994, TON becomes a joint stock company that exports its creations in over sixty countries around the world.
Every product that leaves the TON factory, is first subjected to strict quality and safety controls, in accordance with the European standards relating to household furniture.
All the products included in TON's collection meet the specific requirements and needs of its final users. In fact, TON produces with the people and for the people, and its business philosophy is based on a fair quality / price ratio.
Through the use of steam bending techniques, developed by company's founder Michael Thonet, the skilled artisans of TON manage to transform solid wood and beech plywood, into furnishings with a timeless charm.
The Natural Chair 18 was introduced on the market in 1876. Its contemporary form today with the hand-curved seatback characterized by a light sinuosity, aligned with the circular seat and the slightly flared legs.
Those who love the retro style of a simple and essential mood, cannot resist Ironic, an essential chair, with a seatback composed of hand-sanded vertical bars.
When quality, artisanal tradition and design meet, they create timeless masterpieces such as the seats and tables by TON.
The long processing times of raw materials reflect the attention to detail that this company puts in each of its creations. The first phase of the process, in which the wood is subjected to a certain humidity temperature to be curved and then dried in shape, lasts about three months (the duration depends on the properties of the material and the type of processing). We are not talking about industrial-scale production: the artisans involved in the bending of wooden rods need about a year to learn this technique.
The entrepreneur Michael Thonet was able to start production of wonderful furniture accessories for interior decoration, using a worldwide renowned material, easy to work and easy to carry. In the late 1800s, he had managed to do what the designers of the contemporary world dream of.
Each component of TON's seats comes from a block of wood (or to better say, many seats can originate from a single block of wood). The continuous search for design and saving of natural resources, brings TON designers to study the composition of seats using the less amount of material possible.
Because of the fact that TON's chairs have only six components, they use to say that the company was able to put in a box measuring one cubic meter, no less than 36 seats (disassembled) with screws included, so that they were able to send their works around the world at the lowest possible cost.
A style that mixes architecture and industry, thanks to the collaboration with the great contemporary designers. Among the oldest but most appealing collaborations there is those with masters such as Mies Van Der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Le Corbusier, that shifted the focus of the brand from the production of wooden objects to the use of more modern curved steel rod.
The synergy between tradition and modernity continues still roday: E-ggs Studio, Yonoh, Arik Levy, Kai Stania, Lime Studio, Alex Gufler, Eugenia Minerva, Lounge Designgroup, Michal Riabic and Tom Kelly are some of the brilliant designers who collaborate with TON for the creation of its iconic chairs and tables.
Almost two hundred years of history that for some people has marked the evolution of design being a pioneer of modern style, revolutionizing the classic shapes of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century furniture.
The cabinetmaker Michael Thonet is also given credit for having developed a new technique of wood processing; he tested a wood bending process that does not involve glues or invasive methods, but only tanks filled with water steam in which the wood was immersed and then dried.
The icon of the Ton brand is undoubtedly the n.14, also known as "Vienna straw chair" (because it was conceived by Michael Thonet during his stay in Vienna). Soon it has become a real symbol of Viennese cafés.
Obviously, TON's production is not limited to seats, but today the brand continues to combine tradition and design creating new furnishing accessories such as chairs, tables, lamps and even home office items.