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The Quality Behind The Craftsmanship …

The Quality behind the Craftsmanship …

It’s that time again.

Periodically we like to offer an insight into how some of our furniture is made – a behind the scenes if you like.

We regularly audit our suppliers overseas and this offers the perfect opportunity to take pictures and videos of the various processes involved in the manufacturing.

It’s not good enough for us to talk up the ‘quality’ of our ranges we also feel we need to back this up with physical evidence to give you the peace of mind that we know what we’re on about and do uphold our end of the bargain.

In fact, before we delve head first into this post you may be interested in a couple of other posts in this series …

How Recycled Ornaments are made – since we first invested in these they have proved hugely popular meaning our range is now vast. Feel free to view the range here.

Or our post about how reclaimed teak furniture is made this range is totally bespoke meaning the skill and craftsmanship the goes into making it is fascinating. Again, you can view the end results here.

But anyway, we digress, so let’s get down to business.

Craftsmanship – the Quality and the Detail …

We’re going to split this down into three areas.

  1. Hand Woven Quality.
  2. Structural Quality.
  3. Quality Craftsmanship.

This makes sense as it allows us to focus on the three key areas that makes our finished product and unique branding so successful – in short, the quality and the detail.

Hand weaving …

Our range of hand woven indoor and outdoor rattan is hugely impressive and we’ve written about our quality rattan furniture before.

However, we’ve never given a visual demonstration of this process so we recently recorded a short video showing the skills and speed required from a weaver at work.

The skills required to achieve such a tight knit, uniform weave around the frame time after time take time to master and are passed down through family generations – we find it almost mesmerising when we see these people in full flow.

The weave in this video is based around synthetic water hyacinth and makes up our Montana Range of outdoor furniture – this is a slightly more technical process as it involves braiding the weave as a part of the process – it is this that offers the striking end result on the furniture itself.

Tightly Hand Woven Water Hyacinth Weave
Tightly Hand Woven Water Hyacinth Weave …

Structural quality …

There’s no point in offering an eye-catching weave with poor structural quality in the frame it’s attached to. It is this gives more mass produced offerings you see on the market today such a short life span.

The attention to detail is not present in the manufacturing process meaning the frames weaken in a relatively short period of time, the weave loosens or simply splits and this leaves you with a piece of furniture that’s uncomfortable and looks terrible.

Not so with our suppliers you’ve seen that for yourself with the weave above and below we provide two examples of the rigid and sturdy frames our manufacturers produce, again by hand.

Quality Craftsmanship with our Montana Range
The hand finished from on a Montana Sofa …
Montana Sofa Sets at RHS Chelsea Flower Show ...
Montana Sofa Sets at RHS Chelsea Flower Show …

This is a two-fold process.

Firstly, the the frames are cut and shaped into the smoothly contoured designs that characterise the furniture we sell.

Secondly, to give a longer lifespan outdoors these frames are coated with a synthetic covering that doesn’t add to the weight but protects them from the elements.

These are invisible on the completed pieces but work in the background to ensure maximum quality throughout not just aesthetic appeal on the surface that fails after a short period of time.

Mighty Apple Day Bed
Mighty Apple Day Bed …
Precision shaped frame on the Apple Day Bed
Precision shaped frame on the Apple Day Bed …

Quality craftsmanship …

The other major specialism we have is in teak furniture – both freshly harvested and teak that’s been reclaimed.

Again the skills required to manipulate both sources of timber take years to acquire and in over two decades of working with overseas suppliers we definitely know who’s got the skill and who just spinning a yarn and not delivering a quality end product.

We recently spent some time with a supplier who’ responsible for crafting some of our most popular teak ranges like the York Range and delved into the detail of the raw materials they use to produce such stunning furniture.

You’ll be amazed at what we found.

Firstly, take a look at look at one of our York Tables in all it’s glory below – we’re sure you’ll agree that it demonstrated undeniable quality, through and through.

The York Dining Range
The York Dining Range …

And now let’s show you some pictures of the reclaimed teak used to make it.

Reclaimed teak before being worked
Reclaimed teak before being worked …
Old Teak Houses
Old Teak Houses …
The craftsmanship begins
The craftsmanship begins …

materials-11 materials-23

Could you turn the items above into a York Dining Table?!

We’re damn sure we couldn’t but fortunately we know people who can!

Genuinely reclaimed timber like this has environmental benefits overseas as well it’s an attractive alternative to harvesting timber direct from the forest due to environmental concerns and it makes for totally bespoke pieces of furniture as an end result with a lovely rustic character and appeal.

In many pieces of reclaimed furniture some of the beauty is gleaned from the fact that traces of the timbers previous uses can still be seen in the furniture made from them.

You can also quite clearly see that the teak comes from a huge variety of different sources, (many people think it’s just from old ox-carts), and these unused items would simply go to waste if it weren’t for the reclamation process.

A great example here is the collection of large posts that are actually old bridge supports used by the Dutch – look closely and you still see the bridge builders name on some of them.

And the timber is still of the highest quality as it was originally harvested from trees between 60 to 100 years old and the ageing process has already taken effect through its previous uses offering it natural protection against the elements.

We hope you enjoyed this little insight and that it helps you understand why we retail furniture under such a high quality branding.

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