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Even with all the contemporary, stylized furniture designs cropping up, Mennonite craftsmanship still manages to stand out centuries later; how so? The 1870 to 1880 migration of the Mennonite from different parts of Europe fostered a reputable woodworking legacy. Initially, Mennonites were known for their simple lifestyle, most taking up farming and woodworking as their livelihood. However, throughout the years, the Mennonite’s carpentry skills have drawn many, setting an indisputable standard for furniture makers.  By taking a significant shift from only functionality, Mennonite furniture makers have re-established the craft- merging the traditional and modern furniture designs to breed sturdy, quality, hand-crafted wood additions with soul and character. But one thing remains, the superior carpentry of Mennonites today is rooted in their history and traditions and we are about to see how. 

  1. Carpentry as a way of life

Nothing screams authenticity like furniture items built from scratch. Mennonite furniture originates from skilled craftsmen who have had years of carpentry skills passed down to them; it is a significant segment of their folk art. Furniture building comes naturally for Mennonites, each piece true to standard and complementary to any home design. A hand-crafted Queen Anne mahogany chest would be hard to miss in all of its classic glory.

  1. Grounding simplicity

Less is more! Mennonite’s traditions are founded on simplicity, and this quality seeps through every hand-crafted piece. A simple mission-style dining table design will undoubtedly blend in seamlessly with any décor and theme while giving undeniable character and balance to the room. Mennonite dining tables are trendy for their modest yet matchless appeal. The natural materials used in Mennonite furniture making are what sets apart simplicity from basic. Inlaid veneers and paint stains on a Walnut dining table are a definite eye-catcher.

  1. Passing of traditions

Mennonite pieces compound from solid wood, preferably hardwood, with great texture and grain. Additionally, the techniques and tools used for the craft are mostly hydraulic or pneumatic; this helps achieve the intricate handiwork characteristic of Mennonite furniture. Mennonite Craftsmen pay keen attention to the details opting to complete the finishing of the furniture pieces manually. Techniques like the mortise and tenon prominent with Mennonite guarantee a seamless fuse of the furniture while maintaining the impressive curves and straight cut of the furniture pieces.

  1. Durability rooted in their early works

In the beginning, Mennonite furniture stood for two main things; sturdiness and functionality, nothing more. With time they have added elements of decorations to their craft and however the first two elements hold ground even in their modern furniture. The materials sourced by artisans for Mennonite furniture sought to resist scrapes and dents over the years of service, not to mention the craft itself. Hand sanding and kiln drying the finished product are some of the Mennonite’s traditional practices of carpentry, which subsequently prevent the tear and wear of the masterpiece. The goal is to have any hand-crafted piece age gracefully. Mennonite pride themselves on quality woodwork worth each dime, so if it’s a cedar shaker crib you had your eyes on, brace yourself for a family heirloom.

Wrapping it up

Mennonite furniture has undeniably evolved over the years; however, the craft still maintains and borrows from the founding tradition. The materials and design for Mennonite furniture vary depending on taste, needs, and features. Mennonite furniture is nonetheless distinguishable- it is solid wood that attunes to personal preference. Buying pre-made furniture is limiting and boring. However, Mennonite furniture leaves wiggle room for choice and preference; whether it’s a four-seat breakfast table or an elegant twelve-seat dining table, Mennonite gives you the liberty to switch up based on the functionality, design, and preference. Besides, what’s a better way to bring out your personality than hand-crafted cabinetry?

Mennonites are globally known for their hand at furniture making. The classic and simplicity of Mennonite carpentry are what has many people hooked to the art. Homeowners seeking a traditional yet modern balance for their spaces are betting on Mennonite furniture to bring that harmonious complement. Furthermore, you’ll hardly ever go wrong with the natural beauty of wood. But even with the best materials, you need a skilled craftsman to do the magic and Mennonites have proved to be it. Their success in the furniture business translates to one thing, Mennonites are good at what they do. And here, we will share with you why.  

Superior craftsmanship

The skills used to make these pieces are not just a course mastered over time, but a generational experience passed down from artists over the years. These century-long traditions ensure that the woodwork remains exceptional in regards to how much time has passed since the existence of Mennonite furniture. 

Early training

Mennonites put a lot of value on manual labor and, more specifically, woodworking. From a young age, young Mennonites work as craftsmen, sharpening their furniture making skills. By the time they reach adolescence, they have become professional crafters capable of creating high-quality furniture.   

Generations-long woodwork techniques

An artist is as good as the materials he uses; this accurately applies to Mennonite furniture; the quality of products used in furniture making live through its uses, maintaining its stability and beauty. Mennonites do not just create furniture; they create pieces that can last a lifetime. Their use of traditional techniques like the dovetail joint, wedge cleat, wood pin and tongue and groove ensures a strong bond that keeps the furniture sturdy. There is a reason why people say the investment is worth a lifetime passed along generations without its appeal diminishing. 

What makes Mennonite furniture so unique?

Mennonites may not be keeping up with modern tools and advancements, but their woodworking methods are as good as they were centuries ago, if not better. We know that Mennonite furniture stands out from others in the business, but what makes it so unique? 

Made from authentic wood

Many modern furniture uses lightweight and artificial materials, unlike Mennonite furniture, which is made from solid wood like maple, oak and cherry. Therefore, the pieces not only serve you a lifetime but also require minimal care to stay in perfect condition.  That’s what allows us to sell the best dining tables.

It’s unique crafting

No two Mennonite pieces are the same. Each piece of wood is unique, crafted to create a one-of-a-kind furnishing that enthralls customers. Combine this with authentic wood and strong crafting skills, and you have furniture that is taking over the modern market. 

Its attractive appearance

Mennonite pieces are one of the most appealing as they maintain the beauty of authentic wood. Furniture comes in various styles and designs, which gives customers room to find soothing that speaks to their style. There are also options for customized pieces tailored to meet an individual’s preference. 

The longevity

Made from solid wood, Mennonite furniture stands the test of time. The materials used in furniture making are thoroughly vetted before using them. We all know the popularity of solid wood and why people are more than willing to break the bank to have a piece in their space. 

Eco-friendly craftsmanship

Mennonites are ahead of our time; before the world paid attention to the environment, they already believed in no waste. The material used for the furniture is responsible for outsourcing and crafted using traditional methods that do not encourage pollution of the environment. 

The verdict

With the mystery of Mennonite furniture solved in this article, you now have the answers to the popularity of Mennonite woodwork among people. Why wait when you have all the reasons to add this impressive piece to your space?

Mennonite furniture is not a new discovery; it dates back to the 1600s in Vistula Delta, North Poland. The Mennonites are a religious group that was known as the Mennists before changing their name to Mennonites. The origin of Mennonites goes back to the Netherlands; a peaceful religious movement called the Anabaptist broke away from the Roman Catholic church. In fear of religious persecution, the Mennonites fled the Netherlands and scattered throughout Europe and North America. Arriving in the delta region of Vistula River with only the clothes on their back, the Mennonite relied on their woodworking skills to build homes and furniture.

In the late 1800s, some of the Mennonites migrated to North America after the promise of good land and at low prices, and among them were 18,000 were craftsmen who carried the furniture traditions in their minds and hands. Mennonite furniture first made its way to North American Plains, as luggage brought by the immigrants in dowry chests and packable furniture pieces. As they settled into the ‘new world’, Mennonites carried on with the furniture-making tradition, although their work was initially considered old-fashioned.  

Mennonite Furniture in Canada

Mennonites first to Canada came at the end of the 18th century. As they settled in Canada, Mennonites rejected modern advancements from how they live to technology and developed their traditional and conservative culture. They turned their traditional long craftsmanship into a business creating unique, durable and beautiful woodwork as a means of survival. In the beginning, their furniture was functional and lacked the decorative element; however, they began to make decorative pieces that people appreciated over time. Many of the dining tables we sell are Mennonite furniture. The furniture made its way to their homes, and later, Mennonites started building furniture commercially and became known. Today, Mennonites in Canada have established woodworking schools that teach young people superior craftsmanship to become professional crafters. Mennonite carpentry, in most cases, runs as a family business in Canada, with the older generations passing down decades of craftsmanship to the young. 

Mennonite Furniture: The craft and technique

Mennonite’s traditions translate to their furniture maintaining inherently unique woodworking techniques that avoid using modern technology. As a general rule in life, Mennonites avoid using electricity, which applies to their craftsmanship. They avoid using powered tools and nails, and screw to make quality furnishings. Instead, they maintain the same principle from centuries ago, using hand-cut wood and skilled craftsmanship passed through generation, using dovetail joints, interlocking wedge, butterfly key and mortise to create a strong bond without nails.

Mennonite Furniture Styles

Mennonite furniture creates one of the highest quality products in Canada and has even gained recognition worldwide. Although their woodworking still focuses on functionality and durability, Mennonite furniture styles have evolved from plain and simple custom pieces to furniture that appeases customers’ eyes. Today, their woodwork is based on contemporary designs adorned with decorations ranging from traditional, farmhouse, mid-century to modern designs.

Mennonite Furniture: The 21st Century

Although Mennonite traditions and the digital world do not mingle, their commitment to their traditional values has their furniture spreading through Canada like wildfire. The simplicity and skilled craftsmanship have earned them significant influence in the furniture industry, with their furniture boasting longevity and inherent beauty. Today, Mennonite furniture has grown in popularity into a business of its name in Canada. It has grabbed the attention of the public. 

Mennonite furniture is for you if you are looking for furniture that ticks the boxes fabulous and functional. Mennonite furniture redefines fashionable craftsmanship by combining sustainability, quality and beauty all wrapped in one. 

If you are looking to invest in some new furniture, Canadian made Mennonite furniture can be a great choice. Mennonites have been making furniture for generations and are masters at their craft! They use solid, locally sourced wood and cutting-edge technology with generations of experience to ensure impeccable craftsmanship. Also, because you’ll be buying locally, you’ll also get some extra bang for your buck in better craftsmanship rather than having that money going to the cost of shipping.

Why buy a Mennonite built dining or kitchen table?

Mennonite dining and kitchen tables are a work of art. Each table is built from solid wood and can be custom sized to fit your space perfectly. You can further customize your table by picking a stain and finish that adds to your existing décor.

While some view Mennonite furniture as outdated, we have many designs including tables with a modern look and feel. The craftsmanship is seamless and clean, without the use of nails. A quality extension method is used, and if you chose center leaves then two can be stored in the table.

 

Modern Mennonite Table

Modern Mennonite Table

Modern Phillipe Mennonite Table and Chairs

Modern Phillipe Mennonite Table and Chairs

 

The Mennonites finishing process is achieved with a great deal of time and skill. Through a meticulous process of preparation, dying and staining, sealing, varnishing, and polishing. The end result is a durable clear and vibrant finish that shows off the wood grain. That means your furniture will look great and last a lifetime and beyond. Also, because the furniture is made from solid wood and not particle board, if it does get marked up over time, you can refinish it and it will be like a new table.

Mennonite stunning finish achieved through time and skill

Mennonite stunning finish achieved through time and skill

Quality Extension mechanism used by the Mennonite that easily glides in and out. You can store two 12” leaves in the table

Quality Extension mechanism used by the Mennonite that easily glides in and out. You can store two 12” leaves in the table

How much does a typical Mennonite table cost?

Great décor and furniture help turn a house into a welcoming home. The typical investment for one of our tables is between $2300 to $3000. How do we achieve pricing this competitive? It is achieved because of our unique boutique showroom, and our by appointment only model. Our tailored and streamlined approach helps us reduce our costs, provide a customized experience and pass on any savings to you.

Why buy a bed or storage bedset from the Mennonites?

With the Mennonite each solid wood bed is unique.  You spend a lot of time in your bedroom so it’s nice to have a good looking bed.   We tend to find people buy beds from themselves last, but when they do finally make that investment they really appreciate it.

If you buy the beds for your kids you are investing in quality, but instead of the beds ending up in a landfill it’s a quality piece that they can take with them.  We recommend getting a Queen if your kid’s room can fit it, as it’s something that they can take with them

The solid wood dressers and storage beds feature four-corner English dovetail drawers, full-extension drawer glides and are stained and varnished drawer interiors.  They feature nice deep drawers. You can select from the many hardware choices the supplier offers

You can customize the size to fit a certain space.  That can be a real advantage if you need to fit a certain space.  Or sometimes customers can make slimmer nightstands so that their room can accommodate a king bed.

Solid Wood Dresser Custom Sized to Fit a space

Solid Wood Dresser Custom Sized to Fit a space

Nice deep drawers featuring four-corner English dovetail drawers, full-extension drawer glides

Nice deep drawers featuring four-corner English dovetail drawers, full-extension drawer glides

How much does a typical bed or storage bed from the Mennonites cost?

Just like tables, beds are also created with the best craftsmanship in mind. The same tailored and cost reducing approach is applicable to Mennonite bed sets. For a typical King panel, you should expect to invest around $2,200, while nightstands are around $750 each, and an 8-drawer dresser around $2,150. With these amounts in mind you can expect to pay somewhere around $5,850 plus HST, plus a delivery and set up fee of $180. For a storage bed you would be looking at an investment of $3,000 plus HST with an additional $180 for delivery and set up.

Mennonite Built Solid Wood Bedroom set

Mennonite Built Solid Wood Bedroom set

Why buy a chair built by the Mennonites?

Chairs built by Mennonites are made of solid wood and quality fabrics and genuine leather and come fully assembled. The Mennonites make our chairs the traditional way with true craftsmanship using solid wood pieces, mortise and tenon joints, and with strong, thick corner braces. Each chair is beautifully crafted, comfortable, and sound – a unique piece.

Unlike imported chairs which are basically slapped together and will be thrown away after a few years, the chairs are sturdy, durable, and long lasting. Imported, knock-down, chairs are usually made of wood that is quite soft and their legs are bolted on. This means that the bolts usually fall out and they are quite unstable and do not last very long.

Buying Mennonite made chairs also means that your chairs will match your set. The table and chairs will be stained together and will be matching, bringing your dining furniture together nicely. Because we know that chairs are an extra expense, we are very competitive with our pricing. When buying the Mennonite built chair from Anne Quinn, you can expect great value.

Mennonite built chairs, stylish, sturdy and comfortable

Mennonite built chairs, stylish, sturdy and comfortable

What type of wood and finish do you offer?

Furniture made by the Mennonites are made from the best selected wood of Maple, Oak and Cherry. Furthermore, they have a variety of finishes and stains including brushwork, heritage and windswept.

Solid Wormy Maple with a Heritage Finish in a Grey Stain

Solid Wormy Maple with a Heritage Finish in a Grey Stain

Where is your suppliers located?

Our supplier is in Kitchener, Waterloo in a town called Wallenstein. It is reassuring to know that your furniture is being built locally. Due to our close relationship with our suppliers, quality is assured, and you are supporting local communities. Furthermore, all the wood used by Mennonites in their furniture is sourced locally from Ontario in sustainable forests.

How long do orders take?

It typically takes the Mennonites 12-14 weeks to build a furniture piece. The wait time is worth it, however. Our tailored approach allows us to provide you with a quality, solid-wood product, exceptional savings, and the ability for you to order exactly what you desire.

What is the warranty and how do I care for my Mennonite built furniture?

We offer furniture from four different Mennonite suppliers.  Each of them offer different warranties.  Handstone is our main supplier and they offer a 10-year warranty. Our other Mennonite furniture suppliers offer a 2 year warranty. We pride ourselves on delivering the highest quality products. Our business is based on satisfied customers and word of mouth referrals, so if you ever have an issue we will take care of you.

You should also take additional steps to maintain your furniture. You should clean your furniture with a soft, lint-free cotton cloth. The cloth should also be dampened with water or matching the pattern of the grain. Make sure to use a light touch and change your cleaning cloth frequently. Avoid using a dry cloth as it can scratch your furniture.

You can also protect your furniture by maintaining the proper humidity. You should use a humidifier and keep the humidity around 35% – 40%. Additionally, you should avoid placing glass, or a hot plate or dish directly on your furniture. Always use a cloth or coaster. However, because Mennonite furniture is solid wood, you can always have it refinished and it will be good as new!

Who should not buy Mennonite furniture?

While Mennonite furniture is great, there are cases where it may not be the best option. If you are working with a tight deadline, then Mennonite furniture may not be right for you. Due to the craftsmanship of Mennonite furniture, deadlines are often not fixed, and it does take some time for the furniture to be completed.

If you are looking for uniform, cookie-cutter furniture then Mennonite furniture may not be right for you. Because Mennonite furniture is made from solid wood and hand crafted and therefore is not uniform. If you’re looking for identical looking furniture then machined, veneered furniture may be a better choice for you.

Who should buy Mennonite furniture?

Anyone who is looking for stylish, beautiful, solid-wood furniture for an amazing price is a welcome customer. Also anyone who needs to customize pieces to fit their space. Our ideal customer appreciates the beauty of solid wood furniture and realizes the incredible value we provide.

Great, I’m convinced. What are the next steps?

The first step is to look at our website for a style that you like.  After that contact us and we will send you pricing.  If you are okay with the pricing and the wait time, the next step is to book an appointment to visit our showroom.  We look forward to meeting you in person!

Mennonite history and traditions-how this translated into skilled furniture builders
Why are Mennonites so good at furniture making?
History of Mennonite Furniture Making in Canada
What is Mennonite Furniture?