Launched six years after SCP began life, the Balzac was one of SCP’s first forays into upholstery making. The idea came from a desire to make an armchair that was both beautiful to look at and comfortable to sit in, a contemporary version of the classic English club chair. Working with a factory in Norfolk that SCP would later take over, getting the first prototype correct was a very lengthy process. Matthew Hilton’s design is full of curves and getting the details correct on the arms took nearly two years of development. This was done by using a decorative stitching detail, known as a saddle stitch, which is duplicated twice on each arm. Once this was done, the Balzac went into production, and twenty five years on, little has changed in how it’s made.
The only significant change has been the recent introduction of a version that is made with fully sustainable materials, as all SCP upholstery pieces are now made in this way. This slideshow presents all of the components and tools needed to make a sustainable Balzac armchair, and also shows the process itself.