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A Brief History of Amish Furniture

Protecting the land, and the resources that it provides, has always been an essential value of the Amish community. Because wood is a renewable resource—more trees can be planted to replace what is used—the Amish are drawn to working with it. They have been handcrafting solid wood furniture for centuries, passing on their techniques from generation to generation. Originally, they mostly built heirloom furniture for use within their own community; to furnish their homes and for their children when they got married as wedding gifts. It wasn’t until the 1920s when the American Modernist movement popularized American folk art that Amish furniture became highly sought after by many people in the United States.

Today there are hundreds of crafters within the Amish community building solid wood furniture, each with their own distinct styles. But they all maintain the same traditional techniques they have been used for hundreds of years. Everything is built from American hardwood, selected specifically for each piece to best highlight the character of the grain. Amish crafters build for durability as well as beauty, utilizing assembling techniques like dovetail jointing and mortise and tenon jointing to that assure each piece will last forever. They assemble and inspect every piece of furniture by hand to assure perfection and then skilled specialists carefully sand, buff, and polish the wood for a smooth finish before staining or painting it. It’s that unmatched attention to detail and quality of craftsmanship that has kept Amish furniture in demand for decades.