The When, What, How, and Why of Furniture Industry
When was the first furniture made?
Do you need a new sofa set to complete your new home? Are you a fan of aesthetically produced chairs? Nowadays, it is easy to find several options in the market. If the COVID-19 restriction in your area is not too bad, you can shop physically at any store. If authorities prohibit you to go outside, you can browse through catalogs available in online shops. However, this was not the case a long time ago. Let us look back and have an overview of where it begins.
In history, there were pieces of evidence presented that can be dated back from the Stone Age. There were stone beds and cabinets seen in old artifacts. Countries from Europe and other Asian countries show pieces of furniture illustrated in sculptures and paintings. While during the 17th century, crafts are becoming more relevant. Cabinetmaker was coined during this era. This refers to people who work in the shops that build fixtures of all sorts. From then on, its manufacturing is slowly developing templates and standards. In addition, specialization to manufacture pieces of it started to rise. This includes a chairmaker who specializes in designing and manufacturing chairs. At the beginning of the 18th century, mass production took over. There were innovations made even with the process with considerations of different types of joints and thickness of the wood. As the process is dynamically changing, the division of labor for each set was introduced. Design, carving, cutting, and even sale and distribution are now segregated.
What are the materials used?
Aesthetics play a significant role in selling sofa sets. However, cost, availability, and durability should be considered as a whole. Creating a quality piece is not easy. One of the major things that we should look at is the raw materials used in production, as enumerated below. Other materials that can be used, but on the list are metals and laminated plastics.
- Other than stone, wood is the most common choice since old age. Its organic display and durability stand out from the others. If maintained properly, pieces made of a word can withstand the test of time and nature. The major consideration for wood is the type of fixture you want to build or buy, including your preferred design, and allotted budget. For instance, Hardwood is good if you are looking for strength. Its density supports durability. On the other hand, some manufacturer considers softer woods for workability purpose. Although, this is completely dependent on the type and use of furniture. Another option would be engineered wood. This type is less costly. It is a combination of thin layers of wood glued together. In comparison to the first one, its usefulness is shorter. One way to inspect the woods of your item is by checking its grains, blemishes, and cracks. In addition, the veneer is becoming popular. As it uses less wood to produce a piece, it answers the call for sustainability in this industry. These are thin layers of wood glued onto the core panel.
- Good quality leather is harder to find than wood. There are different varieties depending on their source. Marks for good leather are its natural wrinkles, unintentional scratches, and not even surfaces. If you want to test genuineness, you may try to smell it. Its original smell cannot be replicated that easily. In contrast, fake ones contain even smooth textures. Full and top grain leathers are the best ones. However, it entails additional cost, but you are assured of quality in terms of design and durability.
- Fabric. The use of fabrics is dependent on their purpose. For movables with the tendency to be used frequently, the Martindale rating should be higher. Martindale quantifies the abrasion resistance of the fabric itself. The list of fabrics available in the market includes cotton, linen, silk, and other types. In buying a fixture with fabric, you should consider the general environment and weather in your area. Pieces with cotton and linen are high maintenance, though it is suitable for tropical weather. On the other hand, silk items display luxurious designs. These are common in the areas not frequently used.
How to produce, store and transport furniture?
Nowadays, the common manufacturing of furniture follows a mass production format. It follows the straightforward process of production from design up to quality assurance. The first step would be the design. This process initializes ideation, including basic sketches of the finished product. It includes initial measurements and proportions. Afterward, the selection of raw materials follows. In most cases, it relies on the design and the usage of the furniture. Machinery and fabrication continue the process. They will now try to mold, carve, and develop different parts of the fixture.. After finishing all required parts, the assembly department collects them and glues them together as illustrated in the blueprint. Paints, sprays, and other polishes finish the job. It will then be coursed through quality checks. Nowadays, several companies have their own trial phase, including research and development. For small-medium enterprises, these processes are being done not by departments but by individuals. To reach these beautifully crafted and produced pieces, logistics plays vital importance. There are several improvements introduced at this stage. Since this type of inventory is normally bulky, there are pieces, which are transported to its distribution side before assembly. For most, they incorporated assembly manuals into their products.
Why does the furniture industry continually changing?
Even pandemic or not, the need for comfortable and reliable sofa sets, and chairs rises. It covers several areas like offices, homes, and even businesses. In addition, people want to change things depending on their current situation and preference. Here are some of the common trends in the furniture industry.
- Online sales are growing.As the rise of e-commerce unleashes, this industry is not an exemption. The customer is now willing to purchase online. An additional factor for this is the willingness of the manufacturers to ensure a quality product and customer service.
- The need for different sizes is rising.A flexible workforce is now being implemented across the world. In doing so, its workplace should follow. Companies are not limited anymore to cubicle types and regular chairs. The demands of employees for a comfortable workplace are being heard as well. In terms of measurement, most of the customer is not willing to do customizations. In addition, changes in lifestyle in terms of weight are changing as well. That is why furniture manufacturers are producing certain pieces which are available in different sizes.
- People ask for sustainability.Globally, there are collective efforts in saving our nature. In this regard, suppliers should also play their part. Recycled materials are now being introduced in production sites. Another option also includes renewable sources such as bamboo. There are also promotions for the reclamation of the old ones for refurbishing and recycling purposes.
There are times when we tend to disregard our furniture at home or even at our offices. We often forget its history and significance. Sometimes, it is better to find interest in the things around us. Through our awareness, we can be a great help to our society as a whole.