Straw Marquetry – adding detail and color

Straw marquetry is one of the finishes we are proud to offer at Normandie Woodworks. Straw is a versatile material that offers endless possibilities for adding color, texture, and character to any interior.

Straw marquetry is a very old technique which gained much popularity during the time of Louis XV and again during the 1930’s  when art deco designers used straw to cover everything from decorative objects and furniture to walls, ceilings, and entire rooms. Today’s designers are again embracing this unique material and all of the potential it has for modern design.

 

Milk an Honey Credenza in straw marquetry and parchment

Straw marquetry is considered a luxury finish, but as a material it is quite humble. It is made from rye grass, a natural and completely sustainable product.

Rye grass straw

Once this grass is cut, dried, flattened and applied to a form, however, it takes on an almost magical quality the way it plays with the light. It is the labor intensive process that transforms this very humble material into something luxurious and ornate.

 

Black Diamond Mirror- straw marquetry and brass

 

The process begins with the natural rye straw that has been dried. The straw is naturally golden, but it can be dyed to any color.

Detail of credenza with natural straw

Geminid with colored straw

samples of straw in a variety of colors

Once the straw has been opened and flattened, it can be applied in any number of different motifs. The possibilities range from a simple straight parallel pattern to the elaborate multi-colored geometric patterns and everything in between.

Wall paneling tile in straw marquetry

 

Detail of Black Diamond Mirror

Straw panel with geometric pattern

Though challenging, its versatility of color, pattern, and form allow for seemingly limitless design possibilities making straw marquetry an exciting material to work with. We would love to hear your ideas for custom projects featuring this finish. To see more images of our designs with straw marquetry visit the Elements page of our website.  For more ideas, specifications for custom projects, or to order samples, please contact us.