Gloster teak takes green living seriously
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, April 15, 2007
In response to the growing green movement in the United States, Gloster noted its history of supporting environmentally responsible methods of making teak furniture. Long-prized for its weather-resistant durability in everything from oceangoing vessels to flooring and outdoor furniture, teak is the basic material for Gloster Furniture's outdoor collections.
"London has many teak benches that have been withstanding the elements for more than 50 years," Gloster Deputy CEO Charles Vernon said. "So you can expect your Gloster teak to last for generations, and you may never need to purchase another set. No recycling here. That's why we say it's 'made for life.'"
Not only is teak highly resistant to rotting, but it is almost impervious to the effects of sun, rain, frost or snow. It weathers naturally into a beautiful soft silver-gray patina. Gloster harnesses these characteristics, finishing most of its teak collections with hand-sanding, buffing and polishing. That natural finish requires no varnishes, sealers or other chemicals.
"We find such beauty in the natural state of teak that we prefer to leave most of our furniture completely bare of sealers or other finishing agents," Vernon said. "We sand all our components with progressively finer grades of sandpaper to achieve our trademark silky-smooth finish. We also finish the underside of our furniture the same way — even though you may never see our hard work. Our pieces are also designed with extremely tight joints that deny access to moisture, which helps shield them without any further application of protection."
In order to create those tight joints, Gloster's teak is kiln-dried in a process that can take a few weeks up to several months. A teak tree has a natural moisture content of more than 60% but this is reduced to 8-10% through the kiln seasoning process. The teak dowels that create the joints are dried to less than 6 % moisture before insertion.
Gloster chooses only straight-grained, plantation-grown teak to create these collections and uses only superior grade of teak. Much of the teak is grown on suitably managed plantations in Indonesia, which plant more trees than they harvest, according to strict government standards.
Gloster, headquartered in the United Kingdom, has U.S. offices in South Boston, Va., and employs 1,200 people in its offices, which also include Singapore, Indonesia and China.
For more information, visit Gloster.com.