Eames Soft Pad Chairs are the first and best high performance seating solution Posted January 27, 2015 by Daniel Ostroff

Eames Soft Pad Chairs were deliberately designed as a high-performance seating solution, and in our view, they are the best.  Charles and Ray Eames committed themselves to making real 3-D models of their design in order to maximize the performance aspect.

CE photographing Soft Pad Chair_diptych

The Eameses made their models in the same materials and at the same scale as their final designs. There was an enormous benefit to this commitment to modeling and much can be learned from creating something three-dimensional compared to creating sketches of designs.

Above are images of Charles photographing an Eames Soft Pad Chair model. We can see what he saw through the lens of his camera. The pillows of the chair model already appear to be sagging, even though they hadn’t been sat on very much.

Compare that to the production examples of the final designs, starting with the one pictured below in black leather.


The pillows don’t and won’t sag. In fact, we see many examples of Eames Soft Pad Chairs with their original upholstery that still look good today and that continue to provide excellent service ten, twenty, thirty, even forty years after purchase.

Below, see a detail shot of an Eames Soft Pad Chair that was used for 41 years at a busy bank in Columbus, Indiana (see additional views in the gallery below).


A lot of extra effort goes into each Eames Soft Pad Chair because Charles and Ray learned from modeling that they needed a more durable stitch on the pillows.

From their carefully constructed models, they learned what they needed to do to provide the best possible product.

The edge of each pillow has double-needle topstitching. This type of stitch takes twice as long to produce and involves two different sewing machines.


When stiffer leathers are specified, the process takes even longer. As time-consuming as it is to do double-needle topstitching in a straight line, the rounded square edges of each pillow take even more time and care.

This kind of detail is well worth the time and energy because it is meaningful to the consumer. It means each customer receives what the name “Eames” promises: A quality product that provides ultimate service and performance.

The Eames Soft Pad Chair is still manufactured today by Herman Miller and Vitra.