Shou Sugi Ban, also known as Yakisugi, is an ancient Japanese technique that preserves wood using fire. Although fire is known to be hazardous to wood, strange as it may sound, when used in controlled measures, it significantly improves wood’s overall performance. The charring process also enhances the wood’s natural colours and patterns, making it look more vibrant and luxurious.
Shou Sugi Ban cladding has gained popularity in recent years because of its longevity. Its mix of beauty and strength has turned it into the perfect material for interior and exterior design. Most homeowners prefer charred timber for their outdoor projects due to its resilience against the natural elements. During the charring process, the heat from the fire dries out the wood, causing the pores on its surface to shrink and retain less moisture. The resultant charred surface contains a natural carbon layer that is water repellent, and unappealing to vermin and other organic infestations.
Wood Burning: An Artisan Process
Yakisugi is a simple yet impressive technique. Traditionally, the Japanese would work with red cedar or cypress timber, set directly over the flames of a bonfire, creating a chimney-like structure. Once the wood surface was charred, they would put out the fire and remove the planks. The next step was to scarp off the soot and scrub the burnt wood with a hard brush until the desired finish was achieved. Finally, they would coat the planks with natural oil (either flaxseed or orange) for luster and added protection and left it to dry.
Modern Charred Timber
Even though the Shou Sugi Ban technique has endured the tests of time, modern manufacturers are still drawn to it. However, most have switched things up a little to save on production costs and time. Manufacturers have traded the bonfire for a blowtorch, experimented with other kinds of timber, and enhanced the wood-burning rules to meet our modern-day needs. Nonetheless, manufacturers have retained the same craftsmanship discipline and dedication practiced by the Japanese to make every single plank.
Keeping Charred Wood Beautiful
Thanks to its improved properties, burnt wood requires very little maintenance. When used in exterior applications, Shou Sugi Ban requires a single coat of natural oil every 10 to 15 years. Failing to do so compromises its water-resistant qualities, which can eventually result in rotting. As resilient as it may be, it’s still imperative to give your charred wood cladding the proper care it deserves, both in handling and maintenance. A well-maintained Yakisugi finish can easily outlive you, and last up to 100 years. Imagine that!
Shou Sugi Ban Is Here to Stay
Given its historical value, aesthetics, and countless benefits, burnt wood is an architectural trend that has, and will continue to prevail. If you’re interested in trying out Shou Sugi Ban, Degmeda specialises in high-quality products. Whether your project entails cladding, flooring, decking, or fencing, we will satisfy and exceed your expectations. As you will see from our catalog, Degmeda provides a variety of timber, including Accoya, Siberian larch, pine, spruce, and cedar. These varieties come in various shades, from red amber and dark brown to light grey and deep char to match your decor. In addition to shipping worldwide, we also provide charring services to interested clients. Visit our website for more information.