The history of Materials used in Furniture making

The history of Materials used in Furniture making

Have you ever walked through a Furniture store and wondered about the evolution of furniture? The first piece of furniture was used about 6,500 years ago in the Neolithic period. People used stone for hewing dressers, stools, and stoves, as found at Skara Brae, Scotland. Find out more about the materials applied in furniture-making in the article below:

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A statuette of a Goddess made in 6000 BCE shows her sitting atop a fancy throne, indicating that humans had already learned how to make and use chairs.

In the Classical era of Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, people prized the durability of stone and often used granite and marble. The stones were used extensively, as now, in bathroom fittings!

Stone enjoyed popularity in the Orient as well. The Mughal emperors commissioned elaborate marble benches, space dividers, tables, and shelves to decorate their palaces and parks.

  • Wood:

Wood is the most common furniture material. The earliest record of wooden furniture dates back to 3200 BCE in Egypt. Tombs revealed beds, chairs, and headrests made of imported Phoenician wood. Leather, silver, ebony, and ivory were used to decorate the items. Egyptians may have developed the art of expensive veneering wood over cheap wood to save costs.

The history of Materials used in Furniture making

The Greeks and Romans used chairs that closely resemble their modern-day variants. They also had wooden stools, thrones, and recliners. The use of tables for religious purposes is also found in this era.

Wood lent itself easily to the exquisite carving required for designs in the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Ornate wardrobes, chests, caskets, and dressers raised the luxury of the chateaus of nobility.

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Asian cultures used tropical hardwood and bamboo extensively in furnishing their homes. Curious artifacts such as the Japanese Tansu chests displayed intricate ironwork inlaid in wood.

In the 19th Century, wooden furniture took a turn towards Modernism, relying on materials such as laminated plywood to give the pieces of this era a distinctive style.

The 21st Century marks an era of ecological consciousness, which is reflected in the Ecodesign movement of furniture. A leading Furniture store in Brisbane uses reclaimed wood to fashion statement pieces that are friendly to the environment and your pocket.

  • Metal:

The Egyptians made gold thrones and stools as early as the 14th century BCE. Gold furniture continued to be popular among royalty across the world much into the 18th century CE. However, as gold is expensive, it never really caught on as a popular furniture metal.

Bronze, iron, and silver were used in Greece and Rome – especially for furniture with religious significance. If a particular metal was expensive, they would use metal sheets to coat wooden articles.

In the 18th Century, metallurgical developments allowed the widespread use of iron in furniture. Tables, chairs, lawn furniture, and beds were made by casting iron into intricate molds.

The 1920s saw the advent of steel as a viable furniture metal. Steel springs, chromium-plated steel tubes, and wires were used to make functional furniture that was striking in design.

Steel and aluminum remain very popular today due to their lightweight and strength.

  • Plastic:

Since 1907, when Bakelite was invented, plastic has been unstoppable. Furniture made of plastic is cheap and easy to produce. Further, the items are durable under extreme weather conditions and make for ideal outdoor furnishing elements.

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Although concerns about plastic pollution have led many people to look for alternative sources, plastics still carry huge clout. Instead of replacing plastic with new material, governments and social organizations are increasing their efforts towards a culture where all discarded plastic is recycled, thus reducing plastic deposits in the earth.

Top furniture stores offer you eco-friendly pieces that enhance the beauty of the space they occupy and become ideal conversation starters when you entertain guests. Head over to your nearest shop, or check out their line-up online to find your next signature piece!

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Alison Lurie

Alison Lurie is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.