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The History of Amish Furniture

by | October 24, 2020

The quality Amish furniture available in select fine furniture stores has its roots in the Amish people’s history. Their dedication to maintaining the traditions handed down from one generation to the next makes this line of furniture so exceptional. Amish furniture is distinguishable by the high-quality craftsmanship, materials, and techniques used to construct these pieces built to last a lifetime.

Who Are the Amish?

Jakob Amman was a Swiss elder and Anabaptist leader. After a schism with other Anabaptist leaders over his position, he fled to America, advocating for a stricter stance on social isolation. His followers became the Amish branch of the Anabaptist church. The group settled in Pennsylvania in the mid-1700s and later started communities in Ohio and Indiana.

Amish communities continue many of the traditions of past generations, including avoiding most modern conveniences such as electricity. These close-knit communities continue the woodworking and carpentry techniques of their forefathers, creating solid wood furniture designed, cut, and pieced together without the use of nails, screws, or electricity.

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Amish Furniture Styles

Germanic furniture styles heavily influenced early Amish furniture. For instance, the Jonestown School specialized in blanket chests featuring a hand-painted floral motif. The Soap Hollow School collection has furniture painted in black, red, and gold.

Henry Lapp is the father of today’s style of Amish furniture. These pieces feature cleaner lines, natural wood, and are less ornate. Most of today’s Amish furniture is either Shaker style or Mission style, although custom pieces are also available in traditional, farmhouse, and mid century modern design collections.

Amish furniture gained popularity in the 1920s and 1930s as American folk culture came into prominence. The simple lines and quality of craftsmanship continue to appeal to today’s homeowner.

What Makes Amish Furniture Unique?

Amish furniture is unique in that, unlike many furniture pieces, it is a real wood product. Most furniture is made from wood, veneer, and particleboard. Amish furniture is hand-cut from American hardwoods, most often maple. This means that your furniture will be stronger and likely last a lifetime.

Another detail unique to Amish furniture is the use of dovetail jointing. This hand-cut interlocking wedge-style construction is often used in drawers. The interlocking of pins and tails allows a strong bond without the use of nails or screws. The trapezoid-like shapes resemble dovetails, thus the name.

Each piece of Amish furniture is a unique hand-crafted piece of furniture. It features real wood construction and skilled craftsmanship handed down through generations. It is truly an investment that will last a lifetime.

Visit Heritage House Furniture today and see our line of quality hand-crafted Amish furniture.