Sheesham is a hardwood with a rich, fine grain, often referred to as Indian Rosewood, and is native to the Indian subcontinent. It’s becoming increasingly popular in the UK as an affordable and sustainable alternative to traditional hardwoods such as teak and mahogany. Common characteristics of furniture made from sheesham include a hand waxed finish and use of Jali wrought ironwork for fixings and fastenings.
Is all sheesham furniture sustainably sourced?
The supply chain for sheesham timber is complex and difficult to trace back to its source. There are currently no FSC-certified sheesham forests although some importers and retailers do all they can to ensure the timber used in their products comes from sustainable sources.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting responsible forestry. They certify forests all over the world to ensure they meet the highest environmental and social standards.
What is Jali Ironwork?
Furniture craftsmen of India use hand forged wrought iron to create a ‘Jali’ lattice effect. These inlays are often used in traditional sheesham furniture designs.
The original definition of jali (or jaali) is the term for a perforated stone or latticed screen with an ornamental pattern constructed through the use of calligraphy and geometry. Early work was performed by carving into stone, while the later more elegant use by the Mughals employed the technique of inlay, using marble and semi-precious stones. The decoration can also be seen Islamic architecture as well as in Indian architecture.
Some reviews mention the furniture is damaged on delivery – why isn’t it checked before hand?
Sheesham furniture is usually imported from India where the climate is hot and humid. During transit the furniture may be subject to extreme changes in temperature and humidity resulting in expansion of the joints and, in extreme cases, splitting.
Although the furniture is usually checked before despatch some damage can still occur in the time from leaving the warehouse to final delivery. This is why it is important you unpack and check your furniture the moment it arrives and before the courier leaves.