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(Answer question to Win a Solid Wood Pencil Tray!)
By NG PAU LING firstname.lastname@example.org
Solid wood is one of the earliest materials for making furniture. Archaeological research tells that in 5B.C. the Ancient Greeks began to carve and build stools, beds and tables from solid wood such as maple and oak.
This classic material has undergone cycles of aesthetic revolution, yet it remains popular in the modern household.
Undeniably, the emergence of new, cheaper and easy-to-obtain substitutes such as moulded plywood, plastic and fibreglass has changed the furniture industry but solid wood is here to stay.
The beauty of solid wood furniture lies in its strength, durability and natural textures. A high-quality piece can last for decades or even centuries with proper use.
However, some furniture may look great in the showroom but their flaws will only be revealed once you bring them home for use.
The following tips will help you spot a real solid wood piece.
1. Price tells the quality
The plantation solid wood usually takes 15 to 25 years to grow before it can be harvested. Besides the investment in wood-drying equipment, the idea and design generation process and craftsmanship define the value of the solid wood furniture.
It normally takes more than two decades to go from tree to furniture.
Items that sell for far below the market price is more likely to be a fake because they are too cheap to be true.
2. Consider the weight
Solid wood furniture is carved from a single piece of timber. Genuine solid wood is sturdy and heavy since its wood structure is without any hollow spaces.
Engineered wood is a composite material manufactured by binding together wood strands, fibres and veneers. It is lighter and low in density.
So, don’t be tricked by the “lightweight solid wood”.
3. The organic texture
A tree is a living thing and as complex as a human. So every tree is different. A large wood panel with repeating grain pattern may be veneer.
The grains on a solid wood surface is the growth ring of the tree. It should be inconsistent in appearance. Feel the grain by hand; it should be smooth if genuine.
Besides, the grain on the top and back side of the furniture should match each other.
4. Less make-up or cover-up
Stay true to the material. A real solid wood piece doesn’t need layers of paint and coating to conceal flaws. Also, there is no edge banding on solid wood, since this is a method mainly used to cover the exposed or unfinished sides of engineered wood products.
Antique material in a modern home
Previously, solid wood furniture was perceived to be something bulky, heavily ornamented, and linked to antique styling. One may find it difficult to blend with a modern home.
Currently, the new wave of solid wood furniture has moved away from the decorative style of the past and shifted its focus towards structural simplicity to adapt to the modern aesthetics.
The easiest way is to choose a solid wood piece that emphasises sleek and clean lines. A simple structural piece will be able to blend naturally into any contemporary home, be it minimalist, urban warmth or industrial chic.
Join our contest at bit.ly/oakwoodtray-2018 to win Ethnicraft Online’s solid oak wood pencil tray.