Outer Products3 min read

Behind the Design: The Teak Collection

Behind the Design: The Teak Collection

All about Outer's sophisticated new wood outdoor furniture.

After years of development, we’re thrilled to unveil our brand-new Teak Collection, which includes Armchairs, Modular Sofas, Loveseats, and our first-ever Coffee Tables, all designed from the ground up.

We’ve wanted to expand into wood for quite some time, and we know our customers have been clamoring for more materials and new styles. When the time was finally right, we knew the only choice was teak.

Sketches of the Teak Collection by Outer Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer, Terry Lin.
The Teak Collection in real-life Spring 2021.

Why Teak For Outer's New Collection?

Teak is widely known as the most valuable tropical hardwood and is mainly used for luxury furniture, ship and decorative building purposes. Nicknamed the “king of timber,” teak is rich in natural oils and silica that protect it against the elements and pests, which makes it an exceptional material for outdoor furniture.

Still, not all teak is created equal. The age of the trees themselves, as well as where they’re grown, contributes to the quality of the finished product.

We use only the highest-quality teak wood in the world, from responsibly managed forests in Central Java (we’ll have more information about our sustainability efforts as they relate to Teak in our next post!). The trees that we use are a minimum of 40 years old, which creates lumber that has a high oil content, tight grain and minimal sapwood. For each mature tree that is cut down, three saplings are planted in its place.

Quality Matters

There are different grades of teak, and Outer exclusively uses Grade A, the highest level. It’s taken from the mature center, or “heart” of the tree, where the wood has a close grain, a warm honey color, and few knots— making furniture that’s elegant-looking, durable, and super-smooth to the touch. You can rest easy knowing our furniture is built to last.

Big box stores and mass retailers often use Grade B teak wood (or use Grade A only on visible surfaces to charm the customer, then use lower Grade B for the rest of the construction). Grade B is taken from the less-durable, immature heartwood, which has a looser grain, fewer natural oils, and a dull appearance, or even Grade C, taken from the outer section of the tree, where the wood is still growing, making it susceptible to splitting and warping. These lower grades cost less upfront, but you get what you pay for— in this case, not much.

Design Inspiration

Much of the teak furniture out there looks and feels the same. We set out to create a design that’s distinctly Outer in style, inspired by how car designers think about aerodynamics and stance.

Teak furniture often involves a seat and back assembly that are independent of one another.   We wanted the back and the seat to be more integrated and “aerodynamic,” so our back and seat have a gentle curved transition that helps them flow into one another.

We also designed a sturdy stance by kicking the back legs out slightly, representative of forward movement. We want our furniture to look and feel like it’s prepared to take on anything, which echoes our design philosophy of “onwards”-- we’re always moving forward, and never resting on our past accomplishments.

That said, we built our new collection upon the same Outer features you already know and love, including multi-layer foam cushions, the built-in OuterShell® cover for protection from the elements, and ultra-durable performance fabric.

All of this, in a timelessly chic material you’ll cherish for years to come. What are you waiting for? Shop the Teak Collection now.