Flexible material

Self-adhesive wood veneer

Veneer is used, for example, to embellish furniture, doors, musical instruments or even the fittings of luxury class automobiles. In addition to traditional processing methods, the material can also be used self-adhesively. The start-up Flexfurnier.de or the manufacturers Schorn + Groh and Sunwood by Stainer show what is possible today.

May 09 2022

The fact that veneer can be processed with glue is not new. However, the preparation before the final step, gluing, can be time-consuming. With self-adhesive veneer sheets, however, various manufacturers in the industry have an answer ready: the start-up FlexFurnier.de from the Netherlands, for example, offers flexible, self-adhesive real wood veneer at the click of a mouse.

The product Flexfurnier is glued to a paper carrier and made flexible by means of a roll. This way, users can order the veneer sheets online in small quantities per sheet without much effort and cut them themselves at home without splinters.  

The back of the Sunwood by Stainer veneer is covered with an approx. 1 mm thick, full-surface and strongly adhesive glue. A smooth, dust- and grease-free surface is necessary for a perfect installation. © IFN/ Sunwood by Stainer

Quick and uncomplicated self-adhesive veneering 

Schorn + Groh also offers a flexible version of self-adhesive veneer sheets: Easiwood can be easily cut with scissors or a cutter, just like at Flexfurnier.de. In addition, the wood surface is pre-sanded and can be lacquered or oiled without additional work. 

At Sunwood by Stainer, the self-adhesive wood veneers can also be ordered on request with a special adhesive on the back that allows the wood veneer to be backlit. In this way, the veneer can be glued to a glass or plexiglass support and illuminated from behind by means of a luminaire. This creates a special eye-catcher that is already being used for hotel receptions, counters, furniture and back walls.

But what exactly is the benefit of this flexible material? In an interview with Ursula Geismann, managing director of the international association Initiative Furnier + Natur (IFN), we learned more about the application possibilities and properties of self-adhesive veneer characteristics of self-adhesive veneer.

Extremely flexible, fleeced and sanded: Easiwood Beech by Schorn + Groh is available in a thickness of 0.6 mm. © IFN/ Easiwood, Schorn + Groh

How complex is it to produce flexible, self-adhesive veneer? 

Veneer is thinly cut solid wood. It is always flexible in the direction of the cut and can be rolled, for example. If you glue the thin real wood with equally thin paper, it is more stable in its flexibility. It is not difficult to produce such veneers.

The veneer sheets of different lengths and widths are laid on a smooth surface and covered with sheets of paper. Now the veneers can be safely rolled up, unrolled, trimmed and processed. The paper gives the veneer more support.  

Is any type of wood suitable for flexible veneer? 

Yes. All types of wood that are suitable for veneer are also suitable for flexible veneer. Popular at the moment are oak, beech, walnut, olive, maple, teak and also the cheaper softwoods such as pine and spruce. Some manufacturers take softwood and print it with precious wood looks. This is cheap and smart. 

Veneer is a sustainable product. Isn't that a contradiction to processing it into a self-adhesive veneer? 

I don't think so. The real veneer is reinforced with thin paper and then glued onto old furniture fronts, for example. The adhesives, even the self-adhesive ones, are harmless. Both for the environment and for your own health. However, you must not drink them or put leftovers in the waste water. Upcycling old furniture in this way extends its useful life even further and is therefore very sustainable.  

What opportunities and potential do you see for flexible veneers in the furniture industry? 

In the modern furniture industry, the classic carpentry profession is unfortunately dying out. Many furniture parts are delivered and processes are automated. Fewer and fewer employees have mastered classical veneering. That's why veneer that has been prepared and cut to certain standard dimensions is also great for the furniture industry and not just for craftsmen or the DIY sector.

It is easy to apply and its enormous variety corresponds to the trend towards individualisation. In addition, small quantities can be purchased, which can then be used to create unique pieces of furniture according to the customer's wishes. As an alternative to lacquer and foil, I see great potential for flexible veneers.  

Ursula Geismann is a long-time home expert, trend analyst and design expert. She is the managing director of the international association Initiative Furnier + Natur (IFN).  

© IFN

Author: Bernadette Trepte

Contact persons
Portrait of Ursula Geismann
Ursula Geismann Public Relations
Initiative Furnier + Natur e.V. (IFN)
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