Teak Makes Patio Furniture Chic

By: Kathy Moran


Every year, teak garden benches, patio tables, chairs, dining sets, lounges, sun beds, and planters, are becoming more popular choices for furnishing porches, patios, decks, gazebos, gardens, and backyards. Itís easy to understand this trend, because teak makes the most gorgeous, exquisite outdoor furniture available. However, even though this may seem to be a recent development, our fondness of teak is nothing new. For centuries, teakwood, which comes from the Tectona Grandis tree, has been prized for its radiant beauty, as well as its ability to endure climatic extremes. Indigenous to Asia, particularly Myanmar, Thailand, and India, it is also grown in Indonesia on plantations that were established by the Dutch in 1816, and are now managed by the government agency, Perum Perhutani. Its strict policies regarding the number and the size of trees that may be cut down, as well as its reforestation practices, help these plantations to produce some of the highest-quality teak in the world. The rich soil in which it is grown infuses the teakwood with a high concentration of oils and minerals, including silica, that make it waxy and rubbery, thus rendering it naturally waterproof and invulnerable to insect invasion. They also make the straight-grained wood dense and thermally stable, which prevents warping. Usually golden to dark brown, but occasionally having a reddish hue, teak may be treated with an annual coating of oil to preserve its natural tones, or left unfinished, to weather to a silvery gray. In the 18th century, teak was one of Chinaís major exports to Europe, where it was used for flooring, cabinets, closets, paneling, roofing, and more. It was also sculpted into art objects, although its abrasive properties could quickly dull a cutting edge, making intricate carving tedious. During the Victorian era, advances in technology made it easier to work with teak, and craftsmen began using it to manufacture ornamental furniture. Teak has long been a favorite of the ship-building industry. Its natural resistance to salt water and spray keeps it from cracking and checking, while its peerless strength and durability enable it to withstand heavy cargo and foot traffic. While dismantling World War I warships, members of the British Navy noticed that the teak decks were still in pristine condition, and decided to save them. When some of the wood was used to construct garden benches, many of which are still in use, the tradition of making teak outdoor furniture began. A similar example lies aboard the Charles W. Morgan, a historic wooden whaler that has been harbored at Mystic Seaport, in Connecticut, since 1941. Constructed in 1841, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, its 165-year-old deck, having survived over a dozen long voyages, countless crew members, and tons of whale blubber, bone, and oil, still looks like new. Unrivaled in beauty, strength, and durability, teak has proven itself, time and again, to be the ultimate hardwood for making outdoor furniture.

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At TeakDesigns.com, a division of CedarStore.com, our fantastic selection of teak outdoor furniture is made exclusively from top-quality Tectona Grandis Perum Perhutani plantation kiln-dried teakwood. Expertly crafted, using mortise-and-tenon construction, along with solid brass and stainless steel hardware, our stunning collection features many award-winning designs.

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