WHAT IS KWILA?
Kwila or Merbau is a naturally oily hardwood. It is a very dense hardwood and is nearly twice as dense as pine. Due to its strength and durability, Kwila is regarded as one of the most durable outdoor timbers in the world. Popular applications of Kwila include external decking, window and door frames, stair treads, marine jetties and even saltwater jetty stumps.
WHERE DOES KWILA COME FROM?
Kwila is found in many parts of the world, including areas of far north Australia, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia. Timber used in the production of outdoor furniture is sourced from plantations using controlled production techniques. These techniques enable the world’s forest resources to be maintained at a sustainable rate.
CARE AND MAINTENANCE
The natural oils found in Kwila combined with its dense nature enable Kwila furniture to be left to weather without damaging the furniture. If left to weather, Kwila will dry out to a silvery/grey colour (like all hardwoods). If the rich brown colour is preferred, Kwila will require periodic oiling. The time period between oiling differs depending upon the degree of exposure to the elements. (Approximately twice per year). Oil can be applied preferably with a rag or sponge to ensure excess is removed while applying.
When Kwila furniture is first exposed to the elements after manufacture, there is an initial bleeding process. This bleeding process can be accelerated by thoroughly soaking down Kwila furniture with water. It is difficult to predict how long this bleeding process will take, however thorough soaking of 1-2 hours is usually sufficient. After the timber has been soaked or bled, if the rich brown colour is preferred it is recommended that the furniture be oiled at this stage. There may be minor secondary bleeding after the initial bleeding process.
Flooding of timber in initial watering or bleeding process will ensure no water marks are left on the timber.
Instructions For Bleeding And Oiling Kwila Furniture
Step 1 Assemble Furniture. If chairs have slings – do not put them on.
Step 2 Put tables on their sides on a grassy area and hose the entire surface for a couple of minutes until the timbers start releasing its natural oil. You will know it is releasing by the foam residue on the ground.
Step 3 Leave the tables on their sides and prop the hose up under a brick or piece of timber so that it is splashing against the table for a good 2 hours at least. This is to penetrate the thickness of the timber. Please note – the entire table back and front must be done.
Step 4 Once the water is running clear remove the table to a dry area and let it air dry which would take approximately 40 minutes and then oil entire table with Kwila Oil using a lint free cloth i.e.T-Shirt Fabric.
Step 5 Because the chairs are of a lesser thickness than the table these can be done under a sprinkler hose for approximately 2 hours turning the chairs every 30 minutes. Leave in a dry area and oil. Do not install slings on the chairs until the oil is completely dry.
Step 6 Repeat oiling every 6 months approximately depending on the harshness of the weather conditions. If this is not done – the Kwila timber can after 18 months to 2 years go a silvery/grey colour. This is the natural process of Kwila if not oiled but using fine sandpaper the grey can be removed and then re-oiled to bring it back to its original condition.
NOTE: Depending on the type of timber and how long a time it has been bled, there may be secondary bleeding if flooded with water.
TEAK CARE & MAINTENANCE
A-Grade teak requires very little maintenance; however some naturally occurring changes will take place.
The natural oils found in teak do not rise to the surface of the wood for the first couple of weeks after it is exposed to the weather and you will find that the timber will dry out; the surface will become rough and will produce fine filaments of dead timber cells. This is a natural process and should reside in about 3 weeks.
To remove any dead timber cells, simply use a solution of warm soapy water and a soft bristled scrubber.
You will find that over time, the natural grain of the timber will become pronounced – this is a natural aging process of any timber, including teak. To remove the driftwood-like pattern you should sand the surface of your furniture.
It is important not to cover the furniture using plastic or similar material as it doesn’t allow for natural airflow and will cause the timber to sweat.
Do not directly expose teak to extreme heat or cold, such a hot saucepan/flame or dry ice. This will leave a mark on the furniture. If this does occur, use a solution of laundry detergent and warm water.
For general care, it is important to use the product as it is intended. This means that it is important not to sit on the arm rests, sit on the tabletop or to spin or rock on the chairs.