This is a comparison battle that will continued to be waged for some time. J. Gibson McIlvain has decided to supply only authentic Burmese Teak for it’s superior golden color and vertical grain that is so highly sought after by yacht builders and the marine industry.
We have visited many plantations and have not been happy with the quality of the Teak and the inconsistent coloring. The fast growth rate and sparse forest canopy creates a much greater percentage of lower branches. While these are pruned regularly the pin knots that result interrupt the grain flow and create a trap for water thereby reducing the weather resistance that Teak wood is known for worldwide.
The location of these plantations create a problem too. While technically the trees grown are still genuine Teak, Tectona grandis, the soil chemistry is dramatically different with lower silica percentages. It is the high silica content that makes Teak wood so water and weather resistant in the first place. The differing soil chemistry and climate variations produces a much less consistent board in color and straightness of the grain.
Color consistency, straight grain, and clear grain are elements that our customers demand so we continue to buy only authentic Burmese Teak. Sustainability is always an issue and it is the driving factor behind the plantation Teak movement, but the best solution for quality Teak is the proper management of the existing forests. The mills that we buy from only practice sustainable practices and for that matter, environmental regulations prohibit the reckless practices that most environmentalist abhor, so our customers can be confident that our Teak is not only of the highest quality but it is harvested in the most responsible manner.