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Teak is a dense, coarse, close-grained hardwood.  It naturally contains high levels of resinous oil that acts as an insect repellent and allows it to be resistant to moisture and the drying effects of weather.  Teak also contains silica, which creates a density to the wood that allows it to be resistant to fungal decay, water, rotting, warping, shrinking, swelling and many chemicals.  It will not rust or corrode metals it comes in contact with and it can withstand the elements of all seasons. No other wood compares to teak regarding its durability, elegance, stability and low maintenance; thus making it the ultimate material choice for furniture construction.

Teak wood is used primarily in the construction of outdoor furniture and in various aspects of shipbuilding because of its virtually indestructible composition.  The furniture weathers beautifully and can be left untreated outdoors without the risk of rotting.  It requires minimal maintenance and does not need to be sealed or treated on a regular basis. The inherent imperfections present in teak wood enhance its natural beauty and adds uniqueness to each piece.  When first purchased, the furniture is a bright, golden color and its natural oils make it appear polished.  The surface oil evaporates within the first week, but the oil below the surface will last the lifetime of the furniture and enables the unmatched durability of the wood.  After one or two seasons outdoors, the wood will turn to a silver-gray.  And it will remain like that without ever warping, twisting, rotting or splintering.  Teakwood furniture is knot-free, smooth, handsome and will never need to be replaced.

 

Authentic teak furniture is the standard of outdoor furniture that all other woods and materials are compared. Many homeowners scramble to cover, store, and/or weatherproof aluminum, metal or other type of wood outdoor furniture when bad weather approaches. This is a dilemma that owners of teak furniture do not need to fret about because teak wood can be exposed to the all elements. It is wise to be leery of claims of ”teak-like” furniture. Oftentimes, this furniture is made of other woods that are not as durable as teak, such as; Nyatoah, Shorea wood, or Eucalyptus wood. These are Class 3 woods that are non-durable, susceptible to termite and other insect attacks, and need to be treated regularly with teak or linseed oil if used outdoors. Other Class 3 woods include American Walnut, Red Cedar, Japanese Oak, and African Mohagany. Teak wood is rated as a Class 1 wood meaning it is resistant to weather, insects, warping and is extremely durable.

Some manufacturers will treat furniture made of other woods and materials with teak oil. These manufacturers imply their furniture is actually teak and/or is just as durable, dependable and resistant to insects and harsh elements as genuine teak furniture is. These claims are false; while the oil does aid in adding some resistance and durability to other woods, the oil needs to be re-applied often. Furniture constructed with teak wood is able to withstand the elements for a century or more.

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teak industry

Teak was first introduced in the fourth century and has been used worldwide since its use for shipbuilding during the Middle Ages. During the 19th century teak furniture became popular for its exemplary functioning outdoors. Today it is used primarily for the decks, trim and detail work in yachts and cruise ships, residential and commercial flooring, carving, cabinetry, paneling, the construction of homes and in the creation of beautiful, durable furniture.

Teak is a deciduous tree that flourishes in the dry, hilly forests of <placew:ston>Southeast Asia. The tree grows rapidly to approximately 150 feet tall with trunks that are cylindrical to fluted and grow up to 5 feet in diameter. While the tree shoots up quickly, it takes nearly 50 years to reach full maturity. The possibility of increasing this 50 year rotation to every 30 or 40 years has been discussed in many countries in an effort to meet the high demand of teak, but experimentation with 25 year rotations has resulted with an inferior quality wood. In Java, Indonesia several plantation forests have flourished with teak trees in the past 150 years. The plantations provide a valuable source of income for local areas and provide employment to thousands of local people. These plantations are government regulated by the agency Perum Perhutani to ensure that the correct number and size of trees are being felled, and to ensure the proper re-planting of trees to maintain the productivity of forests for future generations. Similar agencies are forming in Thailand, Burma and Laos to help control poaching, exploitation of children in furniture factories, and reforestation.

Teak furniture requires very little to no care and will maintain its unparalleled strength, beauty and elegance for many years. The only maintenance required to care for teak furniture is periodic cleaning. Teak furniture can be washed with a mild mixture of soap and water and it is recommended that a soft utility brush be used to remove surface dirt and dust.  The furniture must be rinsed thoroughly after cleaning and be allowed to dry completely. For grease stains and/or deeper cleaning, a commercial grade teak cleaner can be used. Using this cleaner will remove the silver-gray finish on the wood and restore the original golden tone. It is not necessary to heavily scrub or polish teak furniture; one can expect to clean an entire chair in under half an hour. If teak furniture is placed indoors, it is recommended that teak or linseed oil be applied before use.

Teak furniture does not require the application of wood sprays, preservatives or oils as it is naturally high in oil content. However, if the silver-gray finish is too rustic for particular tastes, oil can be applied to create a full, rich surface sheen. It is important to ensure the furniture is clean and dry before applying any oil treatments. Once teak furniture is oiled, periodic re-oiling is recommended. Treating with oil also aids in the prevention of water marks and stains. Untreated teak furniture is more susceptible to staining, but these marks will eventually fade into a uniform silver-gray with continued exposure to sunlight.

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