Amish Furniture, Handcrafted for Your Home

Custom Amish built Barnloft Trestle Dining Group

The History and Traditions of Amish Furniture

There is something unique and special about Amish furniture that makes it stunning. It is a testament to the artistry and tradition of this relatively isolated community. In this article, we will discuss the history of Amish furniture making and some of the traditions they use to create these pieces.

History of Amish Furniture

The Amish stem from an Anabaptist group called the Mennonites in Switzerland in the late 1600s. The Amish came to America in the early 1700s to escape religious persecution. Initially, they settled first in small communities in Pennsylvania. Eventually, these communities expanded to other states. Today, the Amish congregate in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. Where ever they go, they bring the ideals of simplicity and self-sufficiency.

Amish furniture started gaining popularity with the general public in the early 1900s during the Arts and Crafts movement. This movement valued simple designs instead of the elaborate and ornate designs of the Victorian era. Amish furniture continues to be valued for its traditional craftsmanship, simplicity, and beauty.

Why Do the Amish Build Furniture?

The Amish began building furniture purely out of necessity. Woodworking was a staple skill in these communities due to their lack of contact with the outside world. Throughout the centuries, Amish woodworking techniques have changed very little, as they largely reject technological advancements in electricity.

How is Amish Furniture Built?

Amish furniture is uniquely crafted using high-quality materials and traditional tools and techniques.

1. Materials

All Amish furniture is built using solid hardwood. Most modern furniture is made using some form of particle board or laminate. These materials are very weak and break down very quickly. Alternatively, Amish woodworkers use woods like oak, cherry, mahogany, and maple to give the furniture more stability and longevity. Additionally, some pieces have hand-hammered steel pulls and knobs on drawers.

2. Tools

Most of the time, Amish woodworkers use hand tools to build their furniture. This allows them to be more precise and deliberate about their design and building choices. Additionally, the Amish community typically steers clear of electric tools. Instead of using a standard power drill or eclectic saw, these woodworkers choose pneumatic tools powered by diesel and compressed air, like a miter saw and sander.

3. Process

The Amish woodworking process emphasizes quality, practicality, and durability. Because of this, the building process for this furniture is unique and time-consuming. Every aspect of the piece of furniture is given time and care. The hand-made nature of this type of furniture allows the craftsman to ensure each part is up to his specifications.

The Amish also use unique joinery techniques. Most modern furniture is made using screws, nails, or staples. Rather than use these normal fasteners, the Amish opt for more traditional tactics like dovetail joints. This joinery technique is often used in drawers when two pieces of wood are cut to fit together like a puzzle. These types of joinery are a marker of heirloom quality furniture. The Amish also may use glue to reinforce these fastenings and make them stronger.

No matter what type of home you have or what your decor style is, Amish furniture is a traditional, simple choice that will never go out of style. Weaver Furniture Sales works with local Amish woodworkers to sell their furniture creations. Visit our Shipshewana, IN, location to view our wide variety of dining sets, bedroom sets, and more!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons
+ +
Scroll to Top