REASONS TO BUY AMISH CHAIRS
Purchasing new furniture can represent a significant investment. Now, you want to choose furniture that looks great and will last many years. So, what are the reasons to buy Amish chairs? The quality and durability of furniture is an important factor in a furniture purchase for 91 percent of consumers, according to a study from Furniture Today. Researching all furniture features and options to find the best furniture requires time and effort to find the best combination of style, durability, longevity, and value.
Amish furniture easily meets these criteria. Amish, handcrafted furniture enjoys a reputation for high quality, that many people seek in a furniture purchase, but buyers may still have questions: Will it fit well with the style of one’s home or office? Will it last for generations? Are there different style options, or does it all just look the same? Is it safe to use in your home or office while being safe for our environment?
Whether you already own Amish furniture or are considering Amish furniture, knowing the key reasons to buy Amish chairs can help you make your buying decision.
TRADITIONAL FURNITURE STYLE
The first significant group of Amish people arrived in Lancaster County, PA around 1720. Between 1717 and 1750, approximately 500 Amish migrated to North America, mainly to the region that became Berks County, Pennsylvania, but later moved, motivated by land issues and by security concerns tied to the French and Indian War. Many eventually settled in Lancaster County. A second wave of around 1,500 arrived around the mid-19th century and settled mostly in Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and southern Ontario. Most of these late immigrants eventually did not join the Old Order Amish but more liberal groups. The first recorded Amish pioneers in Ohio settled in Tuscarawas County in the fall of 1808. These first settlers were Jacob Miller and his two sons Henry and Jacob. The Amish have been making furniture for hundreds of years. Like most furniture builders of earlier times, they built their traditional furniture with local woods and common tools. They began selling those products to people outside of their communities. Amish furniture has long enjoyed the reputation of high-quality furniture built in the traditional firniture style. While more modern techniques are available, Amish furniture and traditional furniture are generally made in a simplistic manner that highlights the grain and texture of the wood in a traditional furniture style. Such simple designs are sleek and direct, with minimal decoration.
Amish furniture builders hand select the best pieces of wood to create quality, beautiful furniture. They wait until the wood reaches ideal maturity to maximize the strength and quality of the material, which translates to higher-quality furniture. They do not use any veneer, particle board, or other composite wood products in Amish furniture. Instead, they build with real, solid, American hardwoods meant to last for many generations. Using American hardwood is essential for the following reasons:
- Solid hardwood ensures a beautiful design for your piece. The complexities of wood grain are difficult to replicate when you don’t use real wood. The real wood of traditional furniture enables the natural beauty show through in your finished traditional furniture.
- Oak and cherry wood in particular offer natural wood grain and coloring variations, making each piece unique. Therefore, each pieces of Amish furniture is completely unique instead of being a cookie-cutter piece that looks exactly like other mass-produced products just off an assembly line. No two Amish pieces built in the traditional furniture style are identical.
- Solid wood offers a sense of permanence. It stands on its own, creating a presence in the room, and solid wood oozes a warmth and charm you don’t get from cheap veneers or particle board.
- Hardwood won’t wear, crack or break down in a few years like composite wood products. When properly prepared and maintained, wood lasts for decades without damage that makes it look old or renders it useless.
- Fine traditional furniture with a high-quality finish does not require much maintenance. Dusting the furniture keeps it clean. Polishing as little as once every six months helps maintain the look and finish of the furniture.
If you visit the websites of the typical, on-line, resellers of college chairs, you will find images of the same style of college chair or captain’s chair. Their chairs are virtually identical.
If you walk through a typical furniture store, you will likely see hundreds of trendy pieces with a few traditional styles available. Amish furniture builders avoid the many changing trends of furniture that quickly become outdated, The Amish are committed to traditional furniture with timeless designs that will remain attractive for generations.
Amish furniture pieces follow time-tested designs but offer multiple designs with great attention to detail. The pieces make effective use of proportion and balance for a look that is pleasing to the eye and fitting in a variety of settings.
Amish Outlet Store has stated ‘(We are) proud to offer high quality custom Amish furniture from Amish crafters. Our handmade Shaker and Mission furniture is produced in the United States using quality materials known for their tremendous strength and durability.” ” …northern kiln dried hardwoods in our furniture. Red oak and Cherry are widely used in furniture production, however, we offer many of our products in various types of hardwoods, such as Maple, White Oak, Walnut and beautiful Hickory. Each furniture piece is made to order, using quality materials and proven construction techniques. You and your family will enjoy our custom Amish furniture for years to come.“
By choosing Amish furniture, one can enjoy the following:
- The classic styling of Amish furniture built in the traditional furniture style means you don’t have to worry about your décor looking outdated in a few years. That Amish bedroom set, bookcase, or entertainment center will look just as great in 15 years as it does now.
- Just because your Amish furniture stays in style doesn’t mean the rest of your décor won’t change. Because Amish traditional furniture offers classic design elements, it fits in well with a variety of design themes and colors. Easily update the look of your space by changing other design elements with the confidence of knowing your Amish furniture pieces will still fit.
- Do you prefer rustic or contemporary? Clean and sleek or formal? The timeless look of furniture built in the traditional furniture style fits into almost any style of home decorating, making it an easy choice no matter what your style. Amish furniture is a way to find common ground with a partner who doesn’t share your decorating style preferences since it is such a versatile option.
- The heirloom quality paired with the timeless design makes traditional furniture perfect for passing down from one generation to the next. Timeless, traditional furniture is always attractive.
All Amish furniture carries the timeless traditional furniture style and design, but that doesn’t mean it all looks the same. In fact, Amish furniture often comes in multiple, distinct styles. AmishOutletStore.com carries both Shaker and Mission furniture styles, giving you a choice in the look of your new furniture pieces.
Mission-style Amish furniture features clean lines for a balanced, even look. Expect to see straight angles and lines throughout the design. Parallel slats often build those straight lines while adding strength to the piece. Exposed joinery gives you a glimpse at the quality craftsmanship that goes into each furniture piece. Mortise and tenon joints are common.
DURABILITY AND LONGEVITY
Since Amish furniture is made from solid hardwood that is skillfully fit together, it can last a long time if you take care of it properly. Wooden furniture can last centuries with minimal maintenance, such as regular dusting, light wiping, avoiding direct sunlight, avoiding extreme heat, and ensuring that insects do not infest the furniture.
This means it’s not uncommon for items like chairs from Amish Builders to be handed down for generations. These durable, solid wood chairs are among the best-sellers in any Amish furniture store. The functionality in one’s daily and the great durability make this furniture ideal for inheritance or reselling on the secondary market.
One can often find Amish furniture built in the traditional furniture style in estate sales or consignment stores as not everyone will accept inherited furniture or might need to downsize. That’s another benefit of buying Amish furniture and is part of another reason to purchase these pieces. One can always find a new home for a piece of Amish furniture that has been well maintained.
American Amish furniture is an example of northern hardwood construction. Hardwoods from the colder, northern climates offer greater density which means stronger wood for traditional furniture pieces than wood from warmer regions.
High-volume, mass-produced furniture typically comes in one standard wood species. Some might offer you an optional wood species to introduce some variety. However, Amish furniture pieces come in a variety of real wood options, giving you more control in the look of the finished furniture. Essentially, every piece of Amish furniture is a unique piece.
Red oak, white oak, cherry wood, maple, walnut, hickory are common offerings for many furniture items. Any type of American hardwood gives you a durable, quality piece with the natural beauty of the wood grain.
Amish builders continue the traditional methods through the generations of furniture makers. They also have a sense of pride in the work and do not take short-cuts to save time or money. Those quality methods and principles yield furniture that lasts for decades.
The modern Amish community maintains the traditions of their ancestors, retaining simple methods while avoiding the complications of the modern world.
Unlike high-volume, mass-produced furniture, one need not be concerned about Amish furniture joinery failing or coming apart. Those traditional furniture practices aren’t going to change either. Amish furniture enjoys time-proven manufacturing practices. Whether one buys Amish furniture now or in 10 years, one can be confident in high-quality, traditional furniture.
Amish builders make each piece by hand with a great attention to detail. Each step receives human attention to ensure pieces fit together perfectly for a strong, sturdy product. Furniture produced on an assembly line often lacks the structural integrity of handmade pieces. Parts and components milled overseas generally do not fit or assemble well. Inferior factory pieces often slip through the entire manufacturing process and onto the shelves with little quality control. Quality control, however, is seldom a concern in Amish furniture, made one piece at a time.
After building a piece of Amish furniture, the item is meticulously hand-stained for a rich, beautiful finish. This process ensures a consistent finish without uneven application or scratches that take away from the beauty of the piece. Customers can choose their preferred Ohio Certified Stain (OCS) for their new furniture project. Alumni Chairs LLC offers OCS stains in every chair. These stains reveal the beauty of the hand-selected wood.
The handcrafted quality of Amish chairs goes beyond the reliability of the product. Because each piece is produced by hand, it is like a work of art for you to display in your home or office. Just as in any fine art, Amish chairs become heirlooms of a family to pass from one generation to the next. With that comes the many memories and stories your family creates around the furniture. An Amish rocking chair might hold stories of rocking generations of babies in your family, for example. A dining table or a well-made bench brings back memories of past holidays and special gatherings.
Amish Furniture builders are kind to the environment. Amish furniture is not mass-produced on an assembly line in a mass-production factory. Skilled Amish craftsmen create furniture using many of the same hand tools in the 16th, 17thm and 18th centuries. Small production runs of Amish shops mean less wasteful production and less resource-intensive manufacturing, which is less destructive to the environment than mass-produced furniture that includes plastic components. Amish furniture lasts much longer than factory furniture, too; so it won’t end up in a landfill. As previously mentioned, Amish furniture can last many decades, and a robust secondary market helps ensure the pieces can find new owners. Being made from wood, Amish chairs are biodegradable if they are destroyed. Another advantage of wood is that it’s a renewable resource. Small production runs do not threaten forests – especially those forests which are sustainably grown and harvested to ensure that the trees will last for future generations. Some Amish builders own and maintain their own forests from which they log their own woods for their own chair production. Alumni Chairs is contracted with one builder to plant trees for each chair that we produce. Most Amish communities plant new trees to replace the trees that they harvest.
Americans want American-made products. In fact, about 8 out of 10 people would prefer an American product over a product manufactured in another country, with about 60 percent of those people saying they would pay 10 percent more for an American-made product. It is difficult if not impossible to determine whether a piece of factory-made furniture is actually made in America, even if it bears a “Made in the USA” label. All Amish furniture is made in the United States from materials to manufacturing, so you never have to wonder about the true origins of woods, milled wood, or finished components.
Many mass producers of furniture outsource the construction to China, Vietnam and other countries where production costs are significantly lower. Many U.S. factories ship raw wood to Asia to be milled and transformed into furniture components and parts, and these companies claim that their furniture is “Made in America”. Those companies actually do not manufacture in the United States buy only assemble in the U.S.A. Those countries often allow poor working conditions and pay workers extremely low wages for labor..
Amish furniture can provide an American-made product, worthy of display in your home or office. Buying furniture truly made in America makes many consumers feel better about their purchases. The American-made label gives you a feeling of confidence in your purchase with the guarantee of quality. Buyers can have confidence that their Amish furniture is truly all-American.
It is clear who benefits from the sale of the Amish furniture. The hardworking Amish communities that craft the furniture from quality materials sustain themselves with the sales. Your money compensates the people who build your furniture instead of large factories churning out piece after piece. By supporting the Amish communities in America, you ensure those furniture makers are able to continue producing fine furniture for all to enjoy.
Amish chair producers use environmentally-sound tools and methods that should make buyers feel good about their purchases. Amish pieces make a much smaller impact on the environment than mass-produced furniture. Many furniture manufacturers use large factories to mass produce piece after piece of furniture. Those factories usually have huge carbon footprints, creating harmful pollution. Machinery used to build the furniture also consumes huge amounts of electricity. Mass-produced, factory furniture tends to contain toxic chemicals, like flame retardants, VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), formaldehyde, and other dangerous components. VOC’s are contained in thousands of daily use products, including paint, varnish, wax, and various cleaning, degreasing, and cosmetic products. These chemicals diffuse into the air long after you purchase the furniture. Exposure to VOC vapors can cause a variety of health effects, including eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches and loss of coordination; nausea; and damage to the liver, kidneys, or central nervous system. Some VOCs are suspected or proven carcinogens. Amish chairs do not emit these toxic vapors.
Amish furniture eliminates much of the harm done to the environment and the air quality in your home or office. The Amish builders who build the furniture generally use electricity, guided by their religious beliefs. Hydraulic and pneumatic tools take place of the pollution-churning factories, minimizing the impact on the environment. Also, the furniture makers don’t drive motor vehicles, which practice prevents additional pollution.
Because Amish-made furniture uses real wood products instead of composite woods for a more natural product and locally grown hardwood supplies the material for their traditional furniture, the Amish minimize transportation needs. Shipping furniture parts, components, and whole furniture pieces via container ships is far less efficient than building chairs in an Amish community. Also, responsible Amish lumber-harvesting practices further protect the environment.
Varnish products used in Amish furniture typically contains a low VOC level, making it a healthier option for your home. Additionally, the varnish is modified catalyzed conversion varnish and is designed to resist scratches and other damage. It is an environmentally-friendly varnish option that maintains the quality of your furniture with almost no hazardous air pollutants.
Amish builders are committed to using as much of their wood as possible, producing little or no waste during the production process. Wood that is rejected for certain furniture product may become a drawer side or another hidden piece. It may ultimately serve a completely different purpose. Scraps can be used to build a toy or other useful product or component. Otherwise, an Amish builder may burn leftover wood to heat the workshop.
Because Amish traditional furniture offers such high quality and lasting use, choosing Amish furniture means you won’t have to replace it for many years. This keeps old, broken factory-made furniture out of the landfill.
A typical furniture shopping experience often includes a salesperson who is not particularly well-informed about the woods and finishes of his/her furniture and is unable to offer optional features, finishes, or customizations.
Shopping for Amish chairs with Alumni Chairs ensures personal choices of features and finishes. The Amish furniture of Alumni Chairs LLC is not mass-produced, meaning that clients have a lot more input regarding how the finished product looks. We have have a broad selection of options available to deliver just what the clients want. In fact, you may have more options in Amish furniture than a huge furniture store full of stocked furniture.
With Alumni Chairs, one can enjoy traditional chairs built of many choices of woods, stains, fabrics, and other features. All of our traditional furniture pieces are custom-made. What does that mean for you? It means that one gets the exact piece one wants. Instead of choosing from standard options in a catalog or from a website, you get to share your input to help design a piece perfect for your home.
We at Alumni Chairs can finish our Amish chairs and benches in any Ohio Certified Stain (OCS) to both meet our clients’ needs and match stains of nearly any existing Amish furniture in their homes or offices. The available hardwood varieties and the myriad OCS stain selections of stains and other options are the basic ways to customize clients’ Amish furniture in the traditional furniture style. We also offer the option for further customization to get a piece that fits our client’s space and desire for a traditional furniture style. Unlike mass-produced furniture that comes in standard sizes and designs, you get just want you want with the custom-built nature of Amish furniture. For example, Alumni Chairs’ Affinity Traditional Deacon’s Bench can be ordered in three widths: 36 inches, 48 inches, and 60 inches. Other sizes are available at custom-furniture pricing. We know of no mass-production factories that offer such flexibility. In fact, we know of no mass-production furniture companies that can even build a college.bench. .
LOCAL PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION
Amish furniture is also environmentally friendly because it is locally produced and distributed. The Amish settle in relatively remote settlements normally in rural areas. As a result, their goods generally don’t travel too far from the local area. Their furniture products are typically sold through regional distribution. Alumni Chairs ships its Amish chairs and benches throughout the United States and Canada.
While one might worry that local distribution makes finding Amish furniture difficult, one can always use the Internet to find Amish-furniture stores. Also, Amish settlements are a lot more widespread than people realize. For example, “English” (non-Amish) retail furniture stores selling Amish furniture can be found in every state.
Thanks to local production over wide regions of the United States, some areas can enjoy pieces made from woods unavailable across the country. Only certain Amish manufacturers can access cherry or maple, for example. So when one buys Amish furniture, one can buy locally made, sourced, and distributed American-made products built in the traditional furniture style. Alumni Chairs is fortunate to build chairs and benches in Northeastern Ohio where all popular hardwoods are readily available. There are numerous Amish sawmills throughout Holmes County, Columbiana County, other nearby Ohio Counties, and Northwestern Pennsylvania. As mentioned above, traditional furniture of the highest quality hardwoods can be derived from forests of northern states like Ohio.
Also mentioned above, Amish builders are uniquely able to provide fine traditional furniture of superior construction, durability, longevity, and quality. Crafted by highly trained artisans using some of the same hand tools from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, Amish furniture pieces are effectively a work of art. This makes their sleek, simple design even more remarkable for its beauty, as the pieces rely on the wood’s color and beautiful grain to please the eye.
Amish furniture doesn’t just look nice. It is also very functional. The traditional furniture style of Amish furniture not only provides a timeless look; it is also practical. Whatever kind of Amish furniture you buy, will perform the desired task wonderfully, comfortably today and long into the future.
Solid hardwood is sturdy and durable, attributes which make them ideal for families or anyone looking for fine furniture that will last for generations. Whether it’s a single college chair, book shelf, bench in a foyer, or a dining table, Amish furniture provides superior quality that ensures beauty, comfort, and function.
A WISE INVESTMENT
Not only can traditional furniture enhance your home and office; it will function well by virtue of its solid construction and stability. Each piece features a design that functions smoothly for everyday use with solid construction and stability. Amish furniture is more than decoration in one’s home or office. It is an investment in quality and longevity.
Amish furniture is typically an affordable investment. You can direct your furniture budget toward traditional furniture in the traditional furniture style that will last for years, maximizing the value you can achieve from your money. Since the Amish craftsmen take care of the assembly, you won’t need to spend hours trying to read assembly instructions and piece slap together screws and particle board with veneers to build a cheap piece of furniture that will not last….and owners of Amish furniture should never need to make a “return” their new furniture or replace their furniture. Our Amish furniture should outlive its owner.
If at the end of one’s life, one is unable to leave his or her Amish furniture to a specific individual, one can be assured that this furniture has retained significant value and can be sold on a secondary furniture market.
Some people look at the cost of Amish furniture and traditional furniture and question if it is worth the price. Considering the numerous benefits and processes involved, the answer is clearly obvious when compared to modern mass-produced furniture. Amish furniture offers the most value.
Finely crafted, solid, hardwood, Amish traditional furniture in various kinds of wood is available throughout the U.S., produced with the care and precision expected from skilled craftsmen, are worth far more than mere monetary value. Such traditional furniture survives rigorous daily use and, if properly maintained, can be passed down for generations.
What’s the Difference Between Expensive and Cheap Furniture? Click here.
For those who are unable to keep and maintain such fine furniture pieces or who do not know someone to whom they can confidently bequeath the furniture, a secondary market ensures the furniture will continue to be used. When you purchase Amish furniture, you buy not just a piece of furniture but you acquire a crafted work of highly functional art that will continue to hold significant value and live on with new owners for many years.
Wikipedia, Crowley, William K. (1978). “Old Order Amish Settlement: Diffusion and Growth”. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 68 (2): 250–251
Amish America, Amish Furniture – Ohio, “Handcrafted in the Amish heartland”
OldHouseOnline.com “Five Reasons to Buy Amish Furniture”, Amish Furniture, July 25, 2023
Furniture Today “Consumers Want Quality and Durability”, July 1, 2016
Minnesota Polution Control Agency, Polutant – Volatil Organic Compunds (VOC’s),