Perfect Combination of Nature and Furniture–Canadian Hemlock showed up in Famous Furniture Fair Dongguan

By: Lance Tao

Export Development Program, Canada Wood Group

After several rounds of postponements due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 47th International Famous Furniture Fair (IFFF) was held in Dongguan from July 23rd to 27th, as travel and large events resumed. Canada Wood China participated in this iconic event to host a pavilion promoting the use of Canadian Hemlock in furniture design.

The IFFF was founded in 1999, and since that time it has been established as one of the most prestigious international brand exhibitions in China’s furniture industry. The total area of the 47th IFFF covered 770,000 m2, with exhibitions ranging from soft decorations, material accessories to design and customization. The event attracts brands from every category of the furniture industry, with manufacturers and designers from across China joining alongside international participants.

As a marketing campaign launched by Canada Wood in 2020, the “Canadian Hemlock” program aims at promoting the application of coastal Hemlock materials in the furniture market in China. The target market includes furniture manufacturers, designers and lumber traders. In this fair, we promoted the brand messaging of this campaign, which is “Hundreds of years of Canadian hemlock, for solid wood furniture for young families.”

Nowadays, more and more young people in China are pursuing sustainable lifestyles. Their motivation is shifting from external stimulation to intrinsic values. Modern young people are demonstrating consumption habits that are tied to the concept of sustainable lifestyles, as the national emphasis on carbon neutrality is reinforced across both work and leisure. To gain a foothold in the younger demographic markets, furniture products must keep pace with the times. Solid wood furniture made of Canadian hemlock can be viewed as an authentically green product as they are certified as being sustainably sourced from Canadian forests.

The “Canadian Hemlock” booth used a design layout that created the vision of a wood forest, using hemlock lumber from Canada. Visitors could experience the charm and natural feel of Canadian hemlock, and see the delicate texture and unique elements of the raw material. There were also multiple examples of finished products from the Canadian wood manufacturing trial programs, giving a shared experience of furniture amongst a forest of lumber.

Canadian hemlock has excellent processability and physical properties which make it an interesting material for wood furniture. The color of hemlock ranges from milky white to light yellow, the rings and knots add aesthetic character, and the surface has a slight luster. It exudes a natural beauty, where some manufacturers find it is not necessary to paint or stain the wood for their designs.

The design concept of the solid wood tables and chairs of the Japanese furniture brand “Ishinomaki Laboratory”, one of our trial partners, exhibited in the “Canadian Hemlock” booth is “returning to nature”, which adopts the original color of hemlock lumber, shows the beautiful wood grain and texture of hemlock, and narrows the distance between human and nature. Ishinomaki has a large presence in China, with manufacturing facilities along with domestic and international distribution.

The hemlock furniture products from another trial partner, Foshan Yuqiao Smart Home Technology Co., Ltd, brought two different thematic lines for their furniture: luxury and Nordic. This range in products clearly demonstrated the flexibility and diversity of hemlock for furniture styles.

Over the 5 day exhibition, we received around 3,500 visitors to our booth during the tradeshow in total and generated92 business leads interested in further collaborations. The visitors showed great interest in hemlock regarding its application in furniture, lumber properties and supply availability. The most frequently asked questions include purchase channels, lumber specifications and grades, and processing performance. The Wood in Manufacturing team of Canada Wood will be following up with these new industry contacts to explore opportunities for trial programs, and conversions to have more product lines using hemlock.