When customizing furniture from China, there are many materials to choose from, and each material has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Here I list 10 common types of furniture materials. You can find their properties and decide which ones are worth investing in.
Considerations when choosing furniture materials
Furniture materials play a key role in furniture performance. And here are 4 factors you need to consider when customizing furniture.
Safety is the most important factor to consider when it comes to furniture. This means that the overall structure of the furniture must be stable and secure, such as ensuring tight connections at joints, ensuring the legs of the furniture are firmly planted on the ground, guaranteeing the hardware components are secure, and that it has a strong weight-bearing capacity. Otherwise, there is a risk of collapse, resulting in a dangerous situation.
Durability is a crucial factor to consider when assessing the quality of your furniture. You must ensure that your products do not easily deform after use, and they should be wear-resistant and scratch-resistant as well.
Since many people now view furniture as a long-term investment, if the furniture you make has a long lifespan, it can also increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Comfortable furniture can bring a relaxed and pleasant feeling, so ergonomic design principles need to get followed in furniture manufacturing. For example, when designing chairs, factors such as seat height, angle, and curvature need to be considered, as well as whether armrests get placed in a reasonable position. If the furniture has storage functions, then the doors or drawers should open smoothly without jamming.
The use of eco-friendly materials in furniture production is a crucial aspect to consider, particularly when it comes to crafting wooden furniture. A significant amount of chemicals such as dyes, adhesives, and coatings get used in the manufacturing process, and it’s essential to pay close attention to the formaldehyde levels to ensure they don’t exceed the limit.
10 common types of furniture materials
Different materials have different properties, and they are suitable for manufacturing different types of furniture.
Wood is the most popular material for making furniture due to its durability, aesthetic appeal, and ease of processing. There are many types of wood to choose from, such as teak, redwood, and mahogany, each with its unique characteristics. And wood is a natural material that aligns with modern environmental principles. This material is usually made for solid wood furniture, such as cupboards, closets, and desks, etc.
However, wood has drawbacks. It has high moisture absorption, which can cause uneven deformation due to changes in humidity. It is also susceptible to insect infestation and decay. While some chemical treatments can improve these properties, they come at higher costs.
MDF stands for medium-density fiberboard, which is an engineered wood product made up of wood fibers and synthetic resin binders. Its structure is more uniform than natural wood, and it is more stable. So it won’t crack or deform due to changes in the environment. Its surface is very smooth and flat, making it easy to cut, carve and paint, and allowing for a greater variety of furniture designs.
However, this material has a lower load-bearing capacity than wood and its waterproof performance is average. This material mainly makes wardrobes, dressers, cabinets, etc.
Metal is strong and durable, with good stability, and is not easily deformed or cracked by factors such as temperature and humidity. It can get processed and treated in various ways, such as cutting, drilling, and welding, to achieve various complex shapes and structures. Due to these characteristics of metal, it is often used for outdoor furniture, such as garden tables and chairs.
However, metal furniture can be hard and cold, which some people may feel lacks warmth, and it is prone to corrosion and rust.
Plastic furniture comes in a variety of colors. When designing it, the brightness and saturation of the color can make adjustments. Plastic is also very malleable and can get molded into any shape. Some complex furniture structures can get molded into one piece, reducing production costs. It is also very lightweight and easy to clean, making it suitable for any location, such as restaurant tables and chairs, shoe cabinets, storage racks, and garden chairs at home.
However, plastic is weak in strength and is prone to breakage or deformation.
Rattan and bamboo
As people pursue eco-friendly materials, rattan and bamboo are becoming increasingly popular. These two types of materials have a tight structure, and good flexibility. They can get easily bent and processed into a variety of personalized designs. They also have good breathability and are resistant to insects and moisture, with a long service life. Furniture made of rattan and bamboo has a simple and elegant color.
And it often appears in study rooms, tea rooms, and living rooms, such as rattan chairs, bamboo sofas, and bamboo beds. However, if this furniture get exposed to sunlight for a long time, it may become brittle and fade, leading to loose structures and material shedding.
Marble has the characteristics of high hardness and good wear resistance. It does not get easily scratched or damaged, and it is easy to clean, just requiring wiping it with a damp cloth. Because it has a natural texture, furniture made of marble is quaint and elegant, and it is a popular choice for high-end decoration. Marble can be used as a whole piece to make furniture, or it can get paired with other materials such as wood and metal.
Common marble furniture includes coffee tables, tea tables, dining tables, and so on. Marble can be natural and artificial, and the natural one has better performance and a higher price. Please note that there are often artificial marbles on the market that pretend to be natural ones.
Glass has good transparency, and the furniture made of it is crystal clear in fashion style. It can also get processed to have translucent, frosted, and painted effects. Glass has the advantages of being not easily deformed and aging-resistant, and its surface is not prone to dust accumulation, which makes it relatively easy to clean. Nowadays, most lighting fixtures, storage cabinets, and coffee tables are made of glass.
The above-mentioned materials can make both the main body and surface decoration of furniture. The following materials are generally for the upholstery of furniture.
Cotton is a natural fiber that gets widely used. It is soft and comfortable, which makes it an ideal material for upholstery. It has good breathability and is less likely to cause skin allergies. Additionally, it is easy to clean and maintain and can get machine washed. This makes it a popular choice for furniture that is prone to getting dirty, such as sofas and chairs.
However, cotton is not very durable and is prone to staining easily.
Linens are lightweight and durable, and feel soft. They can come in many colors and be easy to process, making them ideal for printing intricate designs. Additionally, linen has a strong ability to absorb moisture and good breathability. So it is considered a great choice for armchair upholstery. This material can work well with almost any design style, including modern, farmhouse, and bohemian.
But linen has some drawbacks. It can wrinkle and stain easily, and can shrink when washed.
The most durable type of fabric for upholstery is probably leather. It is resistant to tearing, puncturing, and scratching. Even after prolonged use, it does not wear out or fade. In addition, it has a soft texture and good breathability, which gives furniture a high-end quality, and luxurious and elegant appearance.
Leather comes in both artificial and genuine forms. Genuine leather is very popular in high-end furniture and also more expensive.
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