Who we are
Chair manufacturer De Zetel from Ardooie has accumulated a rich history since its establishment in 1923. The common theme in this family tradition is that De Zetel has always produced solid wooden tables and chairs in European beech and oak.
De Zetel is synonymous with craftsmanship, craftsmanship varnished with a layer of innovation. Wooden tables and chairs, sanded to perfection and polished with year-long expertise.
De Zetel’s striving for quality, combined with a constant urge for innovation, is quite clearly present in all the products manufactured by the company. From design to final result: designed by craftsmen in order to be created by craftsmen.
De Zetel started out as a small furniture manufacturer in 1923. Today the family company is led by Geert Behaegel and the next generation is waiting in the wings to take over and lead the company into the next stages of the family history.
Cyriel Behaegel, furniture maker, laid down the foundation stones for the company in 1923. He has only one aim: to create a chair which is as comfortable as an armchair. Hence the name ‘De Zetel’ which means ‘Armchair’ in English.
In 1951 Cyriel’s two sons took over the company and started manufacturing church and kitchen chairs as well as chairs for furniture manufacturers.
From 1960 to1980 De Zetel was bursting at the seams and Geert Behaegel joined the company in 1975. Geert is still at the helm of the company today and he does this with great verve. As a leading furniture manufacturer De Zetel stands for timeless design, sustainable enterprising and comfortable seating comfort.
Even though wood was threatened for a while by cheaper materials such as aluminium or plastic, and of course also the financial crisis, it is now ready for a resurrection. In 2012 De Zetel launched ‘Z-Creations’, a fresh and trendy collection designed in cooperation with various creative talents.
De Zetel puts great store by innovation and this can be seen clearly in the production as well as the collections. De Zetel keeps up with the times, in all areas. The next generation of the Behaegel family, David Behaegel, is ready to show the company a new era. An era where innovation, craftsmanship, sustainability and open communication will take centre stage.
Everything starts with purchasing quality raw materials. Only the best wood is purchased and, once on the premises, is checked again for good quality.
Every model is built in the model shop first before it is taken into production. This way De Zetel is able to think along with its customer and this allows them to offer tailor-made solutions. De Zetel’s own drying chambers ensure that the wood is prepared perfectly before it is handed over to production. Drying is an art which must be mastered and that is why De Zetel opts to dry the wood themselves.
Bending the wood is also done in-house. De Zetel produces quite a variety of chairs and consequently there will be different ways of bending the wood to meet that variety. A deep bend is done by means of steam, a more shallow bend is created with electrical currents.
Bending with steam is done in a steel steam generator. The humidity in the wood is increased making it pliable. High frequency bending is done by electric currents which are sent through a metal structure into a wooden mould.
After bending the wood undergoes various treatments using our machinery. From planing to sanding and calibrating. One of the major trumps of De Zetel is the perfection of their dowel pin-hole connection. The dowel machine and the drilling machine ensure that all the parts of the chair fit seamlessly together.
What’s more, De Zetel’s perfect dowel pin-hole connection guarantees a rarely seen sturdiness. The CNC machine for its part ensures that difficult processes can be executed efficiently.
Next, the chairs are glued and upholstered. The finish is done in the spray booth where chairs are treated with water-based colour and varnish. De Zetel was a pioneer in the area of hydro-finish and by doing this among others shows how much we care for the environment.
The assembly as well as the final finishing touches are subjected to various checks which ensure De Zetel can deliver optimal quality … without exception!
De Zetel has its own service department which ensures everything is kept in-house and we can react quickly in case any defects or problems arise.
Durability is engrained in De Zetel’s DNA. The family company and its 80 employees do not think of durability as a passing trend but as a precondition for success and social acceptance. Respect for products and for people is self-evident for De Zetel. De Zetel’s year-long experience is not what counts, but it is the durability of the wooden furniture produced by the company that is of paramount importance.
• The production unit and offices are heated exclusively with recycled wood waste
• Spraying is done using water-based varnishes and stains reducing toxic emissions to a negligible minimum.
• Wood shavings, plastic, cardboard and metal are always recycled separately.
• The glue is free from formaldehyde.
• Honest energy is generated by the photovoltaic cells on the company roof.
• Our collection contains a.o. FSC and PEFC certified products showing our contribution to sustainable forestry.
All these measures ensure that De Zetel’s ecological footprint is reduced to a minimum.