Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. The more one knows about the unique characteristics of wood and its source, the better one can understand the degree of warmth and beauty that it brings to our everyday décor. Furniture made of wood is one of the few things in the world that all people can own and know that they are the only person in the world who owns that particular grain pattern and its inherent beauty. Each grain pattern is a unique masterpiece of design, texture and splendor. Even what some may view as a defect, like a knot or other natural blemishes, can add more beauty and character to any given piece of furniture.
Wood is the oldest material used by humans for construction after stone. Despite its complex chemical nature, wood has excellent properties which lend themselves to human use.
It is readily and economically available, easily machinable, amenable to fabrication into an infinite variety of sizes and shapes using simple on-site building techniques;
- Exceptionally strong relative to its weight
- A good heat and electrical insulator
- of increasing importance
- It is a renewable and biodegradable resource
However, it also has some drawbacks of which the user must be aware. It is a “natural” material and is available in limited amount.
Wood is divided into two distinct kinds called hardwood and softwood, though confusingly the names don’t always refer to its actual hardness or softness:
It’s generally true that hardwoods are harder than softwoods, but not always. Balsa is the best-known example of a hardwood that is actually very soft. Hardwoods have lovely, attractive grains and are used for such things as making fine furniture and decorative woodwork, whereas softwoods often come from very tall, straight trees, and are better suited for construction work (in the form of planks, poles, and so on).