Akacio veneer is a little-known treasure from Central and South America. It has a lovely honey color, tan to brown lines, straight grain, and a medium texture. Against a fairly uniform background, this specie can produce a range of beautiful figures, including curly and fiddleback figures reminiscent of anegre or maple, and is an excellent, adaptable choice for a wide range of interior styles.
Amboyna burl is among the world’s rarest and most expensive veneers—holding the distinction of being the original wood used on Rolls Royce dashboards. Leafs are small in dimension due to the small size of the burl. Deep yellow-orange to red, amboina burl has an unsurpassed depth and beauty prized in high quality architectural woodwork and cabinetry.
A favorite in modern interiors, beech is a straight grained wood with a very fine, even texture. While beech is naturally a creamy, almost white color, most beech is steamed, producing a consistent slightly pink hue in veneer. Flat cut veneers present a nice cathedral; quartered veneers carry a silvery fleck pattern. This specie produces a number of beautiful figures prized for interior architecture.
This veneer is cut from burled growths found on birch trees in forests in Finland and Russia—the result of local genetics or the soil conditions in that location. The veneer produced is uncommonly beautiful—an atypical burl pattern interspersed with pitch flecks, a swirling figure, and small, dark “eye” markings that create a teardrop effect. Veneer is rotary cut due to the small diameter of the burl.
In both color and aroma, bosse resembles cedar and for that reason this large West African tree is sometimes called African cedar. The color varies from pale pink to deep mahogany and veneer is often highly figured with fiddleback, mottle, or a highly prized pommele figure—all of which ensure one-of-a-kind architectural installations. Availability and cost can vary widely based on grain patterning and intensity.
Bubinga is a striking veneer with a very broad color spectrum ranging from pink to brownish-red to nearly violet. It has a beautiful texture and fine contrasting growth lines that may be wavy in some logs due to the grain’s interlocked fibers. Bee’s wing and block mottle figures are fairly common. Behemoth lengths and widths make it well suited for large architectural installations. When rotary cut, bubinga is called kevazinga. This African veneer is a sophisticated and elegant choice for interior environments.
Thousands of centuries ago, Lebanese cedar was one of the world’s most precious woods, used in the construction of ancient temples and palaces. Today, this beautiful, decorative wood is now primarily grown in England and France. Rare and highly prized, most logs are produced by local European veneer merchants with local knowledge of the availability of this exceptional veneer.
Cerejiera is a South American wood particularly prized in crotch veneer—a figure that develops when two branches or trunks are knit together as they grow (sometimes called a plume or feather pattern). The pyramid-like pattern is lively, rich in contrast, and fascinating to behold. This rare veneer is sought after for high-end furniture and as a featured accent in architectural interiors
Dillenia is a canopy tree that grows over 100’ tall in the Malaysian archipelago—with straight, branch-free, trunks of 80’ and more, and buttresses up to 12’ high. The heartwood is a rich reddish-brown with an occasional purple tinge. The sapwood is wide, orange-brown to pink, and subtly defined. Conspicuous medullary rays give this wood a lacy and lustrous surface in quarter cut veneer.
While there are many ebonies, Macassar ebony is the best known and most commercially significant. This dramatic, bold wood is nearly black in color with thin, contrasting yellow-brown stripes and a beautiful sheen. Because the tree is small, veneer is rare, precious and highly sought after for cabinetry and architectural millwork. Also available in recon.
While most etimoe trees are tapped for rubber, untapped trees are often sliced to produce this rare and striking veneer. The light red-brown to grey-brown wood has a straight grain, often with striking black-red veins or stripes, and a fine, even, lustrous texture. Etimoe is available in large sizes and in a variety of figures, most commonly curly and fiddleback.
Eucalyptus is a lively veneer prized for the exotic, shimmering ripple effect in its grain. It’s available in a wide range of colors in its natural state—as well as a rich chocolate-brown when fumed, replicating the look of rich African or tropical woods. Eucalyptus produces a range of outstanding figures—most notably a strong fiddleback or bee’s wing figure—and stunning burls that are typically larger than most burls, producing well-sized sheets of rotary cut veneer. Also available in rough cut.
Gaboon is an elegant African wood with a lustrous, natural sheen. It ranges in color from pale pink to reddish brown and when quarter cut it often produces a beautiful broken stripe or rope figure. This moderately priced veneer comes in logs well sized for larger architectural projects; figured logs fetch higher prices.
One of the hardest woods in the world, ipé is found throughout Central and South America, although most commercial wood comes from Brazil. White the tree itself is large, defect-free sections for veneer are relatively small. Extremely dark, the colors can vary from reddish-brown to green-black with subtle but distinctive stripes. Flat cut veneer produces the characteristic cathedral grain. Quartered, it can produce a plain or broken stripe figure.
Kevazinga is the name given to Bubinga veneer that has been rotary cut to capitalize on its eccentric grain patterns. This exceptional veneer is red-brown in color; with dark veining, a coarse texture, and a lively, swirly grain interspersed with “peanut” or pommele markings. Highly sought after for high-end cabinetry and architectural use.
Although veneer is often labeled white or black limba, there is really just one limba tree. Black limba refers veneer selected from the darker heartwood of the tree—typically reddish brown with varying degrees of irregular black streaking—and is somewhat more rare than white limba, which is cut from the lighter sapwood of the same tree. Figured wood is highly prized for architectural use.
Also called African cherry, makore shares the light pink to deep red coloring, dark growth lines, and small pores common to cherry. In architectural installations it has the added benefit of availability in large sizes not found in American cherry. Cut on the quarter, makore shows a contrasting stripe that may be plain or crossed with a variety of decorative figures. Flat cut, it bears the distinctive cathedral grain pattern.
One of the largest trees in equatorial Africa, this tropical hardwood’s immense size ensures large leaves and volumes of veneer well suited for architectural use. Regarded for its shimmering luster that refracts light, this species ranges from pinkish brown to rich red in color with a fine, even texture, and a typically straight grain that may be decorated with a wide range of widely variable figures, including a highly prized pommele. As with most veneers, almost every log is unique.
Movingui is an exotic wood with a lustrous surface, fine texture, and bright lemony-gold to orange-brown color. It has a fine, even texture and produces a variety of figures including fiddleback, mottle, and bee’s wing. Deviations in the fiber appear as horizontal stripes that emphasize its satiny finish. Because it resembles satinwood, particularly in its intense luster, it’s sometimes called Nigerian satinwood.
This contrasty African relative of rosewood has a deep brown background with notable dark brown to ebony streaking and a nice natural luster. Outside Africa it’s increasingly used as a more affordable substitute for walnut. Produced in both quarter and flat cut veneers, this intense and well veined veneer is in demand for high-end architectural settings--the stronger the veining, the more valuable the wood. Due to its excellent tonal qualities, the wood is prized for the production of musical instruments.
English brown oak isn’t actually a separate species; rather it’s the result of a fungus that has infested the heartwood of a European oak and turned it a rich, dark brown. When that process doesn’t deteriorate the wood itself, it’s sliced to produce this highly desirable, deep brown veneer. Available in flat or quarter cuts as well as rift cut, which produces an exquisite flake pattern when sliced across the wood’s broad medullary rays.
Padauk is a specie typically of African descent and often grows in dense rainforests located near the Equator. Tough, stable and easy to work with, Padauk is also valued for its decorative qualities. Padauk tends to have orange or reddish hues that tends to oxidize to a more purple-brown color. It is often used for musical instruments, furniture, and flooring.
At first glance, paldao resembles American black walnut. This enormous tree is most often found along streams and marshy soils in Indonesia and the Philippines. Paldao grows with a remarkable buttress encircling the lower trunk creating 40’ diameter growths which remote tribes believed held sprits. This is a beautiful veneer: a grey-brown background streaked with highly decorative dark stripes. Flat cut wood produces a cathedral pattern; quarter cut wood has a stripy contrast and is often finely figured.
This wood is indigenous to the Yucatan Peninsula and is prized for its dramatic, saturated coloring—reddish brown with black, violets, and oranges typically mixed in. The grain is typically straight with some irregularity. It’s a premier choice for high-end furniture and interiors and is highly regarded as a tonewood for marimbas and xylophones, earning its nickname “the wood that sings.”
This European fruit tree produces a very fine-grained wood with a uniform texture and a partial flame that is both beautiful and decorative. The wood is often pith-marked and occurs in colors from rosy cream to light reddish brown in both plain and figured logs. When fumed, pearwood turns a rich, dark brown; when stained black, it provides an excellent substitute for ebony.