Swedish wood: the material without match!

The reason why wood has been so widely used traditionally is that it is a natural material that has been widely available and a material that is easy to work with. But wood is not only an important part of the world’s history, it is also a crucial part of our future.

Wood is a timeless material that never goes out of fashion. It has played a prominent part in interior design in the world. People across geographies and cultures can shape and express their creativity with wood. In Sweden, only 1% of the forests is harvested every year, and the volume of forests in the country continues to increase.

Wood is currently enjoying a true revival in architecture and interior decoration. A reason for this is the greater environmental awareness in the world today, which translates into increased demand for renewable and environmentally friendly materials. More and more people today want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, in harmony with nature. The consumers also now demand natural materials that are safe and non-toxic.

Wood from sustainable forestry meets the requirements from the consumers to use natural, renewable and environmentally sustainable materials. The Swedish sawmill industry knows that its future is linked to the protection and expansion of its forests. Therefore, every tree that is harvested in Sweden is replaced by at least two new seedlings.

Wood at home

This, in combination with strong and effective laws, ensures that all Swedish timber comes from sustainably managed forests. Over the last 100 years, Sweden’s forest resources have doubled and as the annual felling rate is less than the growth rate, the volume of forests in Sweden continues to rise.

The need to bring natural materials into our homes is also increasing with the increased urbanization in the world. Today, an increasing number of people move to cities, far from forests and recreation areas. By choosing wood to furnish their homes and offices they can surround themselves with this natural material, and thereby compensate for the distance to nature.

Recent studies have showed that people feel better in rooms with wooden interiors, for example with wooden furniture, floor or walls and gives the same feeling as a walk in the forest.

Stress levels are reduced in these environments and you feel more connected to nature, which is a basic human need. It is no coincidence that in Sweden, people who are not feeling well are recommended by their doctors to walk in a forest or in a park.

Form and function

Decorating with wood also brings a warm, cozy feeling that creates peace and well-being. Wood is a warm and soothing material, which is associated to harmony and calmness. There are no contradictions between the material and  humans and they together form a harmonious whole.

Wood is an easily worked and malleable material that enables beautiful and unique design. This flexibility makes wood suitable for many different innovative functional home furnishing products like furniture, flooring, wall paneling, moldings, doors, windows as well as decking for outdoor terraces or balconies.

Wood can also be given different appearances by combining textures and colours, and it can therefore fit all interior décor styles, from the most traditional to the very modern ones. By using its creativity, an interior architect or a furniture designer can easily adapt wood products to today’s rapidly shifting consumer needs and design preferences.

Beautiful surface

No two pieces of wood are identical – even those from the same tree. There is no homogenous surface – each piece of wood has its own texture and pattern. This natural variation makes the surface alive and unique.

The grain and pattern of the wood interacts with the shape of the piece to make interesting visual and tactile effects. The natural surface of wood can also be enhanced by different treatments. The surface can be pigmented or painted in any colour and be oiled, stained, waxed and varnished, brandishing its natural finesse.

It can be carved, cut, glued and nailed. Further, the surface texture can be manipulated by sanding, scraping, scorching, weathering, or leaving it just as it came from the shaping.

Processes, such as sanding or rasping, have one sort of effect while planing, chiseling, gouging, or other carving leaves the surface with another appearance. Some brushing finishing processes may leave a corduroy effect, where the lines of harder late wood contrast with the often paler, softer early wood.

Swedish pine

Swedish pine is a wood species that is widely used in furnishing and interior decoration over the world. After planing and polishing Swedish pine displays a velvet-like surface. It is then easily glued into different products and surface treated.

The surface of Swedish pine offers endless aesthetic possibilities. It can, for example, be brushed, sanded or carved to give the wood different textures. It also has the advantage of being a light coloured wood species, which can easily be stained in different colours and shades.

Thanks to its high quality, Swedish pine is a material that is very well suited for both handicraft and industrial production of products like furniture, doors and windows. The Swedish sawmill companies can deliver wood adapted to the needs of the industry: wood with a consistent quality, precise dimensions and a low moisture content.

Another common use for Swedish pine is for wall panelling, floorboards and moldings. These products can be produced in a wide range of profiles and finishes, to suit all décor styles.

Pressure treated wood for outdoor use is another common use of Swedish pine. Pressure treated timber can be used for construction, landscaping, marine environments, railways, garden products and many other applications. It offers good moisture resistance and an extended service life. Pressure treated wood is a good alternative to non-renewable materials.

Wood industry

With 70% of its land covered in forest, Sweden is the third largest exporter of sawn timber in the world. Swedish sawn timber consists mainly of two conifer species: pine (Pinussylvestris) and spruce (Piceaabies). Swedish pine is mainly used for furniture, interior décor and for outdoor decking, whereas Swedish spruce is mainly used as a construction material.

The Swedish sawmill industry has a long experience of global exports and Sweden’s geographical location with its own coastline, makes it possible to reliably deliver wood anywhere in the world. Sweden has a long experience of exporting timber to different continents world-wide.

Nine of the biggest Swedish sawmill companies will be present in Swedish Wood’s booth at IndiaWood (8-12 March, 2018) and this will be a wonderful opportunity to learn, firsthand, about this versatile material. (www.swedishwood.com).




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