Without exception, visitors to our Cheshire store are drawn to our range of unusual fair trade side tables in the form of twisted infinity stools. Why? Because they’re beautifully designed and incredibly stylish…yes! But perhaps most significantly, they’re different! Which then begs the question – are we all fed up or disillusioned with the mass produced offerings that crowd the high street? Are many of us seeking something unusual and different – a talking point? Something that oozes clever design and hand crafted charm in equal measures?
From our experience the answer to these questions is a resounding “yes”.
There’s something particularly appealing about knowing the provenance of the furniture that adorns your home. To know that it’s an individual piece that has been meticulously hand crafted by a skilled artisan, understandably holds a certain charm and appeal for its owner.
So… twisted stools – are they really stools as their namesake suggests, or are they side tables?
Perhaps the most appropriate answer to this, is that they’re a versatile, solid piece of occasional furniture. You may choose to use it as a stool, or perhaps most often as a side table. Likewise we’ve had customers who’ve chosen them to create a focal point as a plant stand!
These fair trade ‘twisted’ beauties are hand crafted from a single piece of monkey pod wood by skilled families in Northern Thailand. They’re available in a plethora of designs, sizes and colour finishes. There’s the twisted infinity stool, the double twisted infinity stool, the solid twist infinity stool and the twisted heart stool. Fans of the natural beauty of untreated wood will simply adore our ‘clear’ pieces. For those who prefer a waxed finish, there’s the beautiful golden tones of our ‘honey’ pieces or the rich, opulent tones of our ‘waxed’ finish, which both beautifully highlight the immense detail in the wood’s grain.
So where does “Monkey Pod Wood” come from?
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.
How do I protect my “Monkey Pod Wood” furniture?
We’ve put together some tips that will help protect and sustain your monkey pod wood furniture for years to come:-
- As the furniture has a hand-waxed finish, it is not resistant to heat or liquid, so always try to 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 lint- free cloth.
- Should ring marks appear, these can easily be removed with furniture wax and fine-grade wire wool.
- It’s important to 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.
Whether it’s the twisted stool that has caught your attention or perhaps something from our extensive ranges of fair trade lighting or gifts & accessories, you can always be assured that all Fairtrade Lifestyle products have three very special things in common – without exception, they are:-
- Fair Trade
- Hand Crafted
- Ethically Sourced
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about monkey pod wood and in particular, our twisted stools range. If you have any comments or questions, we’d love to hear from you.