Hangers: Wood is King
When it comes to luxury hangers, Wood is King. Wooden hangers are everywhere - but not all wooden hangers are created equal. You can find "wooden hangers" being sold all over the internet, at The Container Store, Wal-Mart and in hotels ranging from your cheap interstate motel all the way to the Trump International Golf Links in Scotland (the latter of which we supplied).
So, what's the difference? Well, in addition to construction, availability of sizes, and other various details, the wood used is tremendously important. Here at The Hanger Project, we take the wood we use for our hangers very seriously. From the beginning, we have always been committed to using only the best woods available.
The wood is imporant for three reasons:
Hardness - the harder the wood, the better it holds it's shape and the more durable it is. Our luxury hangers will never warp and the hardware is much less likely to fail because of the strength of the wood we use.
Woodgrain - cheap woods have bland woodgrains. When you look at the wood, you just don't see anything. The hardwoods we have selected for our hangers yield woodgrain textures more commonly associated with expensive furniture than with hangers.
Color - when applying a stained finish to a hanger, a blonder wood produces greater consistency than a wood that has natural color or more color variation.
Types of Hardwoods
Below is a list of the different types of woods used in the manufacturing of hangers:
Lotus Wood - one of the cheapest woods from China, Lotus Wood is most commonly found in very cheap hotel hangers. It does not feature any noticeable woodgrain, is bland in appearance, and not particularly strong.
Generic Hardwoods - a lot of non-specific generic hardwoods are used in the manufacturing of hangers.
Birchwood - known for its fine grain, pale color, and hardness, birchwood is one of the premium woods we use for the manufacturing of our hangers. It provides a great, even canvas that produces a smooth finish and strong hanger.
Alderwood - part of the birch family, alder is more prone to produce inconsistent, black flecking throughout the woodgrain that can disrupt the visual consistency of the finish.
Maplewood - maplewood is the most expensive of the woods available for us to use, especially in the thicker stocks required to produce our Luxury Suit Hangers which costs almost twice as much as the birch we use. But when it comes to woodgrains, maple yields the most beautiful of all the woods with a depth and marbling that is just stunning. The maplewood we use is grown in the Pacific Northwest and Canada.
Beechwood - More commonly used throughout Europe than the United States, beechwood is the heaviest of all the woods we use and features a very particular black specking for which it is known. Grown primarily throughout Europe, the beech we use in our newest finish is grown in Ireland, Britain, Demnark, Sweden, & Norway.
Ashwood - very, very particular, ash wood features a very pronounced, heavy woodgrain and does not yield a smooth finish. The hardness of the woodgrain produces a raised surface that is not perfectly smooth.
Birchwood - Our Traditional Finish
Our traditional finished hangers are Birchwood because of its fine grain, pale color, and hardness. Produced in Russia, it provides a great canvas for the finish we apply, yet still yields a beautiful, smooth woodgrain that you would expect from a luxury hanger. The picture below is a closeup of our Luxury Shirt Hanger in our traditional finish. Upon close inspection, you see a woodgrain you would expect from a high-quality wooden hanger.
Maplewood - Our Natural Finish
We considered using birch and beech for our naturally-finished hanger, but none stood up to maple. Despite being significantly more expensive than the others we considered, at the end of the day the quality of the wood used when applying a natural finish is even more than with any of our other hangers. The stain we use with our traditional finish mutes the woodgrain. All of the subtleties that make maple special disappear into the background.
As you can see in the above picture of our Naturally-Finished Luxury Shirt Hanger, the maplewood yields breathtaking marbling and depth. The depth is difficult to reproduce in a photograph, but you can see the dimensionality of the woodgrain. This is just something that other woods, with the exception of some exotics like bubinga, do not produce.
What I really appreciate about the maple, and what you can really see with our naturally-finished hangers, is the complexity and diversity of the woodgrain. Every hanger showcases a different woodgrain characteristic.
European Beech - Our Newest Finish
We are currently in production of a new collection of luxury clothes hangers using European Beechwood. We are using a traditional, oak satin finish. The specking that is characteristic to this wood will be muted by the darkness of the finish, yet the weight of the wood will still impart the uniqueness of beech onto our collection of hangers.
Ashwood - By Special Order Only
Ash wood is very particular and quite decisive. You either love it or hate it. Ash features a very strong, raised woodgrain that produces a physical, raised texture. In my opinion, the woodgrain overpowers the aesthetic of the hanger instead of complimenting or enhancing it.
Seen in the above custom hanger we did for a client in New York City, you can see the strength of the woodgrain. What the picture does not show is that you can actually feel the woodgrain.
Although interesting, we do not use ashwood for any of our permanent collections. However, if you find it interesting, email us to inquire about placing a custom order (note: there is a 100 piece per style minimum).