Woodworking was always a passion of Charles Mast and together with his wife Shirley they started the business.
Woodbender is a family-owned and run business started by the Mast family in 1988. Inspired by the old-world tradition of bending solid wood, we have spent the last three decades building specialised machinery and experimenting with different timbers and designs to create a comprehensive product range which includes dining chairs, kitchen and bar stools, pedestals, occasional chairs and two seaters as well as a small collection of children’s furniture.
Today, we are the preferred furniture supplier for many top South African brands. Woodbender is synonymous with high quality wooden furniture that is unique, durable, and comfortable. We pride ourselves in offering excellent value for both private and trade customers across South Africa and beyond.
Our People are the backbone to our business and comprises of our team of hardworking colleagues and our exceptional suppliers. Together, Woodbender is able to ensure a product and service that not only meets but exceeds our market’s expectations.
Our customers range from private homeowners to interior designers, architects, restaurants, franchise groups, hotels, casinos, hospitals, retirement villages, sports clubs, schools and so the list continues. They play an essential role in the creation of their product through their selection of timber finish and upholstery fabric.
Our team works closely with our customers to finalise their selections guaranteeing a product that is unique and perfectly suited to our customer’s needs.
Our Product is handcrafted in South Africa and has been designed to be hardwearing and durable without sacrificing on design finesse or character. Woodbender products offer the perfect balance of functionality and beauty.
Every item is individually handcrafted in solid wood and is sourced from sustainably certified forests.
Our range includes dining chairs, kitchen and bar stools, pedestals, occasional chairs and two seaters as well as a small collection of children’s furniture. Our product is made from solid bentwood components which ensures not only a unique product, but more importantly, a product that is superior in strength. As such, our products are perfect for the hospitality industry or the private homeowner who wants quality furniture that will stand the test of time. We offer a six-year structural guarantee on all our indoor furniture.
Woodbender makes use of a specialised manufacture process of steaming and bending solid timber. This technique has been refined and perfected over the years and is the key to the success of a Woodbender product.
Bending wood was first done by hand in the late 18th Century in Europe and was used for making sleighs, tools and later furniture. Today at Woodbender it is achieved through custom made machinery that is operated by skilled craftspeople. The bentwood components produced pass through a minimum of six departments within the factory before reaching quality control where they are packaged and prepared for local and international delivery.
We only manufacture to order which minimises the risk of wasting valuable resources. We are also committed to cross training our team and upskilling where possible. This sustainable approach to manufacture and team management is something we are proud of and continually develop.
The history of Woodbender spans three generations, over three decades. In 1988 a passion for woodwork, combined with a fascination with the art of bending wood sparked the beginning of an idea that would take the Mast family on a journey to growing a well-established and much-loved South African brand of furniture, synonymous with quality, durability, design and value.
We invite you to explore the Woodbender journey over the years.
Over the weekends his father John Mast would help out before later joining full time in 1991.
After 18 months they had learnt how to make all the bentwood components for their first bentwood “Café Chair.”
As demand and popularity grew they set up a stand at the local craft market in Somerset West.
The Captain’s Chair has had many design transformations over the years, leading up to the Captains Classic and Vogue.
The Classic Toddler’s Diner was first tried and tested by the Mast children and is still a popular high chair in restaurants and homes today.
The Durban Stools were first introduced and they have remained a timeless classic within the range.
Our first hydraulic woodbending machine was made by Charles Mast based on a sketch from a text book.
We moved into our current premises in Strand Industria where our factory and Helderberg showroom are based.
Our first children’s table and chair range was launched and quickly became popular in schools and homes nationwide.
Over the years Woodbender has exhibited at many different local tradeshows including Hostex and Decorex.
We decided to exclusively manufacture in sustainable Ash timber from FSC registered forests for our indoor furniture.
The Chopstix chair was one of the first custom designs we worked on for a new concept restaurant.
We launched our first website.
Our first international trade show as part of the South African Pavilion at the High Point Furniture Market, North Carolina, USA.
The Indaba range was first designed with matching bar stools and has always been a showcase of the beauty of bentwood.
We developed and grew our upholstery division and with that came the Arabella range.
The Morgan chairs have been a South African hotel and restaurant favourite for over 25 years.
We opened our first showroom at Peter Place in Johannesburg and started to expand our tabling range.
After 16 years John Mast retired but kept himself up to date and visited regularly.
The ever popular Salsa Stool was first introduced into the range.
Charles and Shirley Mast visited IMM Cologne for the first time. One of the largest tradeshows dedicated solely to furniture.
The Chelsea Showwood, which is Shirley Mast’s personal favourite chair, was launched along with the other Chelsea designs.
The Plettenberg case goods range was developed in response to the contemporary trend of sharp square lines.
The Kramerville showroom was opened and was our Gauteng location until 2017.
Woodbender celebrated 25 years with a staff celebration. By this time both Mast children were full time Woodbender employees.
Shirley and Emily Mast represented Woodbender at IMM Cologne furniture fair on the SIPPO pavilion.
The ever popular Karoo Nylon Strapping range expanded to include a bar stool, tub, two seater and ottoman.
Woodbender collaborated with designers on the new Mugg and Bean furniture. Woodbender has been the proud supplier of Mugg and Bean furniture since 1997.
Woodbender moved from Kramerville to Parkhurst and launched the award winning Riga and Alta chairs.
Celebrated 30 years of perfecting the art of solid bentwood.
We introduced the Kariba, Makuti and Calvin Chairs and Bar Stools to our range.
Woodbender celebrated 30 years of business, the Helderberg showroom was opened and Andy Mast became the General Manager.
We launched our updated Website.