The Amish an American Protestant community made up of approximately 200,000 members, the descendants of European Anabaptists who fled Europe more than 2 centuries ago to escape religious persecution.
They still practice the 18th century way of life and are often referred to as the “Pennsylvania Dutch”.
The three official languages used by Amish communities are for use in different situations when at home in the community a German dialect called Pennsylvania Dutch, the English language used when dealing with the outside world, and High German for use during worship.
With such a large number of Amish, the communities are now spread out over 30 states and Canada, trying to find isolation and farmland away from urban centers to help sustain their remote, isolated and peaceful way of life.
With the Amish rural lifestyle and their reluctance to use any modern technology that is harmful to the community or the environment Amish communities continued with many of the same traditional methods for farming and building their homes.
Furniture and building techniques developed over the years and passed down through generations offer amazing quality and last for a very long time.
Check out the top-rated amish bedroom furniture from SimplyBestOf.com for some prime examples of the designs being created.
What are the Qualities That Amish Artisans Have?
Amish artisans who make furniture products for their own personal and commercial sales will handpick the best wood from their often vast lands, allowing the tree to mature until the wood is at its best quality before deciding to use it.
A great way of managing the sustainability of the forests and ensuring strong hardwood is used when making furniture.
Unlike mass-produced items which are usually made of veneer, particleboard, or any other composite wood products.
Good quality hardwood matters when building furniture, here are some examples of why:
- Appearance: The hardwood used by Amish craftsmen has a look that no composite wood can compare to, with a warm feeling to it in any home, and oozes style and class that your friends and neighbors will be jealous of.
- Low Maintenance: Due to the quality of the wood used and the craftsmanship employed furniture items require very little in the way of maintenance, a simple dusting will keep it clean, and every 6 months a polish to help maintain the finish.
- A unique piece nobody has the same: Using cherry wood and oak ensures that no two items look the same unlike mass-produced furniture found in many homes or offices. The natural grain of the wood and rich colors are always different and can never be truly replicated.
- Enjoy a natural product: Amish furniture is always made from 100 percent natural timber and is quite distinct from composite wood used by big manufacturers. Choosing the timber used in the furniture-making process has that natural look and feel to it.
With so much knowledge of the environment that the woods that are being used and the techniques Amish furniture stands out above rest.
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Helping to Support Communities all Across America
Americans prefer American-made products, in a recent study almost 8 out of 10 Americans said they preferred to buy domestic-made products over foreign imports.
One problem with this is that whilst the label on the clothes or the automobile manufacturer may claim that it is made in America it is often not the case, with parts often made abroad and labeled “Made in the USA”.
With Amish furniture when purchasing that the product has indeed one hundred percent been made in America and the materials used have been sourced locally in a sustainable way and eco-friendly way.
The furniture you can buy from big retailers often made in Vietnam and China is of less quality and made often in extremely poor working conditions that the United Nations and other organizations describe as “unhealthy and dangerous”.
The workers are also paid very little for their efforts. With Amish-made furniture, you are not only buying American you are also helping the local communities that crafted the furniture and ensuring the money you spend remains within the United States economy.
The Techniques Used By Amish Woodworkers
Amish woodworkers are proud of the traditions passed down to them and that includes rarely using power tools, it is not just to preserve the generations of knowledge but for most communities a reluctance to being connected to the public grid.
Instead of using electric power tools, Amish woodworks use pneumatic tools that are run using compressed air supplied by a diesel generator.
Using very few nails or screws if any at all is very common when assembling a piece of furniture to use the dovetail technique to join the separate components together with some wood glue.
Making quality furniture without electric power tools requires that the craftsman take a very personal approach when finishing the furniture, sanding and staining the wood completely by hand until they are satisfied with the final product. Quality control at its best.
The Style of Amish Furniture is Timeless
With so many new products and styles released each year on the market, it is hard to keep pace with friends and family.
The beauty of Amish furniture is it never goes out of fashion. Build in a sleek design and with quality wood, the look is very distinctive and has stood the test of time.
There is a misconception that all Amish furniture looks the same, this is not true. Whilst keeping a traditional style and the same woodwork techniques Amish designs do vary between different communities and incorporating these various designs between designers has become commonplace.
Another feature Amish craftsmen like to do is incorporate hidden compartments in their furniture, which can be extremely useful to store items away from prying eyes or children who like to play with everything.
Amish furniture is made to such a high standard that it is placed on a pedestal alongside the German “Journeyman” and both use much of the same techniques to create beautiful hand-crafted woodwork and furniture.
The ethical side of Amish furniture making should also be a high consideration when choosing your next bed or dresser, as we are all aware the world is facing an environmental crisis and with the practices, we have for supplying wood for the furniture industry being largely unregulated in corrupt or 3rd world countries we could learn some lessons from the Amish communities.
They rely on sustainable management of their timber resources to continue their way of life and for commercial purposes.
Buy American and if you want stylish and well-made, handcrafted furniture should look no further than Amish products for your home or office.