Types Of Wood

Types Of Wood

We Are Usually Asked About


An East Indian wood of yellowish-brown colour, often used for its distinctive ‘birds eye’ burr figurings, used both on large surfaces, and as specific inlays


Having a deep yellow brown colour of great depth, Hungarian ash has a strong ‘water marked’ grain, as opposed to the standard European variety


Of brownish white colour, having a speckled grain


Colour ranging from cream to biscuit, and having a straight plain grain

Birds Eye Maple

Was popular for veneers in the Regency period, and was also used in Victorian and Edwardian bedroom suites. The wood is specked and polishes well.


A very hard, extremely heavy wood of pale yellow colour, with a fine regular texture, used in stringing and inlay work


Is a member of the ebony family. Popular in the Regency period, it is light brown in colour, striped, mottled with black and was used for veneers and banding.


Of a brown to yellow colour, possessing insect resistant qualities, much used in ‘campaign’ furniture


A fragrant, light, soft brown wood with straight grain, resistant to warping, used as drawer linings in better furniture, and humidors


A dense hardwood of black hue, the origin of the French term ‘Ébéniste’ denoting a master cabinet maker capable of working with this wood


A hard, durable wood of yellow brown colour, with strong markings; burr elm is used in veneers

Gonçalo Alves

Also known as Tigerwood and Zebrawood; reddish brown in colour, strongly marked striations


Also, Bois Violette, Amaranth, Palisander, Purple heart and Brazilian Rosewood; From the tropical Americas, strongly marked, colours ranging from yellow through browns, and having a violet hue


A hard fine-grained wood, the decorative burr grain used in ‘oyster’ veneers


A close grained hardwood, native to South America and the West Indies. It varies in colour from dark brown to red and occasionally has a spotted effect. As the girth of the tree is broad furniture makers were able to use a single cut of wood for a table top. Furniture made from mahogany became very popular in Britain from mid 18 th Century, followed by the rest of Europe. The best is regarded as Cuban, hard and durable


A compact, fine-grained white wood, with noted ‘birds eye’ markings, used for picture frames and drawer linings


A Highly durable dark brown wood of considerable strength; pollarded oak is used in decorative veneers.  From the mid 17 th Century oak was mainly used for the carcass and drawer linings of furniture. Oak was a popular wood used in the Georgian era and made a revival in late Victorian times. Popular in the 17th and 18th Century because of its abundance and availability


A hardwood, of a dark red colour, visually akin to mahogany

Purple Heart

he aptly named purpleheart cannot be mistaken for any other timber, for its whole surface is a bright clear purple colour. This is due to a remarkable natural pigment, found only in the heartwood, the sap is whitish, with purple streaks and remains so. When the heartwood is cut it is horn coloured, exposure to the air causes it to turn bright purple within a few days. A remarkably heavy, strong and tough wood.


A hard-wood from the tropics; having a marked grain, with colours ranging from yellow through the browns, It is used for inlaid decoration and veneer, not used for making solid furniture until the early 19th Century.

Satin Walnut

The English name for American Gum; a light brown sometimes with black striped markings


A hard, close-grained, heavy wood of yellow colour shading to a golden hue; often with a distinct rippled figuring, and extensively used in Adam, Hepplewhite and Sheraton designs. Originating in both the East and West Indies. Satinwood became popular in the early 19 th Century. It was used for veneers, inlaid decoration and the pale colour made it suitable for painting. It made a revival in the Edwardian era.


A species of maple, hard and even-grained; in its natural state is of a light yellowish colour,  also known as Harewood.


A heavy, very hard wood of reddish brown colour


A North African wood used for inlay work, of a golden brown colour, with small “birds’-eyes” in a halo or circle


A hardwood of yellowish colour with reddish stripes; it is usually cut across the grain and used in veneers for cross banding


A fairly hard fine-grained wood of rich brown colour, veined and shaded with darker browns, often with a rich grain pattern. Burr Walnut is the term for walnut with knotty whorls in the grain where injuries occurred on the trunk or the roots of the tree.


A very hard, tough, pliable wood of orange red or dark brown colour, with strong markings

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