Poltrona Frau: When Furniture Becomes Art

Mary Elizabeth Collins

Their leather designs for home and office furniture are admired throughout the world.


Poltrona Frau is an Italian design firm—based in Turin—that has become a benchmark in the international high-end furniture arena. Renzo Frau—born in Corsica—created this company in 1912 focusing in furnishings with refined aesthetics and attention to details. The label’s fundamental concept—a rational design with high-quality materials for extreme comfort—has been essential to uphold the enormous appeal and legendary status this Italian firm has achieved.

Poltrona Frau’s leather designs for home and office furniture, as well as their work for luxury car interiors, are admired throughout the world.

The company uses a 21-step leather tanning process, compared to the 12 or 15 steps usually required to maintain a comprehensive quality standard. Also, skilled craftsmen make —by hand—95% percent of all the work employed in each chair, sofa, bed or leather piece.

The result is high-end products that please the most demanding customers. Moreover, the company’s designers—which include masters of the caliber of Paolo Pininfarina, Patrick Norguet, Peter Marino or Neslihan Isik—have created a series of pieces that anyone art lover will fully appreciate.

Poltrona Frau has produced such distinguished pieces as the Aida chair, evoking the corolla of a flower, and has become an iconographic reference of the 1950s; or the unforgettable two-seater sofa Dezza—designed in 1965 by the great Gio Ponti— which has stood the test of time for its remarkable taste.

The Ego-Meeting model—by Paolo Pininfarina—is a soft geometric leather chair, with a strong stage presence in the workplace. The chair base comes with four unexposed castors, and the upholstery is available in all shades from the Pelle Frau ® leather color system.

And of course, one of the most relevant pieces of the Poltrona Frau collection is the iconic New Deal Armchair, a re-edition of Renzo Frau’s Classic 904 model designed in 1930. This great armchair has a beech wood structure, a seat cushion stuffed with goose down feathers and Pell Frau Leather upholstery. Timeless elegance and absolute comfort.

Poltrona Frau is quite discerning when selecting the hides that would be used in their products. The company only chooses livestock from Europe because—according to its directors—those cattle have a more peaceful and tranquil life. Thus, their coats are smoother and have fewer scars.

The company’s factory is located in Tolentino, eastern Italy, and employs experienced craftsmen. They build furniture as well as industrial fixtures, cars seats for Ferraris or Maseratis, and first class plane seats for companies such as Japan Airlines, Etihad, and Singapore Airlines.

Poltroon Frau has come a long way since 1912 and—more than a hundred years later—its proven record of quality has become the pinnacle and prestige in the field handcrafted leather furniture “Made in Italy.”

Images by Poltrona Frau

© | 2019