The natural beauty and long-lasting nature of wooden furniture never ceases to fascinate us. India is blessed with a large number of trees that can be turned into timber for furniture. Each of these species has its own unique qualities which shows up when crafted into furniture. The need for solid wooden furniture in Indian households gives us a variety of wood types to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of the popular wood types available in India for furniture:
Types of Wood in India
Teak: The most popular type of hardwood, ranges from deep yellow to dark brown. It is generally found in central and southern India. It is renowned for its sturdiness, durability and weather-resistance, teak is an excellent choice for outdoor furniture like garden benches and lounge chairs. As indoor furniture, it’s not uncommon to see beds and wardrobes made out of this wood type as it does not warp, splinter or rot. It also has a smooth texture and distinct grain.
Mahogany: A reddish-brown colored hardwood, mahogany is known by its distinct grain. It is strong, durable and takes to staining and polishing very well. It is also used extensively for fashioning cabinets, nested tables, dining table sets and other kinds of home furniture. One of its many advantages is that it does not warp, swell or shrink and does well under water too. It is found all over India, particularly in Thattekkad Wildlife Sanctuary, Corbett National Park and Kaziranga National Park.
Shisham: Also called Shishoo, Tali or Indian Rosewood, Shisham wood is generally found in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mysore, Bengal, Assam and Orissa. It is strong and durable and does not bend or warp in adverse climate. Though crafting furniture out of it may be difficult, yet it takes to polishing very well and can be used to make premium quality furniture, sports goods, railway sleepers, etc.
Oak: This hardwood tree is found in the north-eastern part of India. It is known for its strength, durability and is highly resistant to warping and moisture, making it an excellent choice for furniture like bookshelves and cabinets, apart from outdoor furniture. It has a very distinct grain and finish.
Walnut: It is chiefly found in Kashmir and is one of the most versatile wood types with a very fine texture. It is brown in color and has a rich brown color and is highly durable, shrinkage- and warp-resistant. It is easy to work with, so it is the ideal wood choice for crafting dining table sets, coffee tables, etc.
Bamboo Wood: Grown extensively in Assam, Bengal and other parts of India, bamboo isn’t a typical woody tree but a woody grass. Though it is strong and durable, it is also highly flexible and is best used for thatched roofs, scaffoldings, cane and rattan furniture.
Mango: This dense and strong hardwood comes with a distinctly attractive grain pattern. It is lighter than other wood species and is water-resistant. It is best used for windows, doors, living room and bedroom furniture, nesting tables, kitchen cabinets, entertainment units and book shelves. It is grown all over India and is easily available for furniture-making.
Its grain is absolutely unique as it embodies several tones and colors, ranging from light shades like tan to dark brown with hints of light pink or green. This gives mango wood a unique wood in its natural state, without much finishing. However, it does need a coat of paint to protect it in the long run. Despite this, its sapwood is prone to fungi.
Pine: Though pine wood is hard, white pine is said to be soft and decays easily when in contact with the earth. It has a coarse grain and is a heavy kind of wood, though not as durable as other kinds of hardwood. It is also resistant to warping and swelling and is ideal for all kinds of furniture, both indoor and outdoor. It is also used to make patterns, door and window frames and paving material. In India, it is grown in the western Himalayas.
Maple: Yet another admirable kind of hardwood with a fine texture and great strength. It is used extensively to make furniture like console tables, wall shelves and bedside tables. In India, you can find these trees in Ooty and other hilly regions.
Cherry: As evident from its name, this kind of hardwood is cherry red in color, ranging to rich shades of deep red and brown with age. It has a close grain pattern and isn’t difficult to work with. It is highly durable, strong and warp-resistant. It works well when used for decorative carving and for making solid furniture like cabinets, shelves and tables. These trees are grown in the hilly regions of Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
Cedar: Cedar is known for its pleasing aroma and reddish-rust color. Its texture is uniform and it is highly resistant to decay and insects. It is also highly durable and is used to make decorative panels, storage chests and linings of closets, among other things. It is grown in Kashmir and Assam.
Acacia: This kind of teak wood is strong and highly durable, distinct for its close grains and rich bronze appearance. It takes very well to staining and polishing and woodworkers love using it to make chairs, benches, tables, cabinets, etc. It is extensively grown in West Bengal.
Now that you know so much about the different kinds of wood available, you can choose what you want to make your perfect pieces of furniture. And once you have it, do enjoy using it but care for it too.
Types of teak wood
There are many types of wood in India but teak wood stands apart. The types of teak wood available in Indian subcontinent include:
Nilambur teak wood: Also called Malabar teak, Nilambur in Kerala, India is one of its kind in the world.ch is considered to one of its kind 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: In district Adilabad, Andhra Pradesh, the forest area grows teak trees. It has a coloured heartwood and an attractive surface.
CPT (Central Province) teak wood: This type of teak wood is grown in Madhya Pradesh. It is known for its slow grown wood, close grain and deep color.
Dandeli teak: This teak is born of slow grown trees in North Karnataka. It is dark brown in color and has irregular straight and spiral grains. It is rich in oil and contains several minerals.
Nagpur teak wood: Available in Nagpur, this teak wood is famous for furniture.
Paratwada teak: This comes from Paratwada, Amravati district, Maharashtra. It is one of the largest suppliers of teak wood in Asia. Other types of teak wood available in India include Burma teak, Ghana and Columbian teak and teak from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
Differences between Sagwan and Sheesham
Appearance: Sagwan or teak wood is a type of hardwood with a smooth texture and grain. it is yellowish-brown in color and may mature to a silver-gray. It has a tight grain and rich in oil.
Sheesham is a kind or rosewood, used to make furniture like cabinets. It is known for its durability and strength.
Grain and texture: Teak’s grain and texture are smooth. It is yellowish-brown and usually matures to become silver-grey.
Both Sheesham and teak are decay and termite-resistant. However, sheesham is prone to woodboring beetles.
Uses: Sheesham is used to make all kinds of wooden furniture, musical instruments and other objects. Teak is good for furniture around the house.