Throughout history, the furniture industry has relied heavily on wood-based materials and wood itself. Over the years, wood furniture grew from being a simple utilitarian object that would support inanimate objects and people to articles designed and built to offer both aesthetic and functional characteristics. Wood furniture was intended for utility as well as for display.
The history of wood furniture
Wood is the dominant material chosen for constructing furniture. It has been since the earliest recorded history to the present. Wood furniture was present in the ancient cultures of Greece, Egypt, and China. Historic research suggests most of the early Egyptian furniture was constructed from the indigenous woods of willow, tamarisk, almond, and acacia. Exotic woods of cypress, elm, yew, oak, beech, ash, cedar, and ebony were also popular.
Chairs are perhaps the earliest form of wood furniture that we know. Over the centuries, this type of furniture has seen countless permutations. Because it was a mostly-treeless environment, chairs made from wood were considered status symbols in Ancient Egypt. Pharaohs would rest upon carved cedar inlaid with gems and gold. While not much of the early furniture managed to make it through the ages, the Egyptian pyramids dry climate has given us several examples of ancient wood furniture.
Reasons for selecting wood
The reason that wood was a preferred material for making furniture is the same today as it was thousands of years ago. Wood excels in appearance, manufacturing, and performance characteristics. From a consumer point of view, wood furniture is strong and durable, warm to the touch, and has a pleasing appearance.
From a manufacturer’s point of view, there are many benefits to creating wood furniture. It is a renewable resource, it is easy to enhance or modify its natural appearance, easier than most other structural materials to join to other pieces of wood or other materials, easily worked with a wide variety of tools to make functional and artistic shapes, and it has a favorable strength-to-weight ratio.
Even today, wood continues to be an overwhelming choice for customers who appreciate the good value, pleasing appearance, environment friendliness, and reliability of wood furniture.