Material Matters: From Asian Hardwood to Tempered Glass
Our Materials Glossary Tells You What You Need To Know.
We carry furniture that is made from many different materials and is available with a multitude of finishes. This should make it easy for you to find exactly what you want, at a price that's friendly to your budget. That being said, it's useful to know a little bit about products that are commonly used in furniture construction.
MDF is a common abbreviation for medium density fiberboard, or engineered wood. MDF is made out of multiple wood fibers glued together under heat and pressure, and is generally very affordable and often just as durable as solid wood. Teamed with laminates and wood veneers, furniture made with MDF can imitate the look of real wood while meeting the budget requirements of most families.
MDF offers several advantages over alternate materials, while not being too costly. It can be made with recycled materials, and possesses no grain so it can be drilled and/or cut without damaging the surface. Also, MDF is often sturdy enough to be nailed together, and yet it's light enough to be shipped cheaply and easily.
Laminates consist of a layer of wood or other product, such as paper, which is applied over a wood frame and sealed with a protective layer of thermosetting resin. They are used in a wide variety of products (especially office furniture), as they can be extremely durable and stand up to daily use by many people. In addition, when adding employees - or pieces of furniture to complement what you have - you are virtually guaranteed that the finish on your products will match what you already have. Unlike real wood, laminates should not fade or have variations from piece to piece. They are also very easy to clean with just a soft cloth.
Solid wood furniture is considered the best quality furniture on the market, and if you are purchasing furniture that will be in your home for a long time, it is a very smart investment. Even with wear, solid wood gains character and charm and becomes a part of your family. Solid wood furniture is usually crafted with attention to detail that includes dovetailed joints, wood on wood drawer glides, and strong protective finishes.
Hardwood solids, in particular, are cut from the trunks of deciduous hardwood trees. Among the most popular of these are oak and maple, which are commonly used for constructing furniture and cabinetry. And don't forget, no two pieces of solid wood furniture are the same, so your furniture will be completely unique.
Asian Hardwoods, Parawood, and Rubberwood
Asian hardwood is also referred to as parawood, rubberwood, and tropical hardwood. Mainly from Southeast Asia, this wood is as strong as maple and is often referred to as Malaysian Oak because of its durability and strength.
The trees used for this wood are native to the Amazon region of South America. In the 19th Century their seeds were transported to England for germination and the resulting seedlings were brought to Malaysia and planted permanently (thus the name Asian hardwood).
Furthermore, the trees are used to produce latex for 25-30 years prior to being cut down for furniture construction. This ecologically friendly process has spawned the name rubberwood.
Wood veneers are constructed of thin slices of real wood which are adhered to the surface of a piece of furniture to give it the glowing appearance of real wood. Veneers can be laid over less costly and lighter materials to save production and shipping costs, or added to a very expensive piece to showcase a particularly beautiful grain pattern. Any smooth and flat material can have veneer laid over it, making this an extremely versatile and popular method of constructing furniture.
The slices used for veneering are generally trimmed from the most attractive parts of the wood source. A saw was originally used for this procedure, but is now commonly replaced by a stationary knife. This reduces the dust that is caused by sawing, and also allows more slices to be cut from each individual log.
Marble veneers are similar to wood veneers, but consist of thin slices of marble that are precisely sawn from solid marble blocks. It is an economically ideal way to avoid the fragility of marble without sacrificing its beauty. Marble veneer is also popular in architecture, and can be found as decoration on ancient Roman palaces as well as modern-day furniture.
Wrought iron means "worked iron" in Old English. Wrought iron refers to metal that is hammered or bent into shape as opposed to being cast or poured at a foundry. The result is a metal that has a roughed up surface as opposed to the machine-made smooth look of alternate metal products. Because of this coarse surface, wrought iron is able to retain a thicker layer of finish than smoother metal.
Working metal by hand has been done for over 5,000 years, to make functional items such as furniture, as well as art. The wrought iron of today most commonly consists of mild steel, which was discovered in 1856 and is made by melting cast iron and removing the carbon and slag.
Tempered glass can be made in one of two ways, both of which produce very similar results. The first is by subjecting the glass to a special heat-treatment in which it is heated to about 680
Clarifying Mens Fashion Quality Details on Mens Ties
To appreciate the details on mens ties allows the recognition and justification of the quality of a well-made tie. Actually there are very few men out there who really know about these details.
Craftmanship is the determining factor for any well-made neckties. Systematically, we will go through the details on mens ties starting from the fabric and then to the all the inconspicuous detailing behind the tie.
Whenever we look at a necktie's fabric, we should take special attention to the weight, texture, and feel of the tie's fabrics which is termed as the "hand".
A beautiful fuller hand of the fabric is one of the most important details on mens ties. It is the basis of making mens ties look attractive.
Undeniably, silk or even silk blends are the fabric of choice because of its smooth touch and its luxurious sheen.
It has great matching capability against mens dress shirts and mens suits to bring out the best of the overall look.
Good quality silk ties should always feel smooth to the touch. If there is a rough touch to it would mean it is made from inferior silk.
On the other hand, for woven silk ties with a full hand would involve a thick weave and this is likely to create a slightly coarser texture for the silk. Printed and solid colored ties are likely to have a silkier hand compared to woven ties.
Besides being smooth, good quality silk ties are lithe because stiff silk fabrics are usually signs of multiple dying. This makes the ties less likely to have a nice drape down. It can also begin to fray over time at the ends.
The reason for full hand fabric details on mens ties is to make it strong and firm in order to sustain the tension made when knotting it.
Instead, for those lower quality mens ties with poor hand will start to waver and go out of shape over time.
Fabric with a rich hand will also allow larger knots to be made to fill the gap between the dress shirts' collar points. It holds the knot firmly as well without it sliding down.
Most of the well-made ties are constructed with three pieces of silk fabrics. Let us define the three-pieces of silk: the apron (the wide front piece), the neckband (center portion piece), and lastly, the backpiece (narrow end of the tie).
The three-piece, not two, allows the mens ties to drape nicely and conform to the neck.
Width and Length
Out of all the details of mens ties, the width has made the most significant changes along with trends.
The 1950s we have seen much narrower and thinner ties compared to the thicker and wider neckties in the 1960s.
Classic mens ties generally have a width of about 2 ? to 3 1/2 inches. This width meets in proportion to most the men's body size and shapes and having such a balance is important.
It is good to note that wider mens ties will generally mean a bigger knot when ties. So there would be difficulty tying those thinner knots and vice versa for thin neckties for tying thicker knots.
So choosing the right dress shirts collars for such trendy width neckties is important.
Straight point and tab collars for dress shirts would definitely fit those thinner ties better. Forget about those spread collars because the small knots made by thinner ties would be able to cover up the gap between the collar points.
Generally, we will find ties with length from 52 to 58 inches. As a rule of thumb, mens ties should have length with tips ending at the belt's upper edge. Anything longer than that will definitely make men look short-waisted and clowny.
The right length details of mens ties boils down to the height of the men. For taller men, special length ties are less available commercially but can still be found here.
This is the inside fabric which the outside fabric of the tie is sewn onto. It is not easily noticeable unless you unfold the apron at the back of the tie and look feel within.
The lining details in this era are fundamentally creating the fullness in mens ties compared to traditional ones where they relied on several folds of the silk.
Make sure that lining runs throughout the neckband of the ties, otherwise there will not be consistency in the finishing look of the tie.
The lining details on mens ties are the pillars holding up the shape. Majority of mens ties have the lining made from wool. Lighter and finer silk ties usually have heavier wool lining to give more weighting and body to the tie.
While the thicker or heavy weaved silk ties have lighter lining requirements. In order to judge the weight of the lining, just take note the number of stripes, the more the stripes means heavier the lining.
It is important to differentiate whether it is the heavy silk fabric providing the fullness in hand or was it the lining that made the overall heavy finish.
Quality details on mens ties should always be base on the outer silk fabric giving the fullness and never the lining.
Just a note, there are some summer ties where there are no lining inside. So these mens ties looks a lot skimpier and skinnier than the usual silk ties.
Fabrics details on mens ties have to be cut at a 45-degree angle bias. This bias cut is a quality assurance that keeps the fabric from twisting after tying the knot. The mens tie should always fall straight down flat.
There should not be any case of twisting when the tie is held up, otherwise then it means there is no bias cut being made and definitely not a tie worth buying.
High quality details on mens ties from the outside fabric, lining, and tipping are all involved in the bias cut.
This is a small thread stitched across the back of mens ties to that joins the main seam of the two folded portions. It provides reinforcement for mens ties at this point and maintains the shape of the tie.
There should be 2 bar tacks one on each end of the tie. Check to make sure that the threading is tightly twisted to strengthen the bonding. It should not in any case become loose.
One of the most inconspicuous details on mens ties, the slipstitch is actually a loose long black thread that is sews the shell and blanket of the tie to provide elasticity and recovery.
It is meant to make mens ties movable from one end to the other and not break at the seam.
When tying the tie tightly, the slipstitch allows the tie to drape properly and not break apart.
It also helps the tie to get back in shape upon removal by simply pulling the slipstitch. This unique threading can be found inside the ?V? spread within when opening the apron.
This is the most prominent details on mens ties at the back meant for sliding the back piece of the tie.
Generally most loops are made with the label printed or sewn on it. However, well-made mens ties have an additional loop that is made from the same fabric as the tie.
High quality loops are actually hand-sewn to give is a sturdy finishing. To recognize hand stitched loop we focus on stitching at the four corners of the loop to the shell. Machine sewn ones usually have the loop sewn vertically along the edges of the loop.
The most visible fabric details on mens ties at the opening end of the back apron. This is usually made of fabric with similar patterns to the tie or of a matching shade as the tie.
There are some ties that use interesting contrast for the tipping against the color or pattern of the tie itself as an ornamental presentation.
Good quality mens ties have the tipping made of silk but there are many commercial neckties made with synthetic fabrics.
There are designers that print their label on the silk tipping to represent ownership for the particular silk pattern.