HIGH POINT, N.C. -- The fur was flying -- actually wool-- during the High Point Furniture Market last month. But it was the furniture, not the people getting fleeced, as the shaggy stuff showed up on chairs, stools and benches to the delight of hard-core, dyed-in-the-wool designers, retailers and manufacturers.
"I love these pieces. They have been really popular," said Zack Taylor, president of Wesley Hall.
The company had three-legged stools topped with Mongolian lamb's wool patterned on a turn-of-the-century milking stool.
"The fur is upholstered much in the same way as leather, and in terms of clean-ability, soap, water and or scissors can remedy any issue," he said.
Similar little stools were popping up like hairy mushrooms over the 11 million square feet of showroom space. Hancock & Moore's DaVinci stool in new "Groovy" leather with Mongolian goat trim and French-turned legs is available now as are Bontempi Casa's stools with brightly dyed wool seats on rustic wood legs.
Emporium Home, meanwhile, went for sophistication with a gold-toned metal base topped with black or white wool seats. Furry ottomans were also spotted in the Bernhardt Furniture and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams showrooms. Bernhardt's Pisa ottoman from the Interiors line is done in a gray faux fur with black tips or a snow white version. MG+BW didn't stop with their fluffy Miss Muffet Tuffets. They also showed the shearling Mary chair, the Ansel chair with Tibetan wool, and the Kira cocktail-style ottoman with Lucite legs and Tibetan wool top.
Even more chairs with Mongolian sheep hair-on-hyde upholstery will soon to be warming up interiors, thanks to Massoud and C.R. Laine. Both companies embraced this versatile textile. C.R. Laine's Chai dining chair has wool on the back of the chair that faces the room, and Massoud covered a classical frame in so much sheepskin it could be mistaken for a seated yeti. They also offer a bench and ottoman.
Lee Industries was less flamboyant, offering a cozy shearling chair in chocolate or vanilla. Like the others, it's easier to care for than a pet. You can cuddle up until the cows come home.