For the time being, I’ve chosen to exercise extreme caution and discretion when sourcing decorating products for my company in China.
Silk textiles produced there, (even though most silk worms make it their home) tend to lack depth of colour and luster and stubbornly refuse to drape. This as it turns out is due to the crucial step of twisting the yarns properly, that has been left out of the manufacturing process. Also, from my experience, an average weight of 120 to 140 grams per running meter in silk fabric, is crucial for the best results in drapery. Most silks from the orient however, weigh in at around 50-60 grams… perfect for wrapping gifts, but a poor choice for decorating. Silk woven in India, France and Italy on the other hand, have double the weight, drape and gather like a waterfall, and shimmer beautifully because time tested traditions are respected there, and shortcuts are frowned upon.
As to the Chinese made furniture that seems to be every where these days, it turns to be the perfect product to hide all sorts of sins of omission: frames are no longer constructed of hardwoods,, doweling and corner blocking are skipped over in favour of staples, webbing and coiling is completely absent and on and on. In fact, the wood substitute being used, is poetically referred to in glossy online brochures as ‘Parawood’, which is code for bits of chips of wood like product that have been pressed into a solid form, then encased in a wood veneer. The trouble is, once the veneer is damaged from everyday use, it is impossible to repair. Add the fact that once natural moisture from humidity enters in to the equation, then you have a the perfect recipe for tomorrow’s garage sale finds.
Producing properly constructed furniture locally for my clients, allows me sleep at night. Having them witness the entire manufacturing process from the plank of Canadian maple hardwood to the glorious finished product, helps them sleep at night too.