MATERIALITY | For the love of Ply
Posted on August 29 2016
Who knew plywood could compete kg for kg with the likes of steel?
While you’re likely familiar with plywood and the use of this beautiful material in furniture making, you might not be aware of the incredible features and benefits it offers. Plywood is one of our favourite materials. Often underrated, we’ve experienced first hand the advantages of this material and it’s been an inspiration throughout the Plyroom journey. Made from pressed timber laid one layer over the other at right angles, plywood is not only lovely to look at but also versatile in nature and has been celebrated by furniture makers and architects, from Eames to Hitotomori, throughout history.
McLaren Excell Merrydown House. Pure and restrained, the church-like aesthetic features materials such as birch ply that are honest, durable and left in their natural ‘as found’ state, adding to the simplicity and purity of the overall design.
Image courtesy of Yellowtrace
Plywood is made by glueing thin sheets of wood together with the grains of each layer alternating. Wood is a material that naturally shrinks and expands, meaning a design can shift and change over time. In plywood, however, the cross-graining actually reduces shrinkage and expansion which improves overall stability and strength.
To create plywood the production process uses the entire timber log, reducing overall waste and ensuring a more sustainable practice. At Plyroom we keep sustainability front of mind in all that we do. Our products are flat-packed to minimise transport emissions and we do not use MDF or chipboard, which safeguards them from the deterioration that alternatives using MDF and chipboard can experience. MDF is medium density fibreboard core which has a core of compressed paper and resins and doesn't have layers.
Office of Clare Cousins Architects. Image Clare Cousins Architects
From beautiful furniture including beds, desks and tables, to home accessories, to wall panel features, plywood is beautifully versatile. It’s a unique choice for contemporary design that reflects simplicity, strength and quality.
Image courtesy of Liebal
What are your favourite qualities of plywood? How have you used it in your home? Comment below and let us know.