About Monkey Pod Wood

HAND CRAFTING IN HARDWOOD

A common name for Enterolobium is “Monkey wood”. In Thailand it is farmed for the wood carving industry and is known as “Chum Cha” wood. Also known locally as Acacia wood or the RainTree, Monkey Pod wood is thought to be named after the monkeys that used to gather below its canopy and eat the seed pods of the tree.  The tree is fast growing, about 1.5m a year up to about 24m tall and has a canopy which normally reaches 30m but can grow as large as 60m. Because the Monkey Pod tree grows so quickly it makes it a very sustainable hardwood and is perfect for furniture manufacture. The straight grain and coarse texture allows it to be relatively easily carved into interesting shapes. The trees were originally planted to offer shade for crops from the hot tropical sun.

Our Monkeypod furniture is hand carved in Thailand predominantly by small family units. The skills of carving and woodwork are passed down through generations and small family units generally work together, specialising in one or two designs only. To protect from wood movement, the timber must be seasoned after harvest, carved and then seasoned further. From start to finish, this construction process including drying can take up to four months. Once complete, the furniture is hand waxed to bring out the natural lustre and highlight the interesting grain and colours of the timber, before being packed ready for shipping. 

As every piece is hand carved from an entirely natural product, no two pieces will ever be the same unlike mass produced veneered or laminated furniture. By way of example, some variations which you may see are detailed below and these are considered part of the uniqueness and charm of the furniture:

Differences in wood grain appearance - this is the natural effect created during the maturing process. As the tree grows, the older sections develop thicker, clearer grain patterns. Your piece of furniture may display a contrast of these markings.

Presence of sapwood - common to most timbers, sapwood and random pigmentation are markings in real wood.

Knotting - this is considered the fingerprint of natural wood. These vary in size and occur frequently in natural wood products.

Pin markings are also a distinguishing feature of handmade wood carving. These will appear irregularly wherever the craftsmen required additional bonding and support.

BEAUTIFUL WOOD LASTS A LIFETIME

All Fairtrade Lifestyle furniture is a friend for life, crafted using beautiful wood from sustainable sources.

  • As the furniture has a hand-waxed finish, it is not resistant to heat or liquid. We advise you protect the surface from hot or wet items with coasters and mats.
  • We recommend treating the wood with high quality beeswax or furniture oil once or twice a year, more frequently for high-use areas. Once applied, remove any excess and polish to a shine with a lintfree cloth.
  • Should ring marks appear, these can easily be removed with furniture wax and fine-grade wire wool.
  • Avoid direct sunlight, above-average temperatures or extreme changes in temperature. Central heating and under-floor heating can dry out the atmosphere which can cause wood movement.

 

If you have any further questions about your Monkeypod furniture, please feel free to contact us…

T: +44 (0) 1606 301500 E: sales@fairtradelifestyle.co.uk
Blakemere Craft Centre Chester Road, Sandiway, Northwich, Cheshire CW8 2EB.