We have been importing Indian furniture for many years from the same factory in Rajasthan, northern India. Over this time we have developed lots and lots of different collections of furniture some of which we still import today, but as times and trends have changed our furniture ranges have also developed. The first collection we introduced is the traditional Jali furniture with its unique portcullis wrought iron work. This was shortly followed by the cube collection and things have just grown from there.
Not all Indian furniture is alike in terms of the quality of construction and finish and we have seen many companies over the years try to copy what we do and import from very dubious factories that produce furniture to a price not a standard. We only use grade 1 timber in all of our ranges to ensure its stability and also the stunning appearance you get with the best timber you can buy.
Indian furniture is normally constructed from one of three timbers, Sheesham, Mango Wood or Acacia. All three timbers are a very dense and durable with there own unique characteristics. We tend to predominately use sheesham wood in most of our collections of furniture because of the beautiful graining that you only get from sheesham wood. We do also produce furniture from mango and acacia from time to time as trends and styles alter.
How is our Indian furniture constructed?
All of our Indian furniture is totally hand made from start to finish which gives you a unique individual piece of furniture as no two items are ever exactly alike. It is produced using very traditional methods of construction which are very strong and durable. All Indian furniture is relative rustic in nature and the imperfections you get are part and parcel of this style of furniture, the natural rustic appearance gives traditional Indian furniture its appeal and charm. Below you can see some pictures that give you a clearer idea as so how a drawer is constructed and the joints that are used along with the thickness of the timbers. As with all solid hardwood furniture you do naturally get some movement in the timber and small splits and cracks that appear over time are a natural part of owning solid furniture and not to be considered a defect in any way.
We have put together a series of pictures below to illustrate various markings that our Indian furniture has and the reasons for them, all these marking add the the hand made feel and charm of something that is totally hand made. It is these natural markings that make our furniture what is is, a beautiful collection of unique solid and long lasting rustic furniture.
You may find differences in wood grain appearance, this is a natural effect created during the maturing process. As the tree grows, the older sections in the tree develop thicker, clearer grain patterns. Your furniture may be made from several cuttings of the same tree, creating the contrast of markings across the piece, this is partly what makes every item unique.
The second pictures shows a section of sapwood common in most timbers, this can be found randomly throughout your furniture. Sapwood and random pigmentation are a common marking in real wood and not to be seen as a defect and are a totally natural occurrence.
Knotting is the most common of markings and is the fingerprint of natural wood. These vary in size and occur frequently in natural wood products. This is why every piece of our furniture is unique, no two pieces will be quite the same, unlike mass produced veneered or foil laminated furniture.
Pin markings are also a distinguishing feature of hand made furniture. These will appear irregularly wherever the craftsmen requires additional bonding and support. You will notice this is also a common characteristic in antique furniture and any furniture that is hand made rather than mass produced.
Sheesham, Acacia & Mango wood can show signs of natural staining in the lighter areas of the natural grain. This is a fairly common occurrence in particular with Sheesham Wood and adds to the natural character.
Because Sheesham, Acacia & Mango Wood has such varied graining and lots of knots you will inevitably sometimes get areas of the timber that require filling and this can clearly be seen in the picture opposite.
Quite often Sheesham, Mango & Acacia can have natural marks that look like water marks, these can appear totally randomly in the timber.
How to care for Indian Furniture?
The most important care for your furniture is to avoid any unnecessary drying and taking in moisture, which can lead to cracks or splits if the timber is too dry and the timber expanding with drawers and doors sticking if it is too damp. Follow these simple guidelines to ensure you treat your furniture with the care it needs.
* Treat with beeswax (available from any hardware store) as soon as you receive your furniture. We also recommend that you regularly wax the inside and outside of drawers and doors as this helps to stop them expanding and sticking by both feeding the wood and lubricating the sides of the drawers and doors. We use and recommend Fiddes wax's.
* Repeat treatment every 4 - 12 weeks depending on the location of your furniture to feed the wood and enhance the finish.
* DO NOT USE ANY silicon based or spray polishes, they can react with the stain and excessively dry out the timber.
* As with any wood product, do not put your furniture next to a direct source of heat.
* Any split or scratch marks which occur can easily be rectified with the appropriate coloured wax or touch up pen.
We also recommend that you wipe up any spilt liquids immediately and avoid placing very hot objects directly onto the surface of your furniture.
* Drawers can sometimes stick depending on the time of the year as the timber naturally expands and contracts, we do account for this during manufacture but sometimes adjustments of drawers and doors may be required. The first thing to try is to use some beeswax polish on the drawers runners and also the outside of the drawers itself as this has the effect of lubricating the drawer and runner making them slide more easily. If this does not rectify the sticking drawer then it may be necessary to sand or plane the side of the drawer or door itself with some 60 - 80 grit followed by 120 - 150 grit sandpaper to remove the excess timber and wax with Fiddes or Briwax to re seal the timber to help prevent further expansion by the ingress of moisture into the wood itself.
* Some movement / splits / cracks and natual shakes in the timber is perfectly normal but if you have followed the instructions above then you will already have alleviated this to a certain extent. If you do get cracks, shakes and splits in the timber itself these are very easy to rectify using a proprietary wax filling stick matched to the colour of your furniture and are readily available in both DIY stores and online. If you are not sure how and what to buy just let us know and we will be more than happy to advise.