Sheesham wood is known by several other names. It has many and varied uses, both artistic and mundane. Its carved products are sold throughout the world and many of them come from the same area of India. Furniture made from sheesham often manages to combine a contemporary look with a traditional crafted style.
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The scientific name for sheesham wood, according to World Furniture, is Dalbergia Sissoo. It is more commonly known as Indian rosewood, according to Edward F. Gilman et al. An Ebay buying guide also refers to the wood as sissoo and sisu. Memidex claims it is also known by four other names: tahli, tali, irugudujava and jag.
Sheesham wood is principally used for making furniture, World Furniture points out. It is growing in popularity in the UK, they claim. Furniture made includes dining sets, sideboards and bookcases. Sheesham is also used to manufacture plywood for boats and aeroplanes. Some musical instruments have sheesham components, including drums, other percussion instruments and guitars. The wood is also used to create carvings and engravings, as a veneer, for tool handles and in charcoal making.
Sheesham is a heavy hardwood, having a rich chestnut or nutmeg colour. It is sometimes brittle, say Edward F. Gilman et al., but this may be because of the way it is grown. It is a robust and sturdy timber and looks good when made into square, chunky furniture. You can wax the wood to a semi gloss finish to highlight its natural colour and grain. Alternatively, you can leave the wood untreated.
Sheesham wood comes from India, Pakistan and Nepal, where the Dalbergia Sissoo tree is native. The tree is the symbol of Pakistan’s Punjab province, according to Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. Sudipto Chatterjee et al., claim that the most significant Indian carving centres for sheesham wood are at Saharanpur and Nagina in Uttar Pradesh. Items made there are popular domestically and throughout the world.
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