Teak wood can be found growing indigenously in tropical areas, such as Southeast Asia. The warm weather, combined with continuous rainfall makes the orient the perfect place to grow the wood that will eventually become teak furniture. There are three kinds of the tree that grow in this region – two of them are considered endangered, due to their rarity. The wood that will eventually sit on your patio is known as “Common Teak,” and is the most popular (as well as the fastest growing) tree in the region.
Before teak patio furniture was even conceived, the wood was considered quite useful for many other uses. Because teak is very malleable while retaining its strength, the first settlers in the area used the wood to make tools and build shelter. And because the trees can grow to over 200 feet, cutting down one teak tree would give a high yield for their efforts.
While these settlers may have built simple teak furniture that was not nearly as elaborate as what we have today, the jump from the hut to the patio was not immediate. As early man became more advanced, they used teak to build more elaborate homes, and explore the world around them. For a long time, the wood was a popular choice for those who chose to explore the seas, because they could withstand the saltwater better than many other woods. Teak ships would last longer, and would hold up better in travels – making teak a natural choice for faring the seas.
As time weathered on, and people’s needs moved from necessity to luxury, teak outdoor furniture became more and more in style. And as the world became transformed into industrialized nations, people found themselves with more leisure time. With the benefits of teak being tried and tested in the real world, it was natural to recycle old wood into new furniture. Using teak for outdoor furniture became popular in the late 1800’s, as British traders from then colonial India would recycle old boat decks and turn them into outdoor furniture. From here, the benefits of using teak spread like wildfire. By the turn of the century, it was a sign of luxury and wealth to have teak outdoor furniture sitting on your patios and decks.
Today, teak is not just used for outdoor furniture. While using it for patio furnishings is the most popular use, teak has a versatile function, from flooring to construction material. And because of its rarity in the world (only being grown in Southeast Asia), the wood comes with a high cost as well. Considering the benefits, and the tests history has thrown teak, it remains a quality investment for the cost. And as technology continues to grow, who knows where teak and its uses will go next.
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Article Added on Wednesday, April 22, 2009
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