Often called African teak, afrormosia grows in relatively dry forests in the Congo basin of west Africa. Typically available in larger leaves than teak, it has a beautiful golden brown color; a fine, uniform texture; natural luster; and a typically straight grain that may produce a broken stripe when quarter cut. This veneer can be stained to a variety of colors and is a popular choice for architectural and boat interiors.
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.
Anegre has a lustrous sheen, an even texture, and grain that is typically straight, but may be interlocked, wavy, or marked with a wide range of beautiful shimmering figures. Sought after for its light creamy color, large logs, uniformity across flitches, and unobtrusive grain markings, anegre takes stain readily and is often dyed to resemble cherry, walnut, or other woods.
Ancient Norwegians considered a mythological ash tree to be the center of the world. Among the palest colored veneers, ash has a lustrous surface, beautiful straight grain, a light stripe effect, and subtle contrast between its light tan heartwood and creamy sapwood. It produces a wide range of beautiful, shimmering figures and delicate burls. Extremely strong, ash is the lumber of choice for parallel bars, baseball bats and tool handles. In veneer, it’s prized for high quality furniture and for use in light, open interiors.
Olive ash is not a specie in itself, rather it’s the name given to veneer cut from the dark heartwood of one of several European ashes. The dark on light stripes are reminiscent of true olive wood. Colors range from white to yellow to brown in varied combinations of color and markings. Grain may be straight, curly, or wavy. Olive ash burl veneer is highly prized for its turbulent markings and striking color contrasts.
Avodire is a pale yellow African wood with a natural luster, moderate to fine texture, and very little contrast between heartwood and sapwood. A wide range of grain patterns and figures, combined with a shimmery chotoyance (cat’s eye effect), make it popular in cabinetry, furniture, and architectural interiors. Highly figured logs fetch high prices.
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.
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.
American cherry is a timeless and elegant veneer that has a satiny finish and fine, lustrous grain marked with natural pitch flecks and small gum pockets. Typically darker than European cherry, the veneer can vary widely in color from pale pink to reddish brown. Flat cut, it produces a beautiful cathedral pattern. Figured, it exhibits a fine fiddleback or rope figure.
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.
Red elm has a lively, decorative grain and a pale reddish-brown color interspersed with lovely light effects that result from wood’s medullary rays. Found primarily around the Great Lakes region, (and commonly referred to as slippery elm in tree form) this elegant domestic is a hardy survivor of the Dutch elm disease that wiped out millions of elms worldwide.
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.
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.
From the same tree that produces maple syrup, comes this beautiful veneer that ranges in color from snow white to warm yellow; has a close, fine luminous texture; and a lovely straight grain that may be interspersed with natural character marks. A wide range of gorgeous figures and wild grain distortions—from curly to bird’s eye to maple burl—are sought after for distinctive paneling and furniture. Flat cut maple displays the distinctive heart or cathedral pattern.
In folklore, white oak is a symbol of strength and longevity. This domestic standard is a bit smaller in diameter than European oak and ranges in color from biscuit to golden brown to somewhat gray. It has the distinctive grain pattern and abundant angular pores that produce a wonderful flake pattern in quarter and flat cut veneers. Rift cut, the veneer produces a straight, combed grain with minimal flake. Fumed, the wood turns a warm dark brown reminiscent of Arts & Crafts-style furniture. Rustic options have rich character marks and grain variations for a truly rustic look (intended for random matched sequences). Also available in recon and rough cut.
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.
North American oak is well suited for rustic or modern interiors. While different growing conditions can produce a range of colors, in general, it’s slightly redder, more uniform in color, and has a less prominent flake figure than white oak. The grain is firm and straight, somewhat coarse with large pores. Rift cut veneer produce a very straight, combed grain effect.
Sapele varies in color from log to log, but is generally medium to dark red-brown. Finishing brings out an intense depth of color and highlights its natural luster, which is similar to mahogany. This veneer has a fine grain, a distinct and desirable stripe formation, and often carries a lively figure. Flat cut sapele shows the characteristic heart or cathedral grain The highly prized pommele sapele is intensely marked with a swirly grain and randomly interspersed blisters, or pommele markings. A high degree of luster gives sapele a three-dimensional effect.
Pale yellow-gray to nearly white, sen is a Japanese ash popular in Japan for both furniture and interiors. It has a straight, fine grain when cut on the quarter and a nice cathedral character with a fine grain on either side of the heart when flat cut. When marked with a pommele figure, this veneer is called "tamo." Sen is an excellent choice for a variety of interiors aesthetics including modern, Asian, and minimalist designs.
Actually a maple by genus, sycamore is among the most valuable native broad-leafed trees in Europe. Nearly white in color with a fine, close texture, notable uniform structure, and straight grain that may be figured, this light color wood evokes a minimalist elegance. Flat cut veneer shows the characteristic cathedral pattern. It readily accepts stains and can be dyed to many colors, most popularly a silver gray.