Parota Wood Furniture
If you have reached this article, it must be because you already have one or are thinking of purchasing parota wood furniture or, perhaps, simply because you are curious to learn more about this excellent wood and its most important characteristics regarding the manufacture of furniture. furniture. Parota wood is certainly all the rage, especially in North America, where the demand for parota wood furniture has grown exponentially over the last decade.
Where Does Parota Wood Come From?
Parota wood comes from a tree that frequently grows in tropical, humid and warm climates, especially in the geographical area that extends from the Gulf of Mexico to northern South America. The parota tree is frequently known as Guanacaste or Huanacaxtle and is found more often in coastal areas than inland, as it grows in low-lying areas.
The etymological roots of the huanacaxtle tree (Enterolobium Cyclocarpum) or guanacaste, which is one of the largest legumes, from which parota wood is obtained, are found in the Nahuatl language (cuahuitl-tree and nacaztli-ear). Over the years this name has derived in a meaning similar to that of “ear tree” or “ear tree”. To understand why this term is used, one only has to look at the fruits of the parotas, which are similar to a cluster of ears. Other names that you may hear when, in popular terms or in local environments, someone refers to the parota tree are: elephant ear, rain tree or caro caro.
Characteristics of Parota Wood
Parota wood has a mixed color that intertwines gold, orange and brown veins, highly attractive for furniture with a fine and sophisticated look. These grains are typically very irregular in some areas and straight in others, a variety that makes this wood especially beautiful on the larger surfaces of wood furniture. A very popular characteristic of parota wood is the large amount of sapwood, the “white” part, which we find in contrast to the amount of heartwood, the “dark” part in the center of the trunk in this tree. Parota wood enjoys a moderately natural shine thanks to the oils that protect the wood and highlight the grain in parota wood furniture without the need to use varnishes or shine enhancers such as artificial resins.
Parota wood is considered a semi-hard wood but at the same time lighter than other similar woods, with long durability and ideal for making furniture that can be passed from one generation to another in the family. Regardless of its unquestionable beauty, not all carpenters want to make parota wood furniture, as its sawdust can cause nasal congestion and hives due to the tannins it releases during cutting and sanding. This feature is equally positive, because once finished it is no longer harmful to humans but makes the wood very resistant and toxic to pests.
Felling and Cutting of Parota Wood
Parota wood comes from large trees, typically growing to over 65 feet (20 meters) tall, with diameters reaching 7 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters), sometimes even more. Due to the amount of humidity that the parota tree needs to grow, we usually find these trees on the banks of rivers or in areas of high environmental humidity. The felling of this tree is done from the base, trying to take advantage of the largest possible diameter for the manufacture of natural-cut furniture.
Once felled, the parota tree is usually cut crosswise or longitudinally, depending on the type of wooden furniture you want to obtain. When it is cut crosswise, the well-known parota wood slices or wheels are obtained, which we find on beautiful coffee tables. However, when the cut is made along the trunk, natural cut slabs are generally obtained, which are one-piece planks for making one-piece wooden table tops or bar counters or wooden shelves; This longitudinal cut is also the one used to make parota wood boards, between 1 and 2 inches, which are the cutting standards for any wood for the manufacture of furniture.
Parota Wood Drying
For the manufacture of furniture, parota wood needs to lose the humidity accumulated during the growth of the tree. Two methods can be used to dry the wood: air drying or oven drying. The goal of both methods is to leave the wood with a humidity that is ideally below 15% in the center of the wood. In this way it can be worked without the risk of suffering deformations or unexpected behavior after manufacturing the furniture.
Air-drying parota wood requires a dry, well-ventilated environment. It is a slow drying process that, depending on environmental conditions, can take between 6 months and a year or more. Stoving is a faster and more effective type of drying from an industrial point of view, since the times and humidity levels of parota wood can be controlled more efficiently. This type of drying in an oven can be carried out between 1 or 2 months.
Sustainability of Parota Wood Furniture
The parota is a tree that, unlike other trees of the same family such as the Acacia, Suar or Monkey tree (Asia) or the Koa tree (Hawaii), is fast growing and can reach maturity suitable for felling in a relatively short time and this makes the parota an ideal tree for reforestation. The Parota tree is not listed on the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN List of Endangered Species, as it is not considered an exotic species.
Another characteristic that makes parota wood a sustainable choice is its high resistance to insects, such as moths or termites, due to the high concentration of tannins that are toxic to these pests, especially in the heartwood, which they can hardly eat. this wood.
Types of Parota Wood Furniture
Parota wood furniture often has a striking effect when first seen, especially when it is a large natural cut piece of furniture, but that type of use of parota wood for furniture is not the only one that can obtain from a manufacturer. In essence, the first decision will be whether you want solid parota wood furniture or parota wood veneer furniture.
If you decide to purchase parota wood veneer furniture, you will find different qualities of natural wood veneer on the market, some with a higher density and texture than others, but which can offer you the look of a wooden furniture at a lower cost than those of solid wood. These veneers are assembled on MDF or plywood or plywood boards. Today many manufacturers around the world offer wood veneer furniture without sacrificing the quality of the furniture.
On the other hand, if you decide to buy a piece of furniture made of solid or solid parota wood, then you will have two options: either you choose a natural cut piece of furniture, which will be a piece of furniture made from a cut section of the parota tree, transversely or longitudinal, and usually have irregular shapes and a combination of heartwood and sapwood very accentuated to enhance the natural beauty of parota wood; Or you can buy a parota wood assembly furniture, which will be a piece of furniture made from the union of wooden boards, as most of the furniture on the market has traditionally been made. Solid wood furniture tends to last much longer and is considered to be of higher quality, it also greatly expands your furniture design options.
Care and Maintenance of Parota Wood Furniture
Once you’ve purchased your parota wood furniture, you’ll want it to last a lifetime, or at least be in pristine condition for as long as you enjoy it. The conservation and maintenance of parota wood furniture depends on good use and some general care, but also on the finish with which your furniture was finished. Parota wood furniture is highly durable and resistant to the passage of time, it is furniture that does not lose its shape easily and that maintains its shape, texture and shine even with very frequent use.
For the care and maintenance of your parota furniture, the most important thing to know is that the main enemies of any piece of furniture are liquids and extreme heat, therefore you should avoid leaving the piece of furniture exposed to any liquid that spills on it. these, it will always be better to dry them immediately, it is also necessary to protect the furniture from high temperatures or prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. For example, if you are going to put a hot pot or pan of food on the table, it is highly recommended to use a trivet.
For regular cleaning of your parota wood furniture it is recommended not to use chemical products, a dry or slightly damp cloth will suffice to remove the dust. If your furniture is finished with oils, you’ll need to oil the furniture three or four times a year if it’s indoors, or more often if it’s on a deck or outside area. If your parota furniture is in an outdoor area or garden that is not covered, it will be necessary to protect it with a waterproof and opaque cover when you are not using it, so that it is protected from sunlight and rain or nighttime relent.
PAROTAS is a Mexican company specialized in joinery and carpentry for furniture and projects made with wood, especially with Mexican parota wood. We are a creative team made up of cabinetmakers, craftsmen, carpenters, designers, and a distribution and customer service team capable of turning the most demanding challenges into reality with high-quality parota wood – and taking it where you need it. Contact PAROTAS for information on sizes, pricing, custom designs, and parota wood countertops.