[ecis2016.org] We list five types of best wood for furniture in India, examine the benefits that these wood offer and also mention the most expensive wood in India.
While interior design trends constantly change, wooden furniture remains evergreen. Use of best wood for furniture in India makes it strong, long-lasting and requires minimal maintenance, as compared to other materials. However, there are different kinds of wood that are used for making furniture for Indian homes. So, which wood is good for furniture? Consequently, while buying furniture, one should understand the pros and cons of types of wood in India and the precautions that owners need to take for its maintenance.
Which wood is good for furniture?
Primarily, on the basis of hardness, there are two types of wood in India – hardwood and softwood. Unlike popular belief, hardwood is not necessarily harder and denser, as compared to softwood. In simple terms, hardwood comes from flowering trees while softwood comes from conifers. Both hardwood and softwoods are used as wood for furniture.
What is seasoning?
Before using different types of wood for furniture in India, a log is usually cut into the required frame sizes and then left to ‘season’. Seasoning is a process followed where the moisture in the wood used for making furniture is dried to an optimal level. In normal dry, warm weather, seasoning for about one month is recommended.
Best wood for furniture in India
Types of wood in India: Teak wood
Teak wood is one of the best wood for furniture in India and most commonly used types of wood for furniture that is available locally. Some manufacturers also import teak wood from Burma and Ghana. In India, Kerala is one of the biggest suppliers of teak wood. Being one of the strongest wood in India and very durable, Teak wood is often used for building door frames, cabinets and tables. Teak wood is resistant to decay and can outlast all other types of wood in India. Since it is a hardwood, it can also withstand extreme heat and cold and therefore, it is also the best wood for furniture especially outdoor furniture.
Types of teak wood
There are many types of wood in India but teak wood stands apart. The types of Teak wood for furniture in India include:
Nilambur teak wood: Also called Malabar teak, Nilambur teak available in Kerala, India is one of best wood for furniture in the world. It grows tall, has large diameter logs and its heartwood is golden brown. It has a straight grain and is highly durable to termites, and can be easily worked manually and by machine.
Adilabad teak wood: This variety of wood for furniture is grown in Adilabad, Andhra Pradesh.
CPT (Central Province) teak wood: This variety of wood for furniture is grown in Madhya Pradesh and is easily identified because of its close grain and deep colour.
Dandeli teak: This Teak variety of wood for furniture grows in North Karnataka, has a dark brown colour, is rich in oil and has irregular straight and spiral grains.
Nagpur teak wood: Grown in Nagpur, this teak wood for furniture is used to make heavy furniture.
Paratwada teak: This variety of wood for furniture is grown in Paratwada, Amravati district, Maharashtra. Other types of teak wood available in India include Burma teak, Ghana and Columbian teak and teak from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
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Teak has an abundance of natural oils and rubber inside the tight grain of the wood. Teak retains oils and its rubber even after being cut and processed. This allows teak to have extra weather-resistant properties than any other type of wood for furniture.
The inherent oils protect the wood from dry rot, fungi and parasites, which is a common problem in old wooden furniture. While other wood require applications of weather-proof oils and treatments, teak does not. This quality of teak makes it the best wood for furniture especially outdoor.
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Types of wood in India: Sal wood
Sal wood is considered one of the best wood for furniture in India that is also used for construction purposes. Sal wood belongs to those types of wood in India, which does not require layers of polish to protect its durability. It has an ability to withstand water and underground damp conditions. Sal wood used for making furniture is termite-resistant. It is usually used for manufacturing door frames, staircases and beams. Sal wood is usually found in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Sal wood comes from Sal tree. Sal tree is straight and cylindrical and attains good length. Sal comes from Malaysia and other countries and Sal wood price is a little less expensive when compared to teak wood.
When freshly cut, Sal wood is light in colour but becomes dark brown with exposure. The Indian Sal or Shala wood is native to India and the Malaysian variety is also very popular.
Some of its varieties are Gum Sal Wood, Indian Sal Wood, Malaysian Sal Wood, Red Sal Wood, Sal Wood Logs and White Sal Wood and the Sal wood price is decided according to its variety.
Sal wood furniture is easy to maintain as it is durable, termite-resistant and remains free from fungi for a long time. Avoid keeping Sal wood furniture in direct sunlight as it can cause cracks in the wood member. For cleaning, one has to just wipe this furniture with a cloth.
Types of wood in India: Deodar
What is Deodar wood?
Deodar is an evergreen coniferous tree that grows in cool climate. It is commonly found in the Himalayan territories, which comprise Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, etc.
The Deodar wood for furniture is not very heavy like teak and has a coarse grain. There are knots at regular intervals and this wood for furniture does not have self-sheen. That is why it needs regular polishing. Deodar is a softwood, which makes it one of the efficient types of wood for furniture in India.
Deodar is an aromatic wood and this wood holds the capacity to sustain in colder weather. Therefore, it is the best wood for furniture in cold places and is used here to build houses, as flooring and windows. The houseboats in Srinagar, Kashmir, are made from Deodhar.
Types of wood in India: Bamboo wood
Bamboo is a grass that belongs to the Bambusa genera of the Poaceae family. It is tall and commonly grows in South Asian countries. In India is grows mainly in Assam, Bengal and other parts of India.
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Being one of the strongest wood in India, durable and highly flexible, it is best used for cane and rattan furniture.
Types of wood in India: Satin wood
Best wood for furniture or articles that have a vintage look, are made of satin wood. It is an affordable material and is available locally and is supplied from central and southern Indian states. However, satin wood requires regular maintenance. Satin wood for furniture is hard and durable and one can get the desired look or finish, by using different types of polish. Satin wood furniture usually has a very lustrous look, since its grain is varied. Usually, satin wood furniture is bright yellow-coloured and in warm shades.
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Types of wood in India: White cedar wood
Also known as Marandi, it is a good veneer for light-weight furniture, such as display shelves, trunks or even decorative items. This type of wood for furniture requires minimal maintenance and therefore, it is most preferred for items which are not used often. White cedar wood is mostly imported from Malaysia and it requires month-long seasoning, before it becomes ready for use. Since it is a softwood, it is used to create the interior parts of sofa and dining chairs, which are later covered with upholstery. It is an affordable wood, which looks great and is very effective in terms of strength and load bearing, making it one of the best wood for furniture.
Among the many types of wood for furniture in India, Indian White Cedar Wood is an excellent wood for staining and provides a brilliant finish. As it is strong, it is often used for crafting outdoor furniture and used to make wooden wardrobes. Luckily its fragrance is an insect-repellent, yet pleasant. The ingrained cedar oil makes it weather-proof and resistant to fungal growth and bacteria. It is low-maintenance, making it one of the best wood for furniture that suits the Indian tropical climate.
Types of wood in India: Indian rosewood
Also known as Sheesham, Indian rosewood is a favourite when it comes to types of wood for furniture in India. It is also a hardwood and can be used with different polishes and finishes. Although rosewood is the most expensive wood in India, it is mostly preferred due to its termite-resistant quality, durability and versatility. Rosewood is best wood for furniture like kitchen cabinets, sofas and even wooden flooring. Sheesham is also used in musical instruments and is largely found in south India.
Sheesham wood is obtained from a tree called the Dalbergia Sissoo tree or Penny leaf tree. It is classified as a hardwood and is very strong and durable. It works well with all kinds of finishing, glues and machinery. Sheesham wood for furniture is used to make beds as it is a very solid wood.
Types of wood in India: Oak wood
The Oak is a hardwood native to the northern hemisphere that includes America, Asia, Europe and north Africa. Oak trees have a deep brown and copper colour. The northern red oak is the most expensive oak.
Oak wood for furniture is famous for its durability. It comes in rich colours, from shades of white to dark brown. Oak wood is one the best wood for furniture and matches with most interiors and is very popular for making dining tables and chairs.
Types of wood in India: Mahogany
Mahogany wood used for making furniture is reddish brown in colour. Mahogany has a natural affinity towards polishes. It does not shrink, warp or swell due to weather changes. It is the best wood for furniture- for doors and indoor furniture like bed frames and crockery cabinets.
Types of wood in India: Features
|Types of wood in India||Advantages||Colour||Prices|
|Teak wood||Aesthetic appeal, durable and resistant to rot and decay.||Deep yellow to dark brown||Rs 2,000 per cubic ft onwards|
|Satin wood||Easy to care, requires very little maintenance and is very durable.||Warm and bright yellow||Rs 1,250 per cubic ft onwards|
|White cedar wood||Most durable type of timber, resistant to termites and very strong.||Pale brown or tan||Rs 900 per cubic ft onwards|
|Sal wood||Beautiful texture, aesthetic appeal and versatile.||Very light in colour but may turn dark when exposed to the sun||Sal wood price is Rs 1,250 per cubic ft onwards|
|Indian rosewood||Attractive wood grain, versatile nature and very hard and tough.||Dark||Rs 1,500 per cubic ft|
|Oak wood||Very strong, heavy and durable.||Light colour with prominent grain.||Rs 1,400 per cubic ft onwards|
|Mahogany||Deep colour, straight grain and durable wood.||Dark brown||Rs 2,500 per cubic ft onwards|
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Why is teak wood one of the most expensive in India?
Teak is in high demand because of its wonderful properties – it is durable; resistant to water, pests and rot; it has minor shrinkage issues. It has a good finish and great looks.
Why is teak recommended for making furniture?
Teak doesn’t require annual waterproofing. Thus in the long run, it turns out cheaper as there is no maintenance cost.
What is the best wood for furniture in India ?
Usually, only five types of wood are predominantly used in India, as listed above.
How to look after your Sheesham furniture?
Get it polished regularly. At least three to five times a year to maintain the wood.
Which wood is best for doors in India?
Usually teak wood is used for making doors in India.
What is the cheapest wood?
Pine wood is considered the cheapest but it is not much used in India.
What is the highest quality wood?
One of the types of high-quality wood used for making furniture is teak wood as it is durable and highly fire-resistant. Other types of wood include rosewood, deodar, oak and mahogany.
What is the longest lasting wood?
Teak, oak, cedar, mahogany and cherry are some of the types of wood that can last for centuries.
How to look after your Oak wood furniture?
Oak wood furniture should be wiped with soapy water but dried immediately. To maintain the beauty and durability of Oak wood, oil it frequently with a food-safe mineral oil or Danish oil.
(With inputs from Aruna Rathod)
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