The Use of Teak for Furniture
The use of teak for making furniture has always been popular as it looks good and is easy to maintain, easier than most other woods used in furniture making. The reason why teak is so easy to maintain is that it naturally contains oil which keeps it looking good and helps to stop it from the appearance of aging.
In nature, a teak tree produces its own oil which offers protection to its wood and even after the wood is cut from the tree, the oil still protects it. The tree will keep producing this oil and so the older the tree gets, the more saturated with oil the wood becomes. For the purposes of making furniture, it is, therefore, best if teak from an old tree is used as that will have more oil and therefore more natural protection. In terms of age, a 20-year-old tree is considered to be mature and therefore the wood from a 20-year-old or older tree will be more saturated in oil than the wood from an immature tree, one which is younger than 20 years.
The oil is present in all the wood on a teak tree, however, as the tree concentrates the oil in its center, known as the heart of the tree, wood from the heart, known as heartwood, contains a higher concentration of oil than wood taken from an outer layer of the tree would have. The self-protecting oil present in the wood of teak furniture makes it long lasting, even in the case of teak patio furniture.
With furniture made from many other types of wood, in order to keep it looking good, regular polishing is required but thanks to the oil in teak, soap, and water brushed on with a soft brush is all the maintenance teak furniture will ever need to both stay looking good and provide longevity. Although some owners of teak furniture opt to use teak oil, which may help in preserving the teak furniture, it is not really necessary if good quality teak has been used and it should not be used on outside furniture as it may even be detrimental instead of beneficial.
Obviously, with the quality of the teak used in making furniture being important, a method had to be devised to allow buyers to know exactly what they were buying. In order to do this, teak used for furniture has been categorized into three distinct groups which are called Groups A.B and C. Group A teak is the highest quality, Group B the next highest quality and group C being the least high quality. How these groups are distinguished is that Group A wood is the heartwood from a mature tree and therefore contains the largest concentration of oil. Teak min Group B is also heartwood but in this instance, it has come from an immature tree and so has a slightly less concentration of oil. Group C indicates that the teak has been cut from an outer layer of the tree so contains a lower concentration of oil.