Teak patio furniture is becoming more popular each day, with more designers exploring the timeless charm of teak wood. This wood, which grows in Burma, Indonesia and other exotic locations, is extremely durable, light and convenient, and it ages with a stunning grace.
According to historians, woven wicker furniture was first used in ancient Egypt. But since that time teak has become a favorite of garden furniture manufacturers only in the beginning of the 20th century, when white garden furniture has been labeled as boring and the prominent garden decorator Gertrude Jekyll claimed that gray- or green-toned garden furniture is more attractive. Since teak weathers to a beautiful silvery gray, it has soon become a popular wood of choice for many garden and patio furniture manufacturers.
Teak is one of the most valuable woods today. Teak wood grows in severe climatic conditions in Burma and Indonesia. Teak is a very hard wood resistant to wind, pests, sun, and humidity. In addition, teak does not splinter. For centuries, teak was used in marine building, which means that teak patio furniture can be easily left outside even in harsh climate conditions.
One of the most remarkable features of teak wood is its ability to change color with age. When new, its color varies from light to dark brown and over years becomes a light silver gray. The first “gray hair” in teak furniture will be noticeable after three to four months of use, depending on how contrasting the climate conditions are in your area. For example, if you have cold nights and hot sunny days, teak patio furniture will turn to gray faster. Natural teak will become gray in about a year.
To preserve this beautiful taupe shade of gray, you can wash the teak patio furniture every spring with mild detergent and water. To prevent dust accumulation you may wash the furniture with your regular garden hose, keeping the water pressure at low.
Even though teak wood does not splinter, it may develop small cracks with time. Teak wood contains a high amount of natural wood oils, so it will not develop deep structural cracks. There is no need to treat teak wood with any kind of wood sprays or oils to protect it; however, the teak wood oil does create a pretty surface sheen. You may apply oil when you plan to leave the teak furniture outside for a long period of time, or when the wood starts to show gray.
Since in most cases teak wood is left untreated when used for teak patio furniture, you should avoid spilling food or drinks on the wood surface. If you do happen to “leave your mark”, don’t use any harsh detergents to remove it. Any marks will eventually fade with time. When the stain is noticeable, you may scrub the area with mild sandpaper. Ultra-violet rays also damage the sheen of the teak furniture, and an annual treatment with properly labeled teak wood oil is recommended. Make sure that your teak wood furniture is clean and dry before treating, because you don’t want to trap any water under the coat of oil.
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Article Added on Tuesday, December 27, 2005
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