Where Does All the Picture Frame Wood Come From



First off, the wood used in the picture framing industry is very much a renewable source. You will no longer find African rainforest hardwoods used in picture framing moulding. Though beautiful, wenge, paduak, and purple heart have been eliminated by moulding manufacturers out of a sense of social consciousness. The majority of picture framing moulding, in wood stained finishes, are actually a veneer over a common wood substrate.


The lion share of mouldings for picture framing are now manufactured in South East Asia. The majority are from Indonesia and Malaysia. The wood source is plentiful and quite renewable. The Indonesian government has a 3,000 man police force dedicated to looking for wood poachers. Indonesia’s wood is a huge part of their exports. Wood harvesting and replanting is closely watched by the government. You can clear cut a stand of trees, replant seedlings and be ready to clear cut again in 15 years. These equatorial wood species regrow quite rapidly. Indonesia banned the export of raw lumber years ago. They will only export finished products. This creates employment for their citizens. If you want their wood to make picture frame moulding you have to let them make it and buy the finished product. The Indonesians and Malaysians now create beautiful and high quality picture frame moulding in factories with state of the art equiptment.


European sources for picture frame moulding have been  greatly reduced but they use a lot of pine wood as a moulding substrate with a veneer facing.


Domestically, we sell a lot of picture frames made from renewable North American hardwood. These woods include maple, walnut, cherry, oak and ash. These woods have a tight grain and accept beautiful finishes and oils quite well.



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