Rosewood furniture has always been popular and recent years have seen its popularity increase further still. The attractions of rosewood are plain to see – not only is its grain beautiful, creating patterns reminiscent of the veins in marble, it comes in many shades which range from a pale honey yellow through orange to reddish-brown, on to dark and rich reds. Allowing it to compliment a range of decoration styles and therefore increasing its versatility, but one of its main appeals for many is the durability of the wood because of its fine, close grain. Rosewood furniture is mainly carved into traditional intricate styles, of which there are five main designs – Birds & Flowers, Dragon, Grape, Long Life and of course, Plain.
Rosewood is grown mainly in Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, Brazil, and India and is one of the most important timber trees for these areas as it is highly prized and has commanded a high price for use in furniture since the times of ancient China.
Part of the reason that rosewood is can be so expensive is the fact it is allowed to age up to 200 years before it is cut and used for furniture. The governments who are primarily responsible for the cultivation of rosewood have now placed strict regulations to ensure reforestation of this highly valued resource.
Like all real wood furniture, some things need to be kept in mind when you are situating the piece. Rosewood furniture needs to be set up somewhere that is neither too hot nor too cold, and ideally with approximately a 60-70% humidity level. Exposure to direct sunlight, heat, air-conditioning, extreme dryness or overly humid areas can cause bleaching or cause the furniture to dry out and subsequently crack. A humidifier is recommended for use in extreme dry areas and/or seasons.
Because the grain on rosewood is so tight, many advise that you may happily use everyday cleaning products (the usual brands found in your local supermarkets) but from experience, these can be damaging to the surface of your furniture depending on the finish. If the piece is lacquered then yes, products like commercial polishes once a week and either almond or orange oil once every couple of months to help the shine should be fine (although use of strongly scented oils will detract from the woods own delicate, natural rose scent).
If the furniture has been finished with the traditional method known as a “tree-sap finish”, then the furniture will keep its lustre without any special treatments. Just dust the furniture with a clean, soft cloth and if you need to clean the piece – rub gently using a clean, soft cloth that has been dampened with warm water and be sure to dry immediately with another dry, soft cloth.
If you are thinking of adding the beauty of rosewood to your home, then there are many reputable sellers such as DHL Home Furnishings in the UK who would be happy to answer any questions you may have about this stunning wood and how it would fit into your home.