Amish furniture has become a popular buzzword of late. Rustic styles have had a revolution when it comes to decor and even the urbanest populations seek out the nostalgia and kitsch of more rustic styles. Nothing portrays rustic better than Amish made furniture and city dwellers are fast learning a secret that those who live around Amish country have known for decades: Amish furniture lasts. The quality construction of Amish furniture and the care that is put into building each piece ensures that every item is of heirloom quality and far superior to anything found on the mass market. There are more than a few reasons that Amish furniture reigns supreme.
Wood Choices for Amish Furniture
The Amish use only solid wood in their builds. You will not find any sort of plastics, veneers, or pressboard in an authentic piece of Amish furniture. The Amish source only seasoned hardwoods, mostly from their own local lumber mills. This means they can inspect trees before they are felled for pieces and that they know the techniques used in milling. Likewise, the millers will often pull out special cuts of wood and set them aside for certain pieces of furniture.
This communication from tree farm to carpenter makes for a level of quality control that is unseen in today’s mass produced goods. The Amish also do not use green wood in their furniture. Green wood is wood that is fresh, it still retains a lot of moisture from growth. This wood tends to bend and change size. This is not at all ideal for building. The Amish season their wood, ensuring that the moisture has left the wood before beginning work. Seasoned wood does not warp or shrink, it also takes varnishes and sealants better.
Centuries Old Techniques
The Amish take pride in the work that they do. A family will often have multiple generations working side by side in each carpenter shop. When a family member finishes schooling, which for the Amish is typically eighth grade, they go into the family business beside grandparents, parents, uncles, and cousins to learn on the job. This enables someone to learn techniques by seeing them employed over and over. Since the Amish eschew electricity and most modern technology, there is not a constant learning curve for Amish carpenters. They build pieces using tried and true methods. Some of the designs employed in Amish made furniture are nearly indestructible. A century old set of drawers made using dovetailed joinery often holds up better than a brand new particle board set that is glued together. The Amish do not often use staples, glues, and plastics in their construction if ever, they prefer older methods that have stood the test of time.
Attention to Detail
As mentioned before, the Amish do not use electricity or modern manufacturing methods in building their furniture. As such, they do not spend their days watching chair after chair fly by on an assembly line while air guns slap staples into the wood. Even still, Amish furniture looks as if it was produced by the most precise computer programming. The gloss of the varnish highlights the natural beauty of the wood, the angles of the pieces are sharp, the joints fit together seamlessly. This is due both to the ageless techniques employed and the care which goes into each and every build. Every hand from seedling to varnish is that of someone who knows their job well and relishes seeing a job well done. This work ethic radiates from each piece of furniture and contributes much to the durability of each piece.
Amish furniture is built to last. Attention and care go into every piece of wood, every bolt of fabric, each swipe of varnish, and it all comes together to create furniture that is an investment. Paying for quality today ensures that you will have something to pass on to posterity.