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What are the Benefits of Charring timber  

Shou sugi ban was devised in Japan 500-600 years ago to make wood less prone to fire, to reduce its appeal to insects and to prevent rot. All these attributed amount to improving the timber's life span.  The charring of timber is a traditional Japanese method born from practical necessity not a desired aesthetic.  The process simply involves charring the face of a selected naturally durable timber at 1060 degrees C.


The resulting charred timber cladding is low maintenance. UV protected and hauntingly beautiful. The char repeals water and while giving protection from rain, decay and UV, over time the char erodes away to reveal the stunning textural timber grain below.

Below are some benefits of a charred cladding.

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low maintenance

Maintenance Free Timber Cladding *

The most practical feature of shou sugi ban is that your maintenance is dramatically reduced. 

The improved characteristics of timber that has been properly charred allow this the timber cladding to resist UV and the environment, seldom requiring maintenance. The charring of timber case-hardens the cells giving improved UV and weather resistance.

In Japan, charred timber cladding was traditionally never oiled, and many examples can be seen that have lasted over 80 years.


Today the best practise is to oil stain once prior to installation and again within 6 weeks of installation. Although oil stain reapplication rates are dependent on local site conditions, we estimate the charred timber to only require oil every 5 to 7 years. 

The charred timber is stronger than natural timber cladding, and most home-owners agree yakisugi improves its look over time due to the natural ageing process.  Some home-owners choose to stain their once every 5 -7 years to keep that fresh new colour look, but this is not necessary.* 

*Although shou sugi ban charred timber finishes can be maintenance free, and we stand by our finishes, the timber manufactures conditions of warranty may require a maintenance cycle. Where this is the case this requirement takes priority. 

Stronger Stable Timber. 

strong timber

The Japanese developed charring timber cladding as a way of improving the strength and performance of timber homes. 

The process of charring timber case-hardens the outer cell layers through very high heat conditioning. The timber becomes both stronger and more stable from being exposed to high temperatures, much like the process used in the thermal modification by Abodo Wood.  

Stability in timber is critically important when reducing cupping and shrinking caused by weather changes. With our charred timber cladding we choose naturally strong stable timbers and then improve their characteristics with our unique charring technology. 

charred and brushed yakisugi
full char yakisugi by Nakamoto forestry
no bugs

Improved Natural Resistance 

Charring timber cladding causes an  important reaction making our timber more unattractive to bugs and fungi.


The cell structure of timber is 65 to 90% Hemi-cellulose which is a tasty sugar to bugs and fungi. The charring process causes this food source to be burnt off leaving strong, but not tasty, lignin behind. 

No food source means the timber is of no interest to fungi or bugs. Additionally, the charred timber is now case-hardened making it more difficult for unwanted pests to penetrate.

The charred surface is also a natural hydrophobic protection against weathering, at the same time as being fire retardant. 

sustainable timber cladding

Environmentally Correct.

What we make today our children will live amongst tomorrow, and good planets are hard to find.


The Blackwood Project believes in a clean healthy future, which is why we improve the stability, durability and life span of timber purely with fire and without the use of chemicals. 


We select naturally durable timber species that require no chemicals to last and improve them with fire.

Additionally, our flash firing process has a small carbon footprint, when compared with the high energy consumption kilns needed for thermally modifying timber.  


Timber on your home locks away carbon, carbon the trees removed from the atmosphere. Timber is deemed to have absorbed the equivalent of 1.7 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of its weight.

Using shou sugi ban to improve your timber is a chemical free process with a low carbon footprint, and means your kids and grandchildren can enjoy this timber for a lifetime.

Yakisugi is a healthier, cleaner, non-toxic natural cladding, and the correct environmental choice. 

You can sleep easy knowing you have contributed positively to the planet. 



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