Natural values: designing with veneer

19-May-2017

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© Schorn & Groh, out for space, Decospan, IFN/Röhr GmbH

In these times of decreasing natural resources, wood is once again attracting attention as a renewable raw material. New processing and production techniques are changing its characteristics and inspiring new solutions. interzum 2017 exhibitors are developing veneers for a wide range of applications.

Wood is suitable for almost every conceivable area of use in furniture and interior construction. The material’s essential naturalness is turned into a special feature in veneers. The thin sheets of wood that are sliced or peeled from the trunk are suitable for many applications in furniture design. Wood veneers are also used in interior construction, appearing in different segments such as home, office and store design. But products by interzum exhibitors can also be found in automotive and aeroplane interior furnishings.

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Decospan at interzum, © Koelnmesse

The full spectrum of possible veneer looks is vast today. The reproduction of decorative and graphic effects enables great design freedom. The latest production techniques make it possible to imitate both common and exotic types of wood. Distressed surfaces are currently in demand. Just like historic beams, veneers paint pictures with the different colours of the wood and their knots and cracks. “Brushed, rough-cut, sandblasted, plane-wave and chopped looks are now on-trend – especially veneers that are individually printed to the customer’s specification,” explains the Secretary of the veneer association Initiative Furnier + Natur (IFN), Dirk-Uwe Klaas.

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Schorn & Groh plaited veneers are handmade, © Schorn & Groh

In furniture construction and automotive manufacturing, the general trend is for classic, smooth veneers. Today’s surfaces stand out here because of their authentic textures and huge diversity of colours. The new designs range between natural looks and graphic design, and the material properties are now similarly very diverse. Veneers can be translucent or air-permeable and can even be shaped in three dimensions. This year’s interzum has shown the immense spectrum of possibilities that the wood material offers.

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"karuun" veneer is made from rattan and can be shaped in three dimensions, © out for space

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