The Teak Tree, or Tectona, is one of the tropical hardwood birches, included in the family Verbenaceae. This tree is originally from the plantations of South East Asia, and can grow to a height of 30 - 40 m. As part of its life cycle, this tree sheds its leaves every year at dry season. Its longevity is very great, the Teak tree often living to an age of 100 years. Teak is especially noted for its capacity to withstand changes in the weather and season. One of the reasons for this is the ability of the Teak to bend, but not break, in the face of high winds.
Also, the Teak tree resin typically has an oil in its Galih (Cambium/heartwood) that is highly water resistant. This content alone can protect the Teak from decay, insects, and bacteria. At the same time, the combination of unique Teak tree content and thick fibers make it easier to cut and then later sculpt into pleasing forms. Because of this special characteristic, not found in other trees, there has always been interest in using Teak wood for various types of furniture. The teak trees found in South-East Asia forests reach a height of up to 150 feet, have reddish-green leaves with rough skin, and heartwood that is brown to dark gold in color. Of the main teak producers in the area, Indonesia, India, Myanmar, Philippine, and Malaysia, Indonesia's teak is considered of the highest quality in the world.
Cultivation and conservation of the Teak tree in Indonesia is managed by the government of Indonesia, Perum Perhutani (Forestation Company of Government). The largest producer of teak in Indonesia is Java. Its geography and weather are highly suitable to Teak tree plantations; Java Island is also a manufacturing center where many furniture workers are employed to process the wood of the Teak tree into unique and beautiful furniture. To get teak wood of the highest quality, there are some things that must be carefully attended to in the retrieval process. The older Teak trees, of up to 40 years in age, are the best ones to be cut. In fact, the older the Teak tree, the better will be the quality of its wood. Before cutting the Teak tree, the water content must be drained from the tree by making a cut at its under side. This draining process takes time, 1 to 2 years, in order to get the Teak tree dry enough that it can be cut into Teak wood, and so ready for its main use as the material for furniture and other products.
In India, Teak wood, because of its durability, is used - in addition to its use in furniture and other products - in the production of door and window frames. In Denmark, noted the world over for the stylishness and practicality of its furniture products - with teak, once again, as the main material - because of the increasing demand, and decreasing supply, the price of their furniture products has greatly increased - while in Indonesia, Teak wood is exported abroad and also used as the main material for furniture.
The most salient characteristic of Teak is its resistance to all kinds of weather. Because of this, it is also resistant to decay and easily repels insects. This is one of the reasons that, unlike other woods, it is often used as the main material for both indoor and outdoor furniture. Teak wood holds its form over many years, even if left outside, and because of this it has often been used for the decking of ships - with its special aroma, cruise ships in particular.
Other characteristics of teak are its elasticity and solid fiber, both of which facilitate woodworking and the ability of woodworkers to create products, such as our own at PT Touchwood, that are both beautiful and durable.
Another reason for the beauty of teak wood products is the special oil content in its heartwood, which makes this wood always seen to gleam - maintaining this glow even if it is left outside for a long period of time. Additionally, Teak wood with its antibacterial characteristics will not become brittle. The owner of teakwood furniture, therefore, will not even find it necessarily to add a preservative to keep it looking like new. Even so, it can occasionally benefit from some polishing, or the application of some varnish, to enhance its natural beauty.