My usual enthusiasm for Ikea products took a major dent this week. The Lillhojden Office chair, in my Bangkok office has started falling into pieces in a rather mysterious way! I've had this chair for a couple of years, so its out of warranty, but I'm much more concerned with the way its decaying.
Removing the cover reveals the cushions. The back cushion is covered with a sort of paper, and that paper has become all brittle and is completely flaking away front and back of this cushion. I thought it might be some sort of fungus or rot in the paper itself. Except this rot is rather selective!
The underside of the seat of the chair also appears to be covered in a black version of this paper, and that is breaking up too. But the seat cushion, again covered in the same paper, has no damage at all!
[Added, see the microscope result]
There's no sign of insects, no insect fess, no eggs. I'm not here often and so this chair hardly gets use. Perhaps its the climate coupled to a bad batch of paper, my office is normally empty, this chair sits in 35+ degree heat, without air conditioning and rainy season humidity might be enough to kill chairs like this.
Or perhaps its something more like a mite or insect, too small to see, that likes some of the paper covering but not other parts of it.
Ikea use this form of manufacture for a lot of their products, a lot of cushions are covered in this paper like material and I'm regretting buying their furniture. What if its all like this? I'd hate to have to throw the lot out it's hardly been used!
Even the top part of the back cushion is fine, it seems to be thicker than the rest, but its not showing any signs of decay at all. Same paper, in the same cushion, on the same chair, yet untouched.
It's time to buy a new toy, I've ordered one of these USB Microscopes, I plan to take a close look at the brittle paper that's flaked off the back cushion and see if its an insect.
We contacted Ikea for an explanation, but got a stock "out of warranty" style reply:
Regarding to this case items damaged after leaving the store all claims is not over 100 days refer to our condition. This items is over so sorry any inconvenience that have caused you.
We do hope that you will kind understand on the above.
Customer Relations IKEA Thailand