Traditional in nature, Amish furniture began to gain attention in the 1920’s. The style of Amish furniture primarily leans toward the look of mission and shaker. Mission style is identified by simple, straight lines of construction, flat stained panels exposing the grain of the wood and exposed joinery. Shaker style furniture focuses on function, proportion and durability with minimal design. While these are the primary styles, Amish furniture is offered in a variety of designs and levels of quality.
Sturdiness, strength and durability are associated with authentic Amish furniture. Each piece is handmade, resulting in the highest quality of craftsmanship. To achieve the finest end product, time is spent selecting the best piece of wood for each item while paying particular attention to the wood grain. Additional authentic touches include the use of steel ball bearing drawer glides and five-piece English dovetail joints. Staying true to their culture and being free from modern technology has allowed Amish furniture makers to spend more time on each piece, in turn, elevating the look and quality.
In the Amish culture, the use of electricity is forbidden which is an amenity that furniture makers need to increase productivity. To bypass this, many Amish shops use diesel compressors that are powered by hydraulic and pneumatic power.
Factory produced Amish furniture is often advertised as “Amish” made, however there are many marketing schemes that buyers must investigate before making a purchase. For example, find out the grade of wood used, the lower the grade, the lower the quality. Many factories spec out a low quality of material to keep costs down. If an Amish piece of furniture is priced low, that is a good indicator it is factory produced. Find out where the furniture was produced, if it was made in China it is not an authentic piece of furniture. True Amish furniture is handcrafted by Amish families in the United States residing primarily in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Iowa. Lastly, many retailers claim that furniture is “Amish” made but the Amish may have very little to do with the quality. There may be a handful of Amish workers that are employed at the factory but are not involved with the production, hence leading to false advertising.
The high level of craftsmanship that Amish furniture offers is attributed to the Amish beliefs in their community and faith. With this foundation, authentic, individually handcrafted pieces of furniture made in the United States are available to furnish homes for years to come. But buyer be aware, Amish furniture is available at a variety of price points based on the craftsmanship involved.
Here at the Adirondack Woodshed we get many of our products from Amish builders who operate off the farm, they usually are family run operations. Being small family run businesses means each piece of furniture is built to order just for you. To ensure the highest quality care in transporting our customer’s furniture, we personally pick up most of our products in our company truck loaded by our employees. Due to the nature of your furniture being built to order lead times range from 4-10 weeks depending on the builder lead times, wood type, finish, and pick-up/delivery schedules.