What is teak?
Teak is a close grained hardwood with a high natural oil content. This makes it hard wearing, highly resistant to rotting and almost impervious to the effects of sun, rain, frost or snow. These characteristics combine to make it the ideal timber for all outdoor applications. Many other hardwoods are used for outdoor furniture and some are even marketed as 'teak substitutes'. However, there is no substitute for teak and no other hardwood will perform to the same standard as teak in outdoor conditions.
What grade of teak does Gloster use?
Only premium grade plantation grown teak is used for the manufacture of Gloster furniture. The features of premium grade teak are a straight grain structure, the absence of knots, splits or cracks and an even overall colour.
Is Indonesian plantation teak environmentally friendly?
The teak plantations on Indonesia are really no different than any other crop, except that the growing cycle is far longer. Plantation teak is inherently more environmentally friendly than natural forest timber because no teak trees existed until the plantations were established and, due to their careful management, trees are constantly being planted at a rate that exceeds those being felled. Most importantly, the plantations in Indonesia are actively managed to be a sustainable system which not only has low impact on the eco-system, but is also fully integrated into the Indonesian social system and maximises local employment.
What happens to teak before it can be used for furniture manufacture?
Teak is an exceptionally stable timber once it has been properly seasoned and by far the most effective means of seasoning teak is to dry it in a kiln. A teak tree prior to felling has a moisture content of over 60%, but for furniture manufacture, this needs to be reduced to just 8-10%. We have our own kilns on-site at our factory and, depending on the dimensions of the cut pieces, it can take weeks or even months to correctly reduce the moisture content to the desired level. Kiln drying the timber is important as it not only enables us to craft accurate, close fitting joints and thus ensures the stability of the finished furniture in a variety of environments - frost and snow in winter to rain and sun in summer. Furniture that is not made from kiln-dried teak can quickly begin to warp and split when left outside and can ultimately fail all-together.
What is so special about the way Gloster makes teak furniture?
Many things make our teak furniture exceptional. For example, the joints used are specifically chosen to provide the strongest means of joining the component parts together. Thanks to the use of kiln dried timber and our modern wood-working machinery, these joints are made to extremely tight tolerances, which means that they are always a perfect fit and there are no visible gaps between two pieces of joined wood. In addition, we use a variety of different high-performance adhesives in the construction of the furniture.
It is especially important that outdoor furniture is constructed to this high standard as the ultimate service life of the furniture is determined as much by the quality of construction as by the raw materials used.
How do I care for my teak furniture?
Teak does not require any special maintenance routine apart from occasional cleaning. If left to age naturally outside by being exposed to light, air and rain, then the surface of the teak will gradually change to a soft, silver-grey as the pigments in the surface layer of the wood start to fade away. We recommend that you simply allow your furniture to weather naturally this way and maintain the silver patina with regular cleaning using Gloster Teak Cleaner. If you want to get extra protection against stains, use Gloster Teak Protector and to maintain the golden brown of new teak, apply Gloster Teak Sealer to your furniture from new.
If you want to store your furniture over the winter, we advise that you do so in a garden shed, garage or outhouse. However, we advise that you do not move teak furniture from the garden straight into a heated indoor room for storage, as the sharp differences in temperature and humidity may cause the wood to split.