KGB Limited's Maxim Bench is a Lesson in Decadence with its Peacock Feather Upholstery

KGB Limited's Maxim Bench is a Lesson in Decadence with its Peacock Feather Upholstery

posted on 09/30/2013 by Grace Jeffers

KGB Limited, known for their use of stunning materials, has designed a new bench that is literally fit for the gods! The Maxim bench has a base of solid walnut and silicon bronze, and the seat can come upholstered in peacock feathers. 

Not fabric printed to look like peacock feathers, but actual peacock feathers!

KGB's Maxim Bench upholstered in peacock feathers.

Peacocks are a bird of myth and legend. The extravagant coloring and showy display of the male’s plumage alone make that fantastically clear. Karthikeya, the Hindu god of war, made his steed a peacock, and the feathers are also associated with Krishna. The “thousand eyes” of their feathers were said to be the gift of another Hindu god. Peacocks are the national bird of India, where they roam wild. In Sanskrit, the peacock is called Mayura, which means “killer of snakes”—since medieval times, eating peacock flesh was said to cure victims of venomous snake bites.

Peacock feathers are naturally iridescent. Iridescence is caused by multiple semi-transparent pigmented surfaces layered together, so that the eye sees to be different hues, depending on the viewing angle. The form of iridescence that peacock feathers have is called “structural coloration,” because the different layers of color are not just on the surface but take place in the microstructure of the feather—the feathers are technically pigmented brown, but their structure makes them also appear blue, purple and green to the human eye.

For centuries, making cloth from peacock feathers has been considered a traditional craft in northern India. Everything about the process is painstaking, from hand-collecting naturally shed feathers from wild peacocks, to tying the individual feathers into threads, to weaving the cloth on a large loom.

 The knots holding the 3-in. feathers together in long strands are carefully arranged on the “wrong” side of the fabric, leaving a lush, velvety iridescent surface, not dissimilar to chenille. It takes one person a full working day to create 12 inches of peacock feather fabric, making it among the most expensive fabrics one can buy.

Leave it to KGB Limited to show us materials in a way we never thought of before.