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Futon Wood Origins

August 5, 2008 by FM 

In general, most futon frames on the market come from Southeast Asia. Most commonly, the wood comes from rubber trees located in that region and are assembled in Indonesia. Vietnam is another country where futon frames have recently been imported into the United States as well. Other futons that come directly from China may be made of from the same raw materials, but to date, the quality that comes from China has not matched the same quality from Indonesia with the exception of some Siberian Oak futon frames.

There are one or two futon companies left that still manufacture their futons in the United States. Kd Frames is an American based futon company that makes futons from Appalachian Tulip Poplar. These frames are basic in design, unfinished, but are still extremely solid. Tulip Poplar, like rubber wood is a hardwood. This makes it an affordable alternative and makes Kd Frames an excellent choice for kids.

Another company offering American made futon frames is a company called Collegiate Furnishings. Their futons are made of Pine wood, which is considered a soft wood. Like KD Frames, Collegiate’s futons are unfinished and basic in design.

Other than a few other mom-and-pop shops scattered across the U.S., most futon frames are now imported from Asia. Lower labor costs have brought higher end futon frames down by as much as $300 in some cases.

Now with the rise of China and its immense appetite for raw materials, raw lumber is becoming rarer to find at competitive price points. This has caused many manufacturers to move to alternative methods of assembly. One common practice is to purchase smaller scraps of wood and then join them and glue them under high pressures. When done correctly, a good “finger joint” can be equally as strong as a solid piece of wood. In some cases, however, when cheap methods of construction are used, these finger joints can fail.

Consumers are advised to purchase their futons from reputable dealers who carry established futon name brands. Still with the ever-changing economy, it is hard to say whether consumers will continue to enjoy the same price points the futon market has offered the US market, or whether they will see general increases as time moves forward. For now the latter seems more likely.

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