The Chiavari light chair, called chiavarina, was created in 1807, reworking some French chair designs, attributable to the Empire style.
The decorative aspect was simplified and the the structural elements reduced.

The chair was very successful, appreciated over time by important figures and artists. This led to many more factories being created in Chiavari,.

Its construction technique remained unchanged throughout history, requiring a perfect knowledge of the levers and the elasticity of the wood, as well as a long artisanal refining of each element. The assembly by hand, the use of cherry and beech essences, a long natural maturing and the Indian cane weaving of the seats are just some of the ingredients resulting in the uniqueness of these chairs.

The particular lightness is obtained through the structural sections: each component of the chair is carefully sized according to the specific type of stress being sustained.

The architect and designer Gio Ponti drew inspiration from the structural system of the Chiavari chair for his 1955 Superleggera chair.