Map/Featured Products/About willow
Willow grows year round and is commonly found along streams except in the mountains. Willow trunks are often twisted or leaning and the wood is soft, light and not as strong as other woods. Willow was used for artificial human limbs before plastic and composite materials were adopted. The willow is different than many other plants, in that when it is cut, more shoots will grow from the stump. When harvested properly, the willow will continue to grow year after year and (much to the chagrin of some gardeners) is almost impossible to kill. Some U.S. states (i.e. Texas), classify willow as a "weed" and permit free harvesting.
Willow furniture has an interesting history, and it has been used to make furniture - since people began making furniture. It is reported that early twig furniture makers were gypsy-types who traveled about making willow furniture to sell to local residents.
When you acquire a new piece of willow furniture, some parts may still be green, but over time they will dry and change to a warmer brown hue. If kept indoors, willow furniture requires little or no protection. Nevertheless, a rubbed on a coat of tung oil or linseed oil every few years will keep your furniture looking like the day it was purchased.
Used outdoors, most makers recommend that furniture be stored protected from direct weather. Also suggested is to seal the wood with a clear (exterior) wood finish. As with all rustic and log furniture, some checking (or cracking) will occur as the wood dries out. This is to be expected and is a natural occurrence, which will not affect the integrity or strength of your furniture.
Want to build your own willow furniture? Check out these two excellent books or get free plans to build a twig chair. Complete instructions from Diamond Willow Sticks.
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