Common Questions when buying Bali Furniture

The Furniture is insensitive to weather and soon develops cracks!

When a tree is removed from the forest and converted into planks the Moisture Content will be higher than 30%.  Before it can be used for Furniture depending on the species and size it should be dried in an oven for at least 4 weeks.  This costs money and time and many of the so called furniture manufacturers dont want to take the trouble to do this because visitors will only experience the problem  weeks or months later when the stress within the wood as it dries and shrinks causes it to crack.
At YMB Furniture in Canggu we can show you our ovens which bring the Moisture content down to 10-12%  which is the ambient condition in most temperate countries and this ensures the products will give you trouble free service for years to come.

The Best furniture is good old timber! is this true?

Recycled Wood from Old buildings has been a popular source for making rustic furniture designs for some years but it is becoming scarce and if it is in good condition without deterioration has become more expensive than new wood .  So it very much depends on the style of furniture you need. For contemporary designs we invariably use new wood and can even “age” it to have a mature appearance.  For rustic furniture old teak wood is popular but requires careful Selection.  At YMB Furniture in Canggu we will listen carefully to your preferences and give you samples of finished wood  to approve before we start prodcution

When shipping the furniture, can it be damaged if packaged with single layer cardboard?

If sending a full container load (FCL) then single layer Cardboard is usually cost effective provided the Packing Crew take care when loading the container not to stack furniture on top which may cause damage to the items below.  This is why a responsible Company should be used to manage the container stuffing.   At YMB Furniture Canggu all the products we send whether by FCL or small shipments of less than a container load (LCL) are packed under our supervision by an experienced Packing crew.  Invariably LCL loads should be packed in Wooden Cases or Pallets as single layer cardboard is insufficient to withstand handling during transport and unloading

The furniture can be poorly made. Not level. How do I know it won’t fall apart?

Much of the furniture sold by vendors and galleries in Bali was made by “piece” workers without  supervision or quality control.  It may look good but in reality it may be from wet wood held together by glue that will dry out and the furniture literally fall apart.   Very few of the vendors in Bali are actually genuine furniture manufacturers .  YMB Furniture in Canggu are a Licensed Industrial Furniture Company monitored by Government and working to a strict quality control regime.   The process and the professionalism can be  seen in our website video if you visit www.ymbfurniture.com and if you visit us personally you will be welcomed  and offered  a guided tour of our facilities  to reassure you that you will make the right decision if you choose to come to us for your furniture requirements!

Guide to Buying Teak furniture in Bali

Many visitors to the holiday island of Bali are charmed and sometimes overwhelmed by the choice of solid wood furniture on display and at such attractive prices. After all there is nothing to match the beauty of natural wood – properly finished, and the temptation to replace all that chipboard and laminate back home with the real thing is strong indeed. Many holiday makers are put off when they discover the price of transporting back to their countries which often is far more than the cost of the product itself!.For those who cannot resist, what lies in store for them when their new purchases finally arrive back at their eventual destination?

Driftwood and teak top table
It may look nice in the showroom, but what is it really like?

How is the inexperienced buyer able to discern the factors that will determine satisfaction with their new purchase? Freshly finished, it may look nice in the showroom, but what is it really like?Let’s take a look at the elements that go into your Balinese furniture. Where do we start? Well why not with the wood itself. It may be from Teakwood – good quality Indonesia Teakwood, properly finished although not as fine as the more famous Burmese variety has great natural beauty. Indonesia Mahogany is an inferior and lighter wood – not at all like the West African variety favoured by the great European pioneers of Cabinet Making. It is also very prone to worm infestation and great care should be taken to check the product for those powdery dust deposits that confirm their unwanted presence. Other woods like Albasia are favoured by carvers for ease of working.Where was your furniture made?

4 poster bed
furniture you see on display in Bali probably originated from small workshops in the villages or “kampung”

It may have been made in Bali but the chances are that it was made in Java. After all the biggest centers of furniture wood and production are in Java. Huge factories often with International investment turn out furniture for the mass produced market…. but the furniture you see on display in Bali probably originated from small workshops in the villages or “kampung”.
Many “kampung” operations are capable of producing a high quality product, there is no shortage of skilled woodworkers but due to economic pressures there is a high percentage of substandard workmanship – in a shortsighted effort to save cost.

When you first view that chair or cabinet – it may be difficult for you to discover if it has been properly constructed with joints in the correct places – perhaps it is just glue that holds it together. In one year it may be reduced to a pile of wood pieces…it happens!

Entertainment unit
Check the drawers……sometimes they are only half the depth of the space they slide into..

Check the drawers……sometimes they are only half the depth of the space they slide into..

That table top looks nice and thick…or is it just a frame hiding matchwood thin planks inside.

The list can go on…

Lets return to the wood….wood supplies are strictly regulated by Government and at certain times of the year there are shortages. As a result freshly cut green timber is often converted into sections and sold to furniture workshops without drying. To make things worse, the shortages often occur in the rainy season between November and March when the drying process is slower and the wood left uncovered in the rain.

Freshly cut wood will have a moisture content of about 35% and by kiln drying or drying naturally given time it will settle to around 15% which as about ambient for a tropical country like Indonesia. Unfortunately the wood may be turned into furniture long before this drying process is finished. The result can be severe cracking or twisting. The doors of that nice cabinet may already be distorted by the time they reach the showroom and the table top or the side of cabinets where the wood is restrained by framing may very well crack or the joints open up.

Now cracking is a problem inherent an all solid wood furniture and cannot always be considered a fault. You can own a solid wood cabinet for years without problems but central heating or under-floor electric heating without humidifiers can lead to serious cracks some years later. It also depends on the country or region. For example, the ambient moisture content in UK maybe 10-12% but in the Mediterranean Region as low as 6-8%.

So the simple fact is that if you buy furniture from a tropical region like Bali, it is impossible to guarantee that cracking will not occur. However, ensuring the wood is dried to around 15% before it is made into furniture will reduce the build up of stress in the wood fibres when further drying occurs and will minimize the risk considerably.

We have explained some of the risks of touristic furniture buying. Maybe in the long run the tourist would be better off to buy from the friendly importer back home who will be aware of these problems and take care of them.

There are also company’s like YMB Furniture who are experienced in minimizing these problems. They do this by ensuring that best quality driest available woods are used, that the construction techniques follow the best practice and apply strict quality control before goods are shipped.

Their Clients are Furniture Galleries in various countries to whom YMB Furniture supplies their A grade product. YMB Furniture work with these gallerys to educate them in dealing with any problems…should they arise, so their customers can be confident that an after sales service is available to take care of them.

Tips on Buying Synthetic Rattan Furniture

Synthetic Rattan outdoor Furniture comes in many forms now a days. Gone are the days when you had to struggle to find some one supplying it. Browsing through Alibaba literally hundreds of companies selling all types of Synthetic Rattan outdoor furniture. But how do you know if any of it is any good? What are the signs to look out for? Let me explain…

Synthetic rattan outdoor furniture is always developing. New designs come out every month looking modern with different colours, weaves and styles. It’s a constantly changing and developing market. Every company looks to stay ahead of the field bringing out fresh new designs. It’s this constant rush of new designs that presents problems. How well thought out are these designs? I can give you an example. At a recent visit to a certain indoor and outdoor trade show in China, we visited the stands of several large Chinese outdoor furniture companies. From afar, yes interesting designs, not bad…. but on closer inspection it doesn’t look good! The weaves around the edges are uneven due to the sharp angles. On some of the intricate weaving designs, the strands don’t line up making it look messy. How can one be sure you will get the finished article on delivery?

My point is that when buying large or small quantities of synthetic furniture one needs to be sure that you get the best product with a partner who will make the designs to a high standard of quality. I say this on the back of YMB Furniture recently supplying our synthetic furniture to a 5 star hotel. All designs need to be considered with rigours quality control to make sure that specific weaving is done correctly on particular parts of a custom designed chair for example. The margins are small but get it wrong and the chair looks wrong and lacks that “quality” appeal.

But it’s not just the weaving that can be an issue. Are the frame joints inside made with 360 welding(for strength) or the quick and easy spot welding. When a joint breaks it will soon be clear! This is often hard to spot before hand and is why working with a reputable partner such as YMB Furniture can be such a bonus. Through experience with dealing with European standards and the our own rigorous controls, we know what is and is not acceptable.

So why not contact us and see how we can help you with your Synthetic Furniture requirements.