The Parts of a Chair (Dining, Desk and Armchair Diagrams)

This is really cool. We created 3 custom diagrams illustrating the different parts of a chair; 3 types of chairs in fact - dining, desk chair and armchair.
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There are many different types of chairs. Some chairs are more complex than others.

Take a look below. The desk chair is mechanically complex compared to other chairs. The dining chair is simple. The armchair is more complex in terms of style and construction.

Since not all chairs are the same, our parts of a chair includes 3 custom diagrams setting out the anatomies of a desk chair, dining chair and armchair.

Parts of a Desk Chair

The anatomy of a desk chair is comprised of two parts.  There’s the seat portion of the chair (upper illustration below) and then the base (lower illustration below).

Diagram illustrating the different parts of a desk chair

The Seat Portion

  • Backrest:  Supports your back while seated.
  • Headrest:  The upper part of a taller desk chair to support your head.
  • Armrest cushion:  Cushioning on top of the arm.  Not all desk chairs offer this.
  • Arm:  A place to rest arms.  Some offer adjustable arms.
  • Seat:  Where you sit.  Usually cushioned.
  • Seat tilt adjuster:  Lock the chair back into place or enable chair to tilt back.
  • Seat tilt tension control:  Adjusts the ease of which the seat back tilts.
  • Base:  Usually a spider web like base with multiple prongs for stability much like a pedestal.
  • Casters:  Wheels.

The Base

  • Arm:  The piece that secures the base to the bottom of the seat.
  • Pneumatic Cylinder:  Enables chair to adjust upward and downward.
  • Spindle:  Attaches pneumatic cylinder to base.
  • Swivel:  Enables chair to spin 360°.

Parts of a Dining Chair

The anatomy of a dining chair is fairly straight forward.  Some designs may be a tad more complex such as including arms, but generally it’s a simple chair design.

Parts of a dining chair (diagram)

  • Top rail: Upper rail of back support and ties stiles together.
  • Cross rail:  Midway rail for back and stile support.  Some dining chairs have more than one cross rail.  See our many types of chair backs diagrams here.
  • Ear:  The tip of the stile above the top rail.
  • Stile:  Vertical support pieces usually extensions of the rear legs.
  • Seat:  Where you sit.
  • Apron:  Front bracing piece that supports the seat and ties front legs together.
  • Legs:  Supports the seat.
  • Spindle:  Helps tie legs together for additional structural integrity.

Parts of an Armchair

The armchair is more difficult to design and construct.  There’s an underlying frame, upholstery, legs, arms, cushioning and outer fabric.  See all the parts below.

Anatomy of an armchair (Diagram)

  • Backrest: Portion that you lean against.  Without it, it’s not comfortable.
  • Seat cushion:  Soft material for the seat for added comfort.
  • Legs:  Supports chair and keeps it slightly elevated above the ground.  See our types of furniture legs here.
  • The frame:  This is the most complex portion of an armchair which dictates structure, durability and design.
  • Top back rail:  Ties the back into the side rails.
  • Back stretcher post: Akin to the dining chair stiles.
  • Top arm rail: The frame portion of the chair arm.
  • Side rail: Side of the chair frame.
  • Front rail: Front frame.









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