When it comes to furniture making, the type of wood chosen plays a significant role in determining the price, durability, and overall aesthetic of the piece. African woods are a popular choice for furniture makers due to their unique qualities and availability in South Africa. Let’s explore the types of African woods commonly used in furniture making.
- African woods offer a range of qualities and aesthetics that make them popular choices for furniture making in South Africa.
- Pine, oak, kiaat, rubberwood, and mahogany are among the most commonly used African woods for furniture making, each with their own distinctive characteristics and uses.
- The choice of wood can greatly impact the price, durability, and overall aesthetic of a furniture piece.
Pine is one of the most commonly used woods in South Africa for furniture making. This soft wood is known for its light color, straight grain, and characteristic knots. It has a natural and country-style look that is perfect for creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in any home.
One of the best features of pine is its affordability, making it a popular choice among carpenters and consumers alike. Pine can also be easily customized with finishes such as whitening, painting, or oiling, adding yet another layer of versatility to this wood.
Pine is particularly popular for creating rustic or cottage-style furniture, but it can be used in a variety of styles depending on the finish and design.
While pine is a common choice, there are many other types of African woods used in furniture making, each with their own unique characteristics and applications. Oak, kiaat or African teak, rubberwood, and mahogany are just a few examples of the many options available.
Exotic African hardwoods are also highly valued for their durability, unique patterns, and versatility in furniture making. Zebrano, wenge, sapele, and iroko are some popular species of African hardwoods that are commonly used in high-end furniture.
Overall, there are many options when it comes to choosing the right type of wood for furniture making and interior design projects. Pine is just one of the many possibilities that South African carpenters and designers have at their disposal.
Oak is another widely used hardwood in furniture making. It comes in two varieties: white oak and red oak. Known for its durability and prominent grain, oak can be used for various styles of furniture, including English country designs, Gothic reproductions, traditional, and contemporary pieces. It is often combined with steel to give it an industrial look.
|– Durable||– Expensive compared to other types of African woods|
|– Prominent grain pattern||– Can be difficult to work with due to its density|
|– Accepts stains and finishes well||– Limited availability|
Due to its strength and durability, oak is a popular choice for furniture pieces that are subjected to heavy use, such as dining tables, chairs, and cabinets. Its unique grain pattern also makes it a desirable choice for statement pieces.
In terms of maintenance, oak furniture requires regular cleaning to maintain its appearance and prevent damage from moisture. Avoid using harsh cleaning products and abrasive materials, as these can scratch the wood surface. It is also recommended to polish oak furniture every few months to keep it looking its best.
Overall, oak is a reliable and attractive option for furniture making, although it may come with a higher price tag compared to other types of African woods. Its versatility and durability make it a popular choice for homeowners and interior designers alike.
Kiaat (African Teak)
Kiaat, also known as African Teak, is a highly praised wood for furniture making. This exotic African wood is found in several countries across the continent, including Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. It is known for its unique pattern and colours and is often used to make high-quality furniture with an attractive light brownish-yellow colour.
The brown heartwood of Kiaat is resistant to borers and termites, making it highly durable. It also has a pleasing spicy fragrance and polishes well. While it is one of the more expensive African hardwoods used in furniture making, its minimal swelling and shrinking make it a suitable choice for canoe building.
Because of its durability, Kiaat is often used for furniture that is meant to last for generations. Its unique pattern and texture add character to any piece of furniture, making it a popular choice for those who value both aesthetics and longevity. If you’re looking for a type of African wood that is both durable and beautiful, kiaat might be the perfect choice for you.
Rubberwood: A Sustainable and Stable Choice for Furniture Making
Rubberwood, obtained from the rubber tree, is a light-coloured tropical hardwood that has gained popularity in furniture making. It is considered an environmentally friendly wood as it makes use of plantation trees that have already served a useful function.
In addition to its eco-friendliness, rubberwood is stable and has very little shrinkage, making it a popular choice for furniture, toys, and kitchen accessories. Due to its neutral colour and grain pattern, it can be stained or painted to match various interior designs.
Rubberwood is also affordable and is often used in Scandinavian design, particularly for dining and coffee tables. Its durability and stability make it a suitable choice for high-quality furniture that can last for generations.
However, it is essential to note that rubberwood is not suitable for outdoor use as rain can leach the protective chemicals from the wood, exposing it to fungus and insect attacks.
When used indoors, rubberwood requires minimal maintenance, and regular cleaning with a damp cloth and mild detergent is sufficient. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can scratch or damage the surface.
In summary, rubberwood is a sustainable, stable, and affordable option for furniture making, particularly for indoor use. As a South African consumer, you can find furniture made from rubberwood at local furniture stores and support local artisans and businesses.
Mahogany is a tropical hardwood widely used in furniture making. As an indigenous African wood, it varies in quality and price, with different grades and species available. One of its most distinctive features is its reddish-brown color, which can be enhanced with staining.
Mahogany is a popular choice for crafting Georgian, Empire, and Victorian reproduction furniture due to its antique look, which adds character to pieces. In addition to this, it can display various patterns and figures, making each piece of furniture uniquely beautiful.
Other types of African hardwoods used in interior design include Sapele Mahogany, Iroko, Obeche, and Afromosia. Each of these woods has its own unique qualities and is used for a range of purposes, including paneling, furniture, flooring, and joinery.
When selecting African woods for interior design projects, it is important to choose sustainable options to ensure environmental responsibility.
Other African Woods
In addition to the aforementioned woods, there are several other African woods used in furniture making. Sapele Mahogany is a hardwood native to West Africa with a rich red-brown color and a fine texture. It is often used for paneling, furniture, and boat building. Iroko is another hardwood with a dark yellow-brown color and a coarse texture. It is commonly used for veneers, flooring, and high-quality joinery. Obeche is a light yellow hardwood with a dry open grain, primarily used for cabinet making. African Mahogany, with its red-brown color and coarser grain than Honduran Mahogany, is used for both interior and exterior joinery and veneers. Afromosia, also known as African Mahogany, has a golden brown color and an oily surface, making it suitable for high-quality joinery, furniture, and veneers. These African woods offer unique aesthetics and durability, making them popular choices for interior design projects.
Choosing the Right Wood for Your Furniture
When choosing the right wood for your furniture, there are several factors to consider, including price, durability, and the desired aesthetic. Different types of wood have their own unique characteristics that can enhance the overall look and feel of your furniture.
One popular choice for furniture in South Africa is pine. Pine is a light-colored wood that is known for its straight grain and lack of figure. It is versatile and can be used for various styles, particularly country-style furniture. Additionally, pine is affordable and resists shrinking and swelling.
Oak is another widely used hardwood for furniture. With more than 60 species available, oak comes in both white and red varieties. It is a heavy and strong wood that is extremely durable. Oak can be used for any style of furniture, from traditional to contemporary, and its prominent grain adds character to any piece.
For a unique and character-filled option, Kiaat, also known as African Teak, is an excellent choice. Kiaat is known for its attractive light brownish-yellow color and unique pattern. It is a durable wood that is resistant to borer and termite, making it suitable for high-quality furniture.
Rubberwood is a light-colored tropical hardwood that is environmentally friendly, as it utilizes plantation trees that have already served a useful function. It is stable and works well for furniture, toys, and kitchen accessories. However, it is not suitable for outdoor use.
Mahogany is a tropical hardwood indigenous to Africa and is widely used in Georgian, Empire, and Victorian reproduction furniture. It has a reddish-brown color and displays various patterns and figures, making it a wood with loads of character. Mahogany is excellent for carving and finishes well.
In addition to the South African options, there are also exotic African hardwoods that offer unique aesthetics and excellent properties. For example, Zebrano is known for its stripy appearance, while Wenge is a dark brown wood with black streaks. Sapele resembles mahogany and has a reddish-brown color, while Iroko is a versatile hardwood with a golden yellowish-brown color.
When choosing wood for your furniture, it is important to consider not only the appearance but also the durability and suitability for the intended use. Additionally, opting for sustainable African wood can be a greener choice that supports responsible forestry practices.
By considering the characteristics and properties of different types of wood, you can make an informed decision and select the best African wood species for your furniture. Whether you prefer the natural vibes of pine, the timeless elegance of oak, the unique patterns of Kiaat, or the rich character of mahogany, there is an African wood species that will perfectly suit your furniture materials needs.
Caring for African Wood Furniture
Proper care is essential to maintaining the beauty and longevity of furniture made from African woods. Regular dusting and cleaning with a soft cloth are recommended to avoid scratches. Avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive water, as these can damage the wood.
Use coasters or placemats to protect the wood from heat and moisture. Always wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains and warping. Apply a wood protector or wax regularly to maintain its luster and protect it from scratches.
African wood furniture can be sensitive to changes in humidity and temperature, so avoid placing it near heating or cooling vents or in direct sunlight.
If your furniture needs repair, make sure to find a professional experienced in working with African woods to ensure the repair is done properly and without causing further damage.
By following these simple steps, your African wood furniture can last for many years and continue to be a beautiful focal point in your home.
Where to Find African Wood Furniture in South Africa
If you’re interested in purchasing furniture made from African woods, there are several places in South Africa to explore. Some popular wood species used in furniture making include South African and Oregon Pine, Oak, Kiaat or African Teak, Rubberwood, and Mahogany. Each wood has its unique characteristics, making them suitable for particular furniture styles.
To find a range of African wood furniture options, you can start by visiting furniture showrooms like Furniturespot. Furniturespot offers a limited collection of signature products made from African woods, making it easy to find high-quality options. Additionally, you can explore sustainable sourcing options from suppliers and manufacturers who specialize in African wood furniture. This way, you can support local artisans and businesses while enjoying exceptional furniture that suits your style and preferences.
In conclusion, South Africa offers a wide range of African woods that are commonly used in furniture making and interior design. From the popular pine, oak, kiaat (African teak), rubberwood, and mahogany to more exotic hardwoods like zebrano, wenge, sapele, and iroko, there is no shortage of options for furniture makers and designers.
It is evident from various sources that African woods are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also durable, sustainable, and affordable. Whether you are looking to create a rustic, modern, or traditional look, there is an African wood species that can meet your needs.
When choosing the right wood for your furniture, it is important to consider factors such as the desired style, durability, and budget. Additionally, proper care and maintenance of your African wood furniture is crucial in ensuring its longevity.
If you are interested in purchasing furniture made from African woods, there are many local artisans and businesses in South Africa that offer a variety of high-quality options. By supporting these businesses, you not only invest in unique and beautiful pieces, but also contribute to the growth of the local economy.
Overall, the abundance and quality of African woods available make them a valuable resource for furniture making and interior design, and South Africa is fortunate to have access to such a diverse range of options.
Q: What types of African woods are commonly used in furniture making?
A: Some commonly used African woods in furniture making include pine, oak, kiaat (African teak), rubberwood, and mahogany.
Q: What is the advantage of using pine wood in furniture?
A: Pine wood is known for its natural and rustic vibe, affordability, resistance to shrinking and swelling, and charming appearance with characteristic knots.
Q: Why is oak a popular choice for furniture making?
A: Oak is valued for its strength, durability, versatility, and distinctive grain and texture. It can be used for various furniture styles and can be combined with steel for an industrial look.
Q: What makes kiaat wood unique?
A: Kiaat, also known as African teak, is praised for its character and unique patterns. It has a brown heartwood that is resistant to borer and termite, and it offers an attractive light brownish-yellow color.
Q: Why is rubberwood a sustainable choice for furniture making?
A: Rubberwood is obtained from plantation trees that have served their purpose, ensuring no additional deforestation is necessary. It is known for its stability, little shrinkage, and suitability for furniture, toys, and kitchen accessories.
Q: What makes mahogany stand out?
A: Mahogany is recognized for its reddish-brown color, varied figures, and excellent carving potential. It is suitable for Georgian, Empire, and Victorian reproduction furniture, offering a distinct aesthetic.
Q: What factors should I consider when choosing African wood for my furniture?
A: Factors to consider include the desired style, durability, and price of the wood.
Q: How can I care for furniture made from African woods?
A: It is important to clean, maintain, and protect African wood furniture from environmental factors. Regular dusting and the use of appropriate cleaning products can help preserve its beauty and longevity.
Q: Where can I find furniture made from African woods in South Africa?
A: You can support local artisans and businesses by checking out furniture stores, markets, and online platforms that specialize in African wood furniture in South Africa.