Knowing your Wood Furniture – How to Identify varying patterns on Wood before you buy

If you’ve moved into a new house, you know the value of good furniture. They are an investment, but they last long and add a certain design value to your home. For those of you who are furniture connoisseurs, here are some details about wood that you might not be aware of when you purchase Solid Wood Dining Tables.

raw wood tree

Most furniture that is made of real wood have patterns, blemishes, and other detailing most people aren’t aware of. Here’s a primer on these patterns.




When a tree’s branches are cut, there’s a gaping hole that slowly closes and like a scar there’s a circular patch in the tree, like the image above. How do these look on furniture?

So when you see knots on a piece of furniture, don’t be alarmed. But make sure the knots haven’t formed a major hole that could weaken the furniture. Otherwise most knots are attractive and give character to your furniture.


  1. Wood Ripples


Wood Ripples are ripples formed on the wood that can give you a feeling of ripples being raised. It can have a 3D effect. Why does this happen?

ripple wood grain

Some trees like walnuts, grow very slowly and when they grow, the weight of the tree falls on the base. This base gets compressed and ripples are formed. So if you have a furniture with ripples that are close, you can be sure that you’ve got wood that is old. If the ripples are at a distance, then it’s a younger tree.

Ripples give an interesting look to most furniture.


  1. Medullar Rays


Medullar Rays look like stretch marks on a person’s body, except it’s own wood. Stretch marks happen, when you work out and stretch out portions of your body. Medullar rays happen when the nutrients of the tree are passed from the centre to other parts of the tree through the sap. This process leaves some marks and these are medullar rays.

These rays can look absolutely beautiful and are sought after by furniture makers. When you identify a ray, you can be sure it’s not because the wood is old and tearing. It’s because of the nutrients passing through.


  1. Insect Attacks


Insects do make wood their homes. Some insects eat wood. In this process, there’s sometimes superficial damage or irreparable damage. Identifying wood that has been infested by insects will actually help you avoiding certain furniture.

insect bite wood slab

Although this picture is the worst case scenario, you’ll know that these holes are made by termites who have found holes to lay eggs or eat. Some insect infestation on wood is a lot more subtle, with a dark mark on the wood.


  1. Different Coloration

wood capitol suar wood

A piece of wood might have different coloration. This is common among wooden tables and they give a distinct look. But why do they happen?


The wood that is outermost, just under the bark have a lighter color. This is how nature has designed it and you can differentiate it from the other parts of wood.


If you are looking to purchase wood furniture with certain design elements, look no further than Woodcapitol. A Singapore based wood furniture design store.