10 Intriguing facts about Shou Sugi Ban

It was while developing our first organic furniture collection that we stumbled upon Shou Sugi Ban, an antique method to preserve and protect wood.
We were immediately intrigued by it and would like to share what we learned with you, dear customers and readers.
  • Shou sugi ban is the Westernized term for what is known and originating in Japan as yaki sugi-ita which means "burnt cedar board".
  • It's an antique method born to treat cedarwood by charring it with fire, making it weatherproof as well as pest, rot and fire resistant. It also creates a natural sun shield.
  • To achieve the traditional Shou sugi ban effect, planks of wood are treated with heat on their outward faces. Three boards are tied together lengthwise to form a triangular tunnel. The interior is then set on fire.
  • It is the combustion that neutralizes the cellulose in the wood — the carbohydrates that termites, fungus and bacteria are drawn to, making it undesirable to pests and resistant to rot. 
  • Once the burn phase is over, the wooden boards are cooled with a jet of water and then brushed with a hard fiber brush to remove the carbonization residues.
  • The wood is then treated with a layer of natural oil to enhance the grain.
  • Depending on the type of wood used, applying Shou Sugi Ban can make wood last between 50-80 years without requiring any maintenance.
  • It's a completely natural, toxin-free treatment. 
  • It's an all artisanal and a particularly difficult procedure - no machine is able to reproduce it.
  • In recent years it has had a true renaissance within the world of architecture and interior design. It's loved for it's practical as well as artisanal qualities and applied to a variety of different wood types and shapes, creating magnificent charcoal effects.

    Here below are a few examples of our lychee wood tables treated with the Shou sugi ban technique, available at kirschon.com and in our Como Showroom. Click on the photo's to learn more.

    Lychee wood coffee table with blackened steel legs.  

     

    Lychee wood coffee table with blackened steel legs

      

    For any requests or inquiries please don't hesitate to contact us at:

    info@kirschon.com or by phone at: tel +39 331 9632422  or +39 031 4491459

    We'd also love to meet you in our Showroom in Como, Italy in Via Borgo Vico 54.

     

     

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