Pigments, STAINING and thermal treatments of wood.
Wood has always loved colour. Not only because it has historically been the support for the oil paintings of the greatest maestros. Wood has also always been the one and most faithful material in cabinetry. And the same is true of parquet. The wood is treated to provide it with the best protection it can from hazardous external agents. But as they perform this basic role, finishes can also play a role in bringing out the best in natural wood. Or even enhance it with further aesthetic features. The treatments that are still today most commonly used have their origins in the history and expertise of the artisans of the past.
Pigmentation to add colour has always been a major factor in the ateliers of master cabinetmakers and instrument makers. Just like staining through priming or alkaline baths that interact with the tannins and other natural wood extracts. Both are techniques that have changed over the ages, and which now allow us to reach an incredibly varied range of different looks that span from bleached to pickled, from greys to shades of brown and even more intense dark colours. Most of these are superficial applications.
Thermal applications have a long and very Italian history that dates to the XV century, to the highly original procedures perfected by the talented woodworker, sculptor and architect, Fra Giovanni da Verona, who used it to create his celebrated works of inlaid wood.
There is a wide range of different techniques this day and age that share a procedure whereby the wood is subjected to a cycle of more or less intense and prolonged heat. The aim is to achieve the desired aesthetic effect and, at the same time, improve some of the other characteristics, like stability and durability. These are treatments which, by their very nature, can affect the material in its depth.
Bevelling means to cut away a right-angled edge or corner to make a symmetrical sloping edge along a plank of parquet. It can be done along the entire perimeter or only along the length In times past, all the square edges were bevelled to mask the inevitable unevenness between the planks, which came about from margins during processing and then normal settling later on. A modern, enhanced stability product usually does not require chamfering. If it is done today, the reasons are purely aesthetic, highlighting the edges of each plank for the effect that creates. Chamfering should be avoided if the result desired is that of an even, uninterrupted expanse of flooring.