Sit Back, Recline & Enjoy

If you are like most folks, the word "recliner" draws to mind a bulky, overstuffed behemoth of a chair in a den. Although this style is still available, upholstery manufacturers have come a long way with their designs. Today's recliners are elegant, sleek, and worth consideration as a seating solution for your home in Mexico.

I recently took a tour of the Palliser manufacturing plant in Saltillo, Mexico. Palliser is a leader in North America of recliner manufacturing as well as sofas, sectionals, sofa beds, and more. They have been in business for over 70 years, and today they distribute their products throughout Mexico, Canada, and the United States. As part of the tour, I saw the latest in recliners. Wow! What a change!

Before we get into what's new in this popular chair style, I thought you might be interested in a little history of how the recliner originated. There is early evidence of a leaning-type chair in our history, but the first real record of anyone using one dating back to mid eighteen hundred. We can thank the French for introducing a camp cot that served as a chair, bed, and chaise lounge. Napoleon III is said to have been one of the first owners of this multi-use piece of furniture. It had a steel frame and padded armrests. Quite luxurious for that era.

The next significant change was the replacement of wood for steel to make the chair lighter. Padding the back and seat also made it more comfortable. An interesting feature of recliners in this period was that they all had a document or book holder. (Today's recliners are not so different as ones of old. We still read in them, but now they have built-in chargers for our Kindles, laptops, and cell phones.)

At first, recliners were used primarily as a medical device. You would see them mostly in doctor and dentist offices. They were even quite popular in sanitariums for rest and recuperation!

Fast forward to 1930 in the United States. Two cousins patented a wood recliner with padded back and seat as well as its mechanism for movement. That patent led the formation of a company that is synonymous today with recliners. You got it – LazyBoy! (Since then, manufacturers have added more features including footrests, massaging options, power, heating, and more.)

Recliners hit their stride once TVs become ubiquitous in the home. The motion chair has become the place in the house to kick back, relax, and de-stress.

What has changed is the style. Today, people want the comfort of a recliner without sacrificing looks. As we walked down the production line, I was excited to see sleek, modern options. One would think they were just a gorgeous chair – definitely a far cry from the recliners of old. These designs are available in a myriad of cover options. You can get them in leather, fabric, or the new performance fabric which repels liquids and stains. Depending on your preference, there are a few options to consider. The basic, entry-level recliner is a two-position recliner. Also available at a lower price point is the push back recliner. This chair expands when you push down on the arms.

For those with smaller spaces, a wall-saver/hugger recliner is a great option. These are an excellent solution for studio and one-bedroom condo units. Some models are available as rockers, others as gliders.

In the past five years, there is a growing demand for recliners with a power option. Power recliners do not cost significantly more than regular recliners, so well worth the additional spend. Most power recliners come with a battery pack, so you do not have unsightly cords running across your floor to a wall socket. Charge up the battery pack, and it should last you 2 to 3 months of opens and closes. Since well-made recliners typically last 15 to 20 years, your knees and hips will do better with power than a regular recliner.

Recliners have become so popular. They are now considered a necessity in newly built movie theatres. I was amazed to see how many commercial recliners were being produced at the plant in Saltillo. If you are at a movie and sitting in a recliner, it is most likely one from Palliser.

If you come here to relax and recharge, don't rule out a recliner for your home in Mexico.

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