Thai Teak in Thailand's Furniture Industry
Thai Teak wood construction is a style of furniture connoisseurs from around the world have always prized hand crafted Thai Teak pieces from Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries are famous for the use of Thai Teak and exclusive Asian natural materials and the elegant styles influenced by the unique cultures and lifestyles found in the region. Thailand's furniture industry is one of the strongest in the territory due to its superior production quality of Thai Teak, work ethic, innovative modern styling, and flexibility in material use as well as the county's relatively calm political and economic situation compared to competitors in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia.Exotic Asian Hardwoods used in western styles of furniture emerged in Thailand over 200 years ago, furniture imported from France, England and Norway during the reign of King Louis XVI were recreated and constructed from the finest woods that could be found.
The first pieces of western furniture crafted from Asian hardwoods made their way into the homes of Thailand's nobility and the country's wealthiest families, with citizens of lower rank and wealth settling for locally crafted replicas of the European pieces. Now as Asian Families spread around the globe and are able to reach the level of wealth that enables them to purchase the fine Thai Teak once reserved for only nobility.The 20th century saw Thailand emerge as the world's premier supplier of teak wood for products constructed of wood products. The durable hard wood being used for furniture, flooring, and the majority used in ship production, because of the teaks unprecedented ability to withstand the harsh environment of the worlds oceanfront communities. Poor resource management in combination with an unsustainable logging program, political corruption combined with unscrupulous business practices severely eroded Thailand's supply of teak wood. The process of deforestation contributed to a series of massive floods, landslides and relentless topsoil erosion in Northern Thailand. These areas which formerly had large swathes of the tropical trees, leading to a countrywide ban on the commercial logging of teak in 1989. Due to the an aggressive reforestation program highly encouraged by The King of Thailand and sponsored by the Thailand’s main logging agency, the state-owned Forestry Industry Organization (FIO), they now have certification of its tree plantations as a way to reposition Thailand's furniture industry. The agency has a total of 160,000 hectares of tree plantations, mainly of teak, rubber, and eucalyptus. It has chosen two plantations totaling over 320 hectares in Kanchanaburi and Phitsanulok provinces for "certification". SmartWood, a not-for-profit environmental group accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), is undertaking the certification process. FSC certification would enable the FIO to obtain access to markets in industrialized countries seeking timber from "sustainable" and "well-managed" sources.
We are all now benefiting from these great efforts to reforest The Thai countryside with the golden teak of the past. The Thai government will continue to aggressively reforest every area they can possibly plant and give every incentive to individuals and companies to support the requirements of the Thai furniture industry. It can only be sustained with the support of all and very uncompromising policies encouraging all to allow the Teak Forest to Thrive.