All of our garden furniture is made of hardwood Iroko or English Oak.
Iroko : Scientific name is Chlorophora
Excelsa. Iroko is a unique and durable timber. It has properties similar to Teak. It is resistant to rot
and does not need varnishing. It can be naturally left outside and its colour will be gracefully weathered
into a lovely silver grey. It can also be painted.
English Oak : Oak from the managed woodlands on the Hatfield House Estate is used to construct Andrew Crace
oak furniture - a truly sustainable source. Oak from the same gene pool as the tree Elizabeth Tudor was
sitting under, in Hatfield Park, when she was told that she was Queen of England in 1558.
Oak is a wonderful wood to work with, not only is it enjoyable to work, but a sweet perfume pervades the
whole workshop here in Much Hadham. Oak also has an unsurpassed history in its use in England for ship
building, timber framed buildings and furniture for strength and durability. English oak even gave us the
word ‘robust’ from the latin Quercus robur.
Naturally oak exhibits attractive features in its grain and texture,
medullar rays will often be visible
in many components in the furniture and pin knots, cats eyes and cats paws are a feature of oak furniture
may be present where the strength and stability of the wood and construction will not be compromised. The
variation in colour and grain along with the minor knots makes each piece of furniture unique. If the
furniture is used outside and allowed to weather to a silvery grey colour, natural checking will come and
go according to the humidity of the wood and its surroundings. Oak will harden as the years pass and
silently build an inner strength.
We use only prime grade wood which is specially selected and each piece of furniture is designed with the
natural properties of the wood together with good joints as an integral part of the process of design and
construction. The sections of wood used are always more than adequate for their likely loading and intended
The craftsmen preparing the components and constructing the furniture will have discarded any wood or
components which they consider will affect the integrity of the furniture they are making.
When used outside we recommend the wood to be coated with a clear preservative (such as Cuprinol clear
preservative) - this will add a little oil to the surface of the wood in the first season. However
additional benefits include protection against algae growth on the wood surface allowing a most beautiful
silver patination to develop.
We do not recommend treatment of oak with boiled linseed oil or other more hi-tech oil finishes. Outside,
the natural silver grey (without oil) is most attractive, whereas oiled wood needs regular re application
and will cause the wood to eventually deepen through dark brown to black. Used inside, oak will develop a
natural polish with use over time, and wax furniture polish can be used to accelerate the process deepen the
colour. Or as with my own kitchen table a scrubbed surface has enhanced the grain by gradually removing a
fraction of the softer wood between the harder medullary rays.
Environmental Policy : We only use renewable timbers which we buy from leading and reputable UK-based
suppliers/importers who are members of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Our suppliers must have a
FSC certificate, and a strong commitment in Environmental Policy. We regularly request our suppliers to
provide on demand a FSC certificate to make sure that timber is sourced from ethically managed or FSC