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Myakka Blog

Indian furniture, Dining Table, Nest of Tables, Cushions and Accessories

Monkey Pod Wood - Surin Range

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

As our Surin furniture range grows in popularity and variety, we’d like to give you an overview of how the tables, stools and chairs are made. This process is slightly different from our other ranges of furniture and can take longer as it involves extended drying periods and is based around a cottage industry with small family units hand carving just a few select designs.

Monkey Pod Wood
Also known locally as acacia wood, monkey pod wood is thought to be named after the monkeys that used to gather below its canopy and eat the seed pods of the tree. The tree is fast growing, about 1.5m a year up to about 24m tall and has a canopy which normally reached 30m but can grow as large as 60m. Because the monkey pod tree grows so quickly it makes it a very sustainable hardwood and is perfect for furniture manufacture. The straight grain and coarse texture allows it to be relatively easily carved into interesting shapes… perfect for items such as the Surin Forest Table or the Surin Elephant Ride Table. The trees were originally planted to offer shades in open areas such as parks and also to offer shade to crops from the hot tropical sun.

Surin Furniture Production
The production of our Surin furniture differs significantly from the production of our sheesham and mango wood furniture ranges. Surin furniture is hand carved in Thailand predominantly by small family units. The skills of carving and woodwork are passed down through generations and small family units generally work together, specialising in one or two designs only. For example, one family may be skilled in carving the Infinity Table while another family will specialise Elephant and Owl Tables.

The small, fair trade suppliers will provide the families with the wood which is normally harvested from older trees on managed plantations. The skilled craftspeople have to wait for the wood to be dry enough to carve which can sometime take a number of weeks. Then once they have worked their skilful magic, the carved table is left to dry further, sometimes in kilns although most are left to dry naturally in the warmth of the sun. While this improves the environmental credentials of the finished item, it can take some time as it is weather dependent and like ours, the Thai seasons can vary from ‘hot and dry’ to ‘rainy and mild’. From start to finish, this construction process including seasoning can take up to four months. Once complete, the furniture is hand waxed to bring out the natural lustre and highlight the interesting grain and colours of the timber, before being packed ready for shipping to the Myakka warehouse.

Surin Furniture Care
Although the manufacturing process is different for our Surin furniture range, it is still a solid wood piece of furniture so our care instructions are very similar. To enjoy years of happy use and good service from your furniture, we recommend just a few simple care tips:

  • Wax your furniture occasionally: We recommend using Mylands Clear Wax which helps protect, develop and deepen the lustre of the grain. We would recommend avoiding the use of silicon based polish sprays as they block the natural pores of the wood and prevents it from breathing. 
  • Avoid direct sunlight: As with any solid wood item, it's wise to avoid direct sunlight or heat sources as they may cause movement or cracking of the wood.
  • Keep mats & coasters handy: Because our furniture is traditionally waxed (not lacquered or varnished), heat and liquids may cause a bloom or ring marks to appear. Keep a supply of coasters handy – we have the perfectly matched, wooden ones in our accessories collection.
  • If you should get a ring mark on your hardwood furniture,click here to watch our short video showing you how to remove it in moments.
  •  Use felt pads: As minimal moisture may remain in these products, we would recommend the use of felt pads to allow ventilation around the base. 

As you can understand, due to the truly handmade nature of our Surin furniture, every piece is an artistic original and no two will ever be the same, each enjoying slightly different grain, carving and colour.  By its very nature, the manufacturing process can take a little longer but we hope you’ll agree, the end result will be worth the wait!

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Visit us this Summer

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

As the summer holidays are nearly upon us, why not take the opportunity to pop in and see us. There are now two places to visit Myakka, our warehouse outlet in Wincanton and our shop on Guildford High Street.

Our Warehouse Outlet in Somerset is just off the A303 trunk road in Somerset and is open 7 days a week including bank holidays (most bank holidays, obviously not Christmas and Easter!). If you are heading down to the West Country you may well be driving past! Our Clearance section, which is open at the weekends, is kept well stocked and full of great deals. It is brimming with well-travelled customer returns, samples and end of line furniture all at bargain prices, with up to 70%. These items aren’t available online and are sold on a purely first come first come first served basis so visiting us is the only way to bag yourself a real bargain.

Our shop in Guildford is on the high street and couldn’t be easier to find. Guildford is a popular shopping town so if you’re near pop and say hello to Bryony and the team. It is full of design inspiration for your home with unique home accessories and soft furnishings.

We have a big collection of our hardwood furniture on display in both shop and warehouse outlet, as well as a large range of soft furnishings and accessories as well as a massive selection of gifts and cards so you can really get the full Myakka experience. We know that choosing furniture for your home is a big decision so being able to really see the furniture as well as being able to touch and feel the furniture is really important. The Myakka team is always on hand with some useful advice and knowledge and there is always a handy tape measure ready to aid you with your decision making!

For the Wincanton Warehouse Outlet, we keep a good selection of items on display at all times so should you wish, you can come and view the ranges before you purchase. If you are looking for specific items to take away with you, please call 0345 460 3122 to check our stock situation before you travel. For directions to help find us please click here - it really is very easy!

For the Guildford shop, we have a comprehensive range of furniture on display, but space is limited so if there is something in particular that you would like to see, please call us on 01483 370740 to check if it is on display. For directions to help you find us please click here.

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Autumn is underway!

Monday, 4 July 2016

Although the summer sale has just started, the creative and marketing teams are looking forward to autumn and the autumn catalogue. The creative team has just come back from four days of photography on locations in some beautiful houses.

This shoot included lots of new products that will be available this autumn including new additions to the Mallani, Jasmeen and Thakat collections as well as lots of new lighting and accessories including lots of new cushions and some great new rugs. We had a brand new location for two days of this shoot that meant that we were able to get some great shots using lots of this attractive new homes angles and corners. It proved to be the perfect canvas for some lovely shots that included some brand new collections.  As the weather was a little temperamental, we weren’t able to make as much use of the beautiful gardens and grounds as we would have liked but there were lots of options inside the house.

The team are now back in the office and working hard on putting the new autumn catalogue together. It is always exciting looking at the new pieces of furniture and all the new accessories and working them into the new catalogue. Watch this space for information about the new catalogue and the new pieces

Don’t miss out… if you’re not already on the Myakka mailing list, make sure you sign up so you’re included in the first mailing of the new catalogue hot off the press in September.  Simply click here to get yours.

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