Brown

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.

Reconstituted Veneer is rotary cut veneer created from fast-growing secondary species, then dyed, layered, laminated, and laid up with grain that replicates a natural species. It offers outstanding consistency in color and grain. The pattern for Argento was previously owned by an exotic car manufacturer for vehicle interiors and is a one-of-a-kind offering that won’t be produced in the future. This recon veneer is dark graphite-like in color. It is available in 9-foot lengths.

Red birch is not actually a specie—but is rather veneer cut from the darker heartwood of the yellow birch tree. Rich reddish-brown in color (the sapwood is almost pure white), this veneer is a fine, versatile, and popular choice in architectural interiors. When figured, it typically presents a curly or mottle figure. Its smooth surface makes it well suited for applying stains and glossy finishes.

Among the whitest veneers, white birch is not actually a species, but is rather the sapwood of the yellow birch tree, selected specifically for its creamy white color. In the 50s, birch veneer was in its heyday—especially in home furniture—and is experiencing resurgence with the renewal of the modern aesthetic. A small tree (33’ on average), white birch produces smaller leaves than most trees. Its smooth surface makes it well suited for applying stains and glossy finishes.

Brought to Europe by invading Romans, chestnut loves the warmth and so it’s apt that it’s commonly found in the wine-growing regions across Europe and Asia. The veneer is yellow to dark brown with a strong grain pattern similar to oak, elm, or ash. The grain is straight with a somewhat coarse texture. European chestnut accepts stain readily and finishes easily.

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.

The largest of the hemlocks, this hemlock grows over 300’ tall from the Rockies to the Pacific coast. It has a straight grain, tightly spaced growth rings, somewhat course texture, and flat, uniform appearance with little distinction between the heartwood and sapwood. Hemlock takes finishing well and can be stained in virtually any color, making it an adaptable wood for interior projects.  

While most hickory is cut for lumber due to its strength and density, this traditional domestic beauty is increasingly available in veneer. Hickory has a notable contrast between its reddish heartwood and lighter sapwood. The grain is usually straight, but can be wavy or irregular in some flitches. Texture is course and porous with a matte finish. This is a quintessential domestic wood—lively in appearance and rich in American woodworking tradition.

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.

This tropical evergreen grows to impressive heights in consistently cylindrical trunks, making it ideal for veneer production for architectural use. It has an intense, warm, reddish-brown color—much like cherry—with contrasting occasional gray-brown streaks. Jatoba has a medium texture, interlocked grain, and very desirable natural luster.

A relative newcomer to the US market, jequitiba has grown in popularity in the last decade as an alternative to mahogany for rich, traditional interiors. The reddish to purple-brown heartwood, sometimes with dark streaks, varies only subtly from its paler sapwood. It has a medium luster, fine grain, and soft, smooth texture. These large trees produce ample size leaves for large installations. Flat cut, it has a pleasing cathedral figure; quartered wood may be figured. 

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.

Lacewood is an uncommon veneer with a conspicuous flecking that resembles lace when quarter cut. Reddish brown with a silvery sheen, this striking veneer has a straight grain and small flake–the result of cutting through the medullary ray, which is especially pronounced in the species. Lacewood is always quarter cut and can be fumed to a rich chocolate brown.

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. 

Very little veneer is produced from the trunk, but large growths at the base of the madrona produce this remarkable burl veneer. In what some believe looks like an overhead view of a hilly landscape intertwined with waterways of swirly grain, this warm, inviting, and choice veneer is highly sought after for high-end architectural installations and custom millwork.

Equally apt in contemporary, global, and traditional settings, mahogany has been traded from African ports for hundreds of years. Typically red to red-brown, and darker than South American mahoganies, this specie often develops a plain to ropey stripe, and may be marked with highly decorative cross figuring. Crotch veneers with vivid, flame-like patterns are one of nature’s most beautiful works of art.

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. 

One of the most common trees in European forests, this oak has long been associated with the mythological gods due to its immense size, strength, and longevity.  Like most oaks, the grain is straight with broad rays that produce a lively flake effect in flat or quarter cut wood and straight combed grain in rift cut. The golden-brown wood is slightly darker than American white oak, and slightly lighter than English brown oak. Fumed veneer produces a rich chocolate-brown color similar to tropical and African woods. CoCo (color-imbued) options are available in several shades of gray and brown. Vintage oak is sliced from the hand-hewn beams of reclaimed wood from old barns and farmhouses across Europe; this rustic looking veneer is intended for use in random matched sequences.

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.”

A cousin of the hickory, the pecan tree was so central to native Americans in the lower Mississippi river valley that it was associated with the Great Spirit. Today the tree is cultivated in southern orchards for nuts and is prized as a fine cabinet wood. It has a typically straight grain, a medium texture, low natural sheen, a medium reddish-brown heartwood and paler yellow sapwood, and may be figured. Pecan stains well and is sometimes stained to match or replicate other woods. 

This rare and beautiful, light-colored Central American tree grows in a dog-leg fashion, making straight sections over 10’ uncommon. Because it must be cut when the sap is low, native loggers watch the phases of the moon, waiting for the waning phases when sap is limited to harvest. Yellowish-red in color, and streaked by brown, red, or orange, the wood produces a range of beautiful figures and is highly prized for architectural work.

Madagascar Rosewood can be found in various shades of deep brown to reddish-brown. The veneer has a medium to fine texture and ribbon grain, typical of rosewoods, with pronounced dark red, vertical lines that can be wavy in some logs. Darker streaks are common and can produce a spiderweb-like figure. Flat cut, the log produces a swirly, burl-like heart. 

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