One of the most popular materials at Satara is recycled teak. As we become more aware of sustainable materials and seek products which exude a genuine warmth and individuality, recycled teak ticks all of the boxes.
Sourced from Indonesia, with its innate strength and beauty, recycled teak is revered by both furniture makers and buyers alike. The much-loved timber once grew in abandon, soaring to the top of the forest canopies across Indonesia although now its a rarity. As the timber grew uninterrupted for many years, its resilience and beauty was further strengthened with age.
With new building materials more accessible for local people, old teak structures are being dismantled and the precious timber given new life. Stockpiles of teak, or Jati in Indonesian, are treasured and turned into beautiful pieces of furniture. Teak is an investment purchase, with its ability to withstand extreme weather, one of its most sought after attributes.
The stories which come with each piece of recycled teak are rich and varied. It transports new furniture made from reclaimed teak back to times past, where it was a key building and construction material in Indonesia. Our timbers come from old structures, such as homes, public buildings and bridges and brings new meaning to the expression “if these walls could talk.”
As our furniture makers sort through piles of reclaimed wood, they share stories of history, where one particular collection was reclaimed from a village hall which stood for more than a century. Now replaced with a more contemporary building, what stood before was the heart of the community, for several generations. They congregated together, celebrated, mourned and discussed every major decision beneath this roof. This same structure has been moulded into a new life, into furniture for other families to consider an heirloom.
The traditional buildings and homes from which our teak is sourced are just as varied as the individual timber planks. The structures are simple however from across the vast islands that make up Indonesia, they may change in layout, roof design or detail depending on ritual, social construct or location.
“Throughout the islands of Indonesia a house is more than a home. Traditionally, scores of Indonesian ethnic groups had a distinctive architectural standard for every house built by a member of the group, which constituted an active expression of that group’s ethnic identity. The design of a house often had deep symbolic resonance for its inhabitants. For the Toraja of the Celebes, for example, the traditional house, with its high, boat-shaped roof, is a concrete representation of the boats in which their ancestors came to their current territory. “ Penn Museum
We know teak is strong and aesthetically beautiful, but it’s also naturally resilient to water, termites and rot and is relatively low maintenance. This makes it a perfect material for both inside and out. Its aesthetic qualities as a recycled product are unique too - as each piece has a different history, no two pieces will be the same.
It’s important for us to provide quality products that will both withstand the effects of everyday use and also ensure these materials are ethically and sustainably sourced. The responsibility of utilising a product that has such an impact on the Indonesian people is taken very seriously. Considering the full lifecycle of a material is the most sustainable way to use the teak which has been loved once before. Its history is re-written and a new home found.
The sustainable attributes are worth more than a simple mention as they’re multifaceted. The use of reclaimed materials gives old materials new life and lessens the requirement for new plantations. In turn, this preserves forest growth (win, win). The resources required to have new teak timber ready for furniture makers and builders are also far more than recycled teak, taking into consideration the energy required for cutting, drying and processing new timbers.
Having a piece of furniture in your home made from recycled teak is layered with history, narrative and great beauty.