Teak is known for its lovely golden brown color, although, when freshly machined, it can sometimes have a variable pattern. Over time, and with exposure to sun and air, the streaks mellow into the signature golden brown appearance for which teak is so prized.
Vertical grain teak is highly sought after for boat decking applications because of its consistent appearance, strength, and ease of matching across a wider surface. J. Gibson McIlvain only buys FEQ (First European Quality) teak lumber with consistent color and grain patterns.
FEQ teak lumber is extremely durable and stable. Teak has a very high naturally occurring silica content from the sandy soil in which it grows, and this silica impregnates the fibers of the wood, making it nearly waterproof. The silica content is much lower in plantation-grown Teak; as a result, we at McIlvain only purchase old growth Teak sourced from Southeast Asia. Adding to Teak’s natural water resistance are the wood’s natural oils, which do double duty as natural insect repellants.
Once milled, Teak holds its shape extremely well, and that stability makes it such an attractive wood for yacht builders, as well as other builders whose materials must perform under harsh conditions and within tight tolerances.
Sourcing and Legality
Currently there is only 1 way to buy Burmese, Genuine Teak legally. There is a license granted by the US Dept of Treasury that states that only IWPA members can utlize this license. It is imperative to know that whomever you buy Teak from is able to use this license and it is the ONLY way to legally purchase Teak right now.
J. Gibson McIlvain is one of the largest suppliers of old growth FEQ Teak in the country. As direct importers we have built relationships with mills and exporters that stretch back centuries that allow us to keep in close touch with the forestry practices and evolving political situation in Myanmar.
It is very important to us to know where our Teak comes from and how it was harvested for sustainability reasons, but also to comply with government regulations. The relationship between the US and Myanmar is a confusing one and it is imperative we stay on top of it to ensure we are importing lumber legally to protect our customers who buy from us. We currently operate under an IWPA license that allows for legal importation direct from Myanmar.
Through our direct relationship we can carry a variety of sizes and thicknesses to suit our customers’ needs. We carry many unusual sizes, including very wide (24″+) and very long (20’+) lumber to specifically serve the boating industry.
If you have questions regarding whether Teak would be appropriate for your next project, call us today at (800) 638-9100 to speak with one of our lumber sales representatives.
More Information on Teak
We have written a great deal about Teak on our company blog. Some of the highlights can be found on the left or click here for the complete list of articles.