Rosewood (Indian) Hardwood

Rosewood (Indian)

Indian Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia) is a beautiful and versatile timber, with a heartwood that varies from rose to deep brown, often featuring darker purple-black lines. Its grain is thinly interlocked or crossed, giving it a moderately coarse and uniform texture, with a dull to medium gloss. When quarter sawn, Indian Rosewood can exhibit an attractive ribbon figure. The sapwood is yellowish-white, sometimes with a purplish shade. Indian Rosewood is suitable for a variety of uses, such as cabinetmaking, furniture, and musical instruments. If available from sustainable and legal sources, it is possible to purchase Indian Rosewood timber.

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Material Type:

Also Called:
Bombay Blackwood, Indian Palisander, East Indian Rosewood, Java Palisander, Shisham, Malabar, Biti, Eravadi, Kalaruk

Durability Notes:
Rosewood (Indian) wood is moderately durable

The drying and seasoning of Rosewood (Indian) is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Rosewood (Indian) - dries quite quickly with minimal impact on the grade and quality of the wood, but if it is allowed to dry too quickly surface checking and end splitting can occur. There is small movement in use. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

Indian rosewood is heavy, with high crushing and bending strengths, medium resistance to shock loads and low stiffness. Due to its hardness it is challenging to work by hand or machine. It is very challenging to saw and work and can blunt cutting edges rapidly and severely. The wood turns, sands, screws and glues well but is challenging to nail. Rosewood can be brought to an excellent polished or waxed finish after pre-filling.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Musical Instruments, Decorative Carvings, Flooring, Cabinetry, Turnings, Knife Handles.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)

Commonly asked questions about Indian Rosewood

Is Rosewood a hardwood or a softwood? Rosewood is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Indian Rosewood hardwood or softwood? - Indian Rosewood is a hardwood.

Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Rosewood family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.

What colour is Indian Rosewood? Indian Rosewood can be described as brown, dark brown, dark red, red, orange,

Is Indian Rosewood good for outdoor use? or is Indian Rosewood good for exterior use? Indian Rosewood is most suited for internal/interior use. Indian Rosewood should not be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).

Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood

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