The craftsmen at Itakura go through many steps to produce beautiful, pure solid wood boards; material selection, the drying process and wood processing. They do not take short cuts to create their artwork.
We know we need to be very careful during the drying process, because it is a very delicate process and more important than the wood processing itself. It is our policy to note the pre-processing water content ratio when we sell our boards. We let our customers know if the water content ratio does not meet our criteria.
The process of reducing the water content ratio is very delicate. Trying to speed up the process causes the boards to crack or curve. We think that drying is the most difficult process. It takes 1 to 3 years to dry the original wood. During the process, we balance the amount of natural drying processes and artificial drying processes according to the condition of each piece. Drying with the natural drying process for as long as possible produces better quality pure solid wood boards.
The standard sequence of the drying process is "Horizontal", "Artificial" and "Vertical". At first, we place the boards horizontally and let them dry to some degree. Horizontal drying by natural wind is the most appropriate for wood with a high water content ratio to prevent cracking and warping. It takes a long time, though.
During the artificial drying drying process, the boards are placed in a heated chamber to evaporate the water in the boards. This dries the boards quickly but it sometimes damages the boards. Vertical drying is a bit faster than horizontal because the grain of vertically orientated boards makes the drying process more efficient. This faster drying process can also damage the boards the same way as the artificial drying process, though.
We use these methods in repetition for a better drying process. Sometimes we mix the processes together. For example, using vertical and artificial drying for wood with a higher water content ratio. Each piece of wood is alive and its condition varies from one piece to the next.
To bring out the natural beauty of wood, we carefully choose which texture to be highlighted and how the wood should be cut. In addition, careful design is an important element of the wood processing, painting and leg construction steps.
In the design process, it's impossible to select only perfect pieces of wood, without any knots, that are close to the same size. It's natural that natural materials will have many holes and cracks. We take advantage of the natural characteristics of each piece of wood to draw out it's natural beauty.
Since the wood processing and painting processes change the visual appearance, we select the best designed legs or, if necessary, metal parts, to match each processed board. After all of this painstaking work, your own unique and highest quality product will be delivered to you. It is the ultimate refined beauty of nature.