Mango Wood – Why It Is The Best Choice For Sustainable Furniture
What is Mango Wood?
Mango tree or Mangifera Indica is common in places located in tropical regions of Asia and in some parts of Oceania. This type of tree can grow as much as 100 ft. with a diameter of 4 ft. It is primarily grown for its fruits.
However, mango usually stops bearing good fruit after 7 years. When this happens, the tree is cut down, and the wood is used for other purposes.
This wood is mainly used as an alternative to maple and oak. As long as it comes from a good source, it is an excellent wood. Moreover, it’s sustainable because it is the byproduct of the food industry.
Characteristics of Mango Wood
Mango is a hardwood with dense grains. It has enough strength to become a chair or table. However, it’s still soft enough, so you don’t need to use any special tools to work with it.
In detail, here are the characteristics of this wood:
Unprocessed mango wood has an outer surface or sapwood that is dark brown in color. The inner surface or the heartwood is relatively paler in color. Meanwhile, the processed mango wood has a rough and light brown appearance.
The wood appears to have irregular lines with dark spots. These lines and spots constitute what is commonly known as wood grain. It has a fine but unusual graining.
Mango is susceptible to insect and fungal attack. Because of this, it is labeled to be moderately perishable wood.
If there is wild or interlocked grain, the wood might experience a tear out during machining. Wood can also shift while you saw it. Because it has high silica content, it can dull the edges of your cutting tools.
There have been no reports of severe reactions to mango wood. However, it may cause mild skin irritation.
Hawaii and other Asian countries have a steady supply of this type of wood. These countries sell mango wood in slab form.
What Makes Mango Wood Special
Mango wood may be considered as a newcomer in the furniture scene. Despite of that, it is one of the fastest growing materials used by furniture manufacturers.
Though formerly in the Red List for vulnerable natural materials, mango is no longer listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Thus, the world still has a huge supply of it.
But what really makes this wood sustainable is that it is the byproduct of mango fruit. Big oaks like those you find in Europe and North America take 50-100 years to mature. The mango trees, on the other hand, can reach 80-100 feet in just 15 years.
Once the tree is fully mature, you can start harvesting fruits. After it stops bearing fruit altogether, it can be harvested for timber. Then, another generation of mango trees is planted.
Harvesting mango wood does not only give extra income to the farmers, but it also provides furniture manufacturers a new and affordable material that they can easily work with. It is strong but lightweight. This makes cutting and assembling easy to do. Its maintenance is also fairly easy.
Over the years, the wood can be stained with natural black, brown, or gray color. However, if you don’t like this natural colors, you’ll also be happy to know that the wood adheres to sanding and staining well.
Facts About Mango Wood
The wood is an interesting material. Here are things you probably don’t know about it:
Using Mango Wood for Furniture
Using mango wood to make furniture has its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that it is eco-friendly.
When it passes its fruit-bearing stage, it can be cut down to be used in furniture. This process can be repeated throughout the life cycle of a mango tree.
Mango wood will only need less finish due to its fine grain. You do not have to worry about its appearance since it offers a variety of color and texture.
The wood is supplied by many countries in the Asian and Pacific regions. This means that running out of supply is not a problem.
The downside of using mango wood, however, is its susceptibility to fungal and insect attack. Also, furniture made from it is not ideal to be placed outside of the house because it cracks when exposed to the sun and is dehydrated.
Below are different examples of mango wood furniture available on the market today:
Strata Furniture - Mango Merlot Accent Table
World Interiors ZWPG6029 Mango Wood Round Dining Table in Antique Oak
Casual Elements Deacon Table, Rustic Mango Grey Wash
Simpli Home Hunter Solid Mango Wood Console Sofa Table, Natural
World Interiors Whitewashed Mango Wood King Bed
Mango Wood Slim Side Chair by Sterling
Mango wood is a game changer for the furniture industry. Its popularity among furniture makers is steadily increasing. The wood is affordable but gives equal quality to the expensive ones.
With it, you can not only create high-quality furniture, but you can also preserve the beauty of the wood itself. Making something from timber that could otherwise be discarded is one of the best ways you can promote sustainability.