Veneer Expertises


Figure Veneer

Figure is the surface effect of grain and color

patterns produced by the natural patterns of

growth or biological "defects" in the tree. Not

all species produce figured wood, and the

effects vary from log to log. Logs with strong,

consistent figure often price higher. Some, like

burls or bird's eye, are rare and are cut from a

small part of the log which increases cost.

Bee's Wing

A small, tight cross marking mottle, similar in

appearance to a bee's wing. It occurs most often

in Satinwood and also occasionally

in Eucalyptus and Mahogany.

Bird's Eye

Bird's Eye is created by a depression in the trunk that

distorts succeeding growth rings. This figure of small

"eye" patterns occurs in a small percentage of trees.

It is found most often in northern maples and is

always rotary cut.


This figure appears as short, straight raised sections.

Often described differently based on their shape and

size: if oval they are called quilt figure, if

longer, fiddleback, and if shorter, pomelle. Blister

figure is the result of rotary cutting across an uneven

contour of growth rings.

Broken Fiddleback

Broken Fiddleback is a fiddle type figure that does

not cross the whole leaf – uniform in its appearance

giving a broken figure affect.

Broken Stripe

Broken Stripe figuring appears as a stripe running

down under the surface and then out again, in a

more or less "broken" pattern. It develops only

in quarter-cut veneer, most commonly in the end

wood of a flitch.


Burl appears as a close pattern of many small "eyes"

surrounded by wildly distorted grain. It's the result of

a wart-like growth on Walnut, Maple, Mappa,

or Redwood trees, which are rotary cut to produce

veneer. Burl leaves are generally smaller than other



Cluster figure is scattered clusters of burl

intermingled with a "muscle" figure surrounding the

clusters. Cluster figure is produced by halfround

cutting veneer.


Crotch figuring is cut from the juncture of a tree's

trunk and main branches. It has a wide range of

appearance, including flame, plume, rooster tail,

feather, or burning bush. Leaves are generally

smaller. This figure is most common

in Walnut and Mahogany.


Curly figure appears as an undulating wave pattern

produced when contortions in the grain reflect light

differently. Many species develop a curly figure,

but Maple is the most common.


Fiddleback refers to a tight, fairly uniform, roll

appearance across the grain. While other species

produce fiddleback, it's most common

in Maple, Mahogany, and Anegreand is named for

the use of fiddleback maple in violin production.


This figure only appears in species that have a very

heavy medullary ray growth—Oak, Lacewood,

and Sycamore, for example—and is the result of

slicing close to parallel with the medullary ray.


Mottle is a wrinkled, blotch marking across the grain

that is produced when wavy grain combines with a

spiral. Broad cross markings produce a block or

checkerboard pattern called block mottle. A small,

fine, cross marking produces bee's-wing mottle. The

figure is common in Anegre, Makore, and Sapele,

and may also occur in Mahogany, Koa, Bubinga,

and Satinwood.

Peanut Shell

Peanut Shell occurs when quilted or blistered figured

woods are rotary cut and produce a random, wild

grain pattern. The figure appears bumpy and pitted,

but is in fact flat. Tamo and Bubinga are the most

common examples of this figure.


Pecky refers to elongated character markings caused

by localized decay or infection of the growth rings, or

as a result of localized injury (including bird pecks).

They’re most evident when veneer is rotary cut

following the growth rings and look somewhat like a

sparse bird’s eye figure.

Plain Stripe

Plain Stripe refers to a straight, uniform, stripy effect

with very little distortion. It's the result of quarter

slicing veneer that has a porous structure running

parallel with the grain.


Pommele is a small blister figure appearing as tiny

apples dappled across the surface of the veneer—or

like rain on a puddle. Its name comes from the

French word "pomme" for "apple."


Quilted figure is a larger version of pommele or blister

in which the blister is elongated and crowded, giving

it a softly raised 3D effect. It is common

in Maple, Mahogany, Moabi, and Sapele.

Ribbon Stripe

Ribbon Stripe appears as a slightly twisted ribbon—

something between a broken stripe and a plain stripe

—and is found in some quarter-cut veneers.


In this “broken stripe” figure, the twist of the grain is

all in one direction, creating the appearance of a

ropey figure.


Rustic veneer refers to the appearance of natural

marks and irregularities in the wood that are the

result of a tree’s specie, growth pattern, and unique



Vintage veneers are sliced from the reclaimed handhewn

beams of old barns, farmhouses and other

structures. This rustic looking veneer is intended for

use in random matched sequences.


Wormy marks are numerous elongated "spots"

interspersed where the wood has been eaten away

by boring insects (generally beetles). Sometimes the

hole is filled in by natural processes, leaving

elongated, worm-shaped discolored areas. In many

trees, wormholes are more likely in the sapwood than

in the heartwood.


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