Djinn chairs and Sofas were
used in the Space Station V scenes in 2001. The furunituure was
commercially available at the time, being "Designer Furniture",
manufactured by Airborne in France. Unfortunately Airborne is
no longer in business. However, the good news is that the furniture
can be found. The bad news is that it is considered a "Mid
Century" collectible type furniture, hence the prices can
be rather high.
Contrary to what many have
believed, the Djinn Chairs and sofas used in 2001 were not red,
but rather a bright pink/magenta color. I had just purchased my
first Djinn, a two seater sofa, which was covered in pink fabric.
I was investigating materials to re-upholster it, and in fact
had purchased some red stretch fabric to recover the sofa to make
it match the ones used in 2001. At that time the, 70mm re-mastered
version of 2001 was released. Someone who saw it in the UK, commented
on the chairs as being pink, not red. This startled me. So I checked
some old images I had, an when they were color balanced to correct
the color shift, the images showed the chairs to be a pinkish
At that point, I decided not
to replace the fabric, but to clean and repair the damaged areas.
The color hue of the pink fabric changes drastically in different
lighting. In bright sunlight is looks magenta/pink. In fluorescent
lighting it looks bright pink. But in dim lighting it appears
red. Further checking of images from 2001 identified that the
built-in benches in the Space Station also used the same fabric.
The cushions of these benches,
which were made up of several cylindrical pads, were covered in
pink fabric as well. When you think about it, this makes sense
as the fabric on the chairs should match the fabric on the benches.
The first piece of Djinn furniture
I found was this two seater sofa. Although it is a sofa, it is
rather small. I found it in Canada and had it shipped home. The
customs agent kept asking how a "sofa" could only weigh
a few kilograms. I think he thought I was trying to bring something
different in to the country, so I ended up showing him a photo.
Fortunately he didn't ask why I wanted a pink sofa.
In these images you can see
the sagging foam padding under the fabric cover.
As can be seen in these images,
the foam rubber padding has deteriorated.
All of the old rubber was removed
and the frame cleaned. The Djinn furniture has a very simple structure,
consisting of formed steel tubing with elastic webbing that supports
the foam rubber padding. The seating webbing was tightened up.
The old foam rubber was used as patterns for the replacement padding.
The burlap was cleaned and reglued in place at the ends of the
sofa. Next the new foam padding was glued in place and the edges
of the two sides of foam padding glued to form the rounded flowing
contour which is characteristic of the Djinn furniture.
Here is what the sofa looks
like after restoration of the padding and prior to reinstallation
of the fabric cover.
The cover was washed and some
small holes repaired prior to reinstallation. Here's a photo of
the restored sofa and chair along with a table I made up to complete
a display. This image was taken prior setting up at the Playboy
Mansion for the Space Frontier Foundation's Arthur Clarke Gala.
I finally found a Djinn chair
to go with the sofa, however it was covered in a coarse blue/gray
fabric. So in addition to needing the foam rubber padding replaced,
the fabric cover needed to be replaced as well.
This particular chair did not
have a zipper in the cover, instead the fabric had been hand-stitched
After all the old foam rubber
was removed and the chair frame cleaned, the seating webbing was
The back rest webbing was made
of pure rubber straps and had petrified with age, so it needed
replacing. Identical webbing material could not be found, so a
wider elastic webbing similar to the type used on the seat area,
was used instead.
Then the new foam rubber was
attached to the frame and the edges seamed together.
A new cover was made to the
pattern of the original, using fabric which matched the sofa fabric.
I found another Djinn chair,
fortunately this one was in the pink fabric. The chairs are very
small and lend themselves to being shipped in a box as shown here.
This particular chair has the fabric covering in fair condition,
with only a few very small holes. The foam rubber will need replacing
as before. Some repair will be needed to the zipper, but having
the cover in the correct color saves a lot of work.
Restoration of this chair will
occur when I have some free time,....hopefully sometime before
the next ice age.