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All You Need to Know About Zebrawood [UPDATED]

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All You Need to Know About Zebrawood [UPDATED]

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• Updated on 28 September 2022 • Ray from Kraywoods


Ever heard of the material Zebrano? You probably have heard of its other name Zebrawood. The former is a type of wood derived from several tree species. The question though remains: why is it so unique? Well, it is known for its stripes. They vary from dark brown to black that are reminiscent of an African Zebra. Just like the rest of them, Zebrawood is popular and excessively used by many.

Where is it used? We’ll get to that later in details. But we can safely say it can be everywhere around you! From furniture to even wooden sunglasses, Zebrawood has drawn its own line and entered several worlds, including fashion too! Here’s what you need to know about Zebrawood in our specific guide:

  1. A Brief History of Zebrawood
  2. Where Can We Find Zebrawood?
  3. Characteristics of Zebrawood
  4. Allergies and Toxicity
  5. Is Zebrawood Sustainable?
  6. Properties of Zebrawood
  7. What is Zebrawood Used for?
  8. Top 8 Zebrawood Glasses

Featured Zebrawood Glasses


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Featured Zebrawood Glasses


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1. A Brief History of Zebrawood

Are you obsessed as we are to find out about the origins of Zebrawood? For all you history lovers, this one is for you. Starting with the name, it was initially applied to the wood originating from the Astronium Graveolens tree species. The former is a large tree native to Central America.

Now to the real deal, how was Zebrawood first known? When the British custom came back in the year 1773, Zebrawood, also known as Microberlinia Brazzavillensis, were introduced to the world. During that year, 180 pieces of Zebrawood were imported from the Mosquito Coast. Not to get into too much details but during that time, it was a British colony. You might know these places now as the Republic of Honduras and Nicaragua.

In Edward Long's book History of Jamaica, he mentions: "The species of zebra wood present esteem among the cabinet-makers, it is brought to Jamaica from the Mosquito shore; it is of a most lovely tint, and richly veined". Afterward, The Mosquito Coast exported Zebrawood regularly until the consequent expulsion of British settlers from this portion of the Viceroyalty of New Spain and The Convention of London. This was also known as the Anglo-Spanish Convention.

2. Where Can We Find Zebra Wood?

What tree does Zebra Wood come from? Where can we find it? As we mentioned earlier, Zebrawood is an exotic wood that grows mainly in the central part of West Africa. More precisely, it grows in the tropical rainforest of Cameroon, Congo, and Gabon. However, the primary and most common source of Zebrawood was Microberlinia Brazzavillensis in the 20th century. It is a native tree to Central Africa known as Zebrano. Other sources are African Brachystegia Spiciformis, Brazilian Astronium Fraxinifolium, Pacific Guettarda Speciosa and Asian Pistacia Integerrima.  

Moreover, Zebrawood grows so fast. Usually, they grow in pure stands, but often it is found growing along the riverside and streams in inland rainforests as well as coastal areas. Now here comes the bad news, it is extremely difficult now to find them because of the endangered status of Zebrawood. Although in some parts of the world, reforesting is taking place but the harvesting of Zebrawood is still in progress.

A close-up look at what the grain of  Zebrawood looks like in Cameroon, Africa

3. Characteristics of Zebrawood

This is our favourite part. If you notice, Zebrawood consists of attractive zebra-like appearances. It has thin blinking dark and light stripes with a cream to golden yellow background color. Originally, the color ranges typically from dark brown to black stripes. In addition, it is a comparatively weighty wood, averaging around 48 lbs/cu. Ft. It has a temperately coarse texture with open apertures and a wavy to interlocked grain shape.

Zebrawood is a highly rated wood because of its hardiness, stiffness, crushing strength and density characteristics. Unfortunately, it is not considered as one of the most durable woods, due to its low resistance to insects. But here are some of the other attributes which you might not know about dark Zebra wood:

1. Color and Appearance

As mentioned earlier, Zebrawood has a cream or light brown color with dark to black-ish brown lines vaguely approaching a zebra’s stripes. The lines might be either wavy or uniform. The situation depends on whether the wood is flatsawn meaning the stripes are wavy or quartersawn, meaning the stripes are uniform.

2. Texture and Grain

Many are actually interested in zebra wood grain. As a result, this particular wood is typically wavy and or interlocked. Also, it has a reasonably coarse surface and open pores. The texture and grains of the Zebrawood adds to its comfort. Unlike contrary beliefs that wood makes sunglasses extremely uncomfortable, you should go for the Zebrawood glasses as they provide superior comfort.

3. Resistance

Zebrawood is durable and resistant for long time use. In addition, Zebrano is resistant to all types of activities that you may endure. Making it the perfect type of wood to use for our wooden sunglasses.

4. Workability

It might be hard to plane or surface the wood because of the prevalence of interlocking grain. Also, this wood glues and finishes perfectly. However, a transparent pore filler might be needed for the large open pores which are apparent on both light and dark surfaces.

5.Smell

Zebrawood is known to have an unpleased smell when being worked on. That's why it's important to wear suitable protective gear to protect yourself from harmful odours or any potential accidents that may occur.

6. Price and Availability

Compared to other general woods, Zebrawood is pricier than others but not as expensive as the other exotic types like Rosewood or Ebony Wood.

4. Allergies and Toxicity

Although severe reactions are quite unusual, Zebrawood has been regarded as a sensitizer. Some common reactions might typically include eye or/and skin irritation.

In this regard, you can take several safety measures by using these tools:

  1. Dust mask
  2. Respirator
  3. Air filter
  4. Power respirator
  5. Air exhaust

Keep in mind one thing: These safety measures depend on which tools you use and the type of work you will be doing with the wood itself.

5. Is Zebrawood Sustainable?

Zebrawood is not listed in the CITES Adjuncts. Still, as per IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), this wood is vulnerable because of the population reduction of 20 percent in the past three generations, affected by a decline in its natural range. The other tree species are also listed as critically endangered like - Microberlinia Bisulcata.

6. Properties of Zebrawood

Zebrawood's blinking dark and light stripes produce alternating soft and hard material. When machining, the variation of density and structure might create some woodworking problems. Normally with hand tools and power machines, it saws easy. But, because of the tearing, making a wood plane might become an issue, particularly with interlocked grain patterns.

 

Zebrawood is a very decorative wood and it can be used frequently for carvings. In addition, it holds fastenings well. But pre-drilled holes are needed. Sanding is not an issue and Zebrawood accepts most glue types readily. Before any stain or finish work, paste wood filler needs to be used to fill the open pores. Zebrawood can take finishes well and can be polished to a high shine, however it is not recommended for paint.

7. What is Zebra Wood Used for?  

Zebrawood is a beautiful and interesting wood. It is commonly quarter sawn and used as coating or layer. Zebrano is used frequently, for various purposes, for the bold and unique stripes. So, where can we see Zebrawood? it is an appealing material that is often used for contrast with other types of woods.

The uses of Zebrawood vary widely from beautiful furniture and furniture trim, cabinets, millwork, boatbuilding, paneling, guitars and other different string instruments. You can also use zebrawood for knife handles, skis, platters, stocks for handguns and woodenware. The unique appearance of Zebrawood makes veneers, cross bandings and inlays for marquetry desirable. In addition, you can use zebrawoods to make different items such as bowls, fancy pens and novelties.

Different coloured Zebrawood

Moreover, this material has even conquered the fashion world! We love to use Zebrawood in the making of our glasses. This dramatic-looking wood that combines light and dark zebra-like striped is perfect for an alluring pair. When Zebrawood is used for the temples of wooden sunglasses, it creates an appealing contrast in the sunglasses and adds an exceptionally beautiful touch to the overall look.

Top 8 Zebra Wood Glasses  

Now that you know all the necessary details about Zebrawood, it's time to get to the interesting part. As mentioned earlier, high-end materials like the Zebra Wood is often used in creating stylish wooden sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses too! Fashion presents an opportunity to encourage conscious use of accessories and clothes. So, we gathered our favourite picks of glasses shapes and here are the top 8 Zebra Wood glasses:

1. Vintage Round Sunglasses  

We're taking a trip down memory lane for our first pick of the top 8 Zebra Wood glasses. Eyewear designers get inspired by all eras. Sometimes, they get inspired by celebrities who made a fashion difference, like the late musician John Lennon. He was known for his round glasses which became his trademark. Little did we know that Lennon sunglasses would become timeless and live on to this day.

A modern version of the round sunglasses includes a curved bridge combining a sleek metal frame with slim Zebra Wood temples for a modern look with a retro twist. These vintage-inspired round sunglasses feature purple gradient polarized lenses. Soon enough, these wooden sunglasses will become your go-to accessory to protect your eyes from the dangers of the sun.

The polarized sunglasses look good on rectangle, square, diamond, heart and oblong face shapes.

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2. Brown Round Sunglasses  

The retro era is defined as the time between the 1980s and 1990s. Retro styling involves fashion and accessories deriving from the past years. For wooden sunglasses, the use of Zebra wood is perfect for achieving that retro look. If you happen to be a fan of that era, the round Jazz sunglasses will help you get what you want.

These trendy round sunglasses are designed with a translucent brown frame, a keyhole nose bridge and slimline Zebra wood arms for an irresistible throwback finish. In addition, these fun and bold wooden sunglasses include brown polarized lenses to shield your eyes from the dangers of the sun. The combination of modern styling and retro flair will be a great addition to your eyewear collection.

The round sunglasses look good on rectangle, square, diamond, heart and oblong face shapes.

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3. Clear Round Sunglasses  

If you liked our previous round sunglasses, you might be interested in the next one that made it to the top 8 Zebra Wood glasses list. Sunglasses are meant to protect your eyes on a hot sunny day. But, they are also made to complement your outfit and make you look good, which is what Zebra wood can achieve. If you don't believe us check out the Funk sunglasses.

These clear framed round sunglasses are designed with alluring Zebra Wood temples combining vintage and contemporary features for a refreshingly distinct and polished look. In addition, these translucent shades include polarized dark green lenses for optimal coverage. These wooden sunglasses will adapt to any complexion or outfit for a stylish touch.

The retro-round polarized sunglasses look good on rectangle, square, diamond, heart and oblong face shapes.

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4. Mirror Round Sunglasses  

If this is your first time trying on Zebra wood sunglasses, you have come to the right place. Round sunglasses will serve you well, and you'll guarantee they will be long-lasting because of their polished finishing and high-end materials. In case you didn't know, the mirror glasses frames like the Groove sunglasses are in fashion for this year.

These clear framed round sunglasses with alluring Zebra Wood temples combine vintage and contemporary features for a refreshingly distinct look. These stylish round glasses feature polarized silver mirror lenses for the needed coverage in the sun.

The round sunglasses look suitable on rectangle, square, diamond, heart and oblong face shapes.

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5. Small Round Sunglasses  

Our last choice of round sunglasses is dedicated to those who like small glasses. They're easy to style and come in different colours. It's important to note that sunglasses showcase a part of your personality. So, if you like neutral-coloured accessories that go well with everything, then Magnolia sunglasses are for you.

These alluring vintage-inspired retro-round sunglasses are handmade from Ebony and Zebra wood with accentuated brown-coloured tones for a luxurious feel and look. In addition, these ultra-chic and lightweight round sunglasses are a must-have fashion statement piece to face the the sun on any day.

The round polarized sunglasses look good on rectangle, square, diamond, heart and oblong face shape.

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6. Geometric Sunglasses  

Did you enjoy our take on round sunglasses made from Zebra Wood? Then, you'll love what we have next in store for you! Fashion has always encouraged individuality. And, you know that quirky accessories are a vital part in the journey of self-expression. Therefore, geometric sunglasses have become popular and made their way to the top 8 Zebra Wood sunglasses list.

Music legend, Elton John, is known for his love of sunglasses. There wouldn't be an Elton John performance without his geometric sunglasses. They're a part of his identity, and now you can be a proud owner of the Elton sunglasses too! These hexagon sunglasses are designed with a slim gold metal frame, a raised bridge and alluring Rose Wood arms. These dazzling geometric sunglasses include pink polarized lenses along with high-end materials to ensure flawless comfort and maximum protection.

The geometric sunglasses look great on rectangle, square, diamond, heart, oval and oblong face shapes.

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7. Wayfarer Sunglasses  

Our final pick of Zebra Wood sunglasses goes out to all the wayfarer fans, they've been around for a long time, and they never seem to go out of style! The good thing about stylish wayfarer sunglasses is their ability to change with time and become more modern. These elegant glasses like the Rover sunglasses, are a must-have fashion piece in your eyewear collection.

These reflective sunglasses combine a sleek mirror front frame with alluring Zebra Wood temples for a modern and futuristic look. In addition, the wayfarer sunglasses are incredibly lightweight and will give you the maximum coverage for a day out in the sun.

These wooden sunglasses look good on oval, square, rectangle, oblong and diamond face shapes.

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8. Geometric Eyeglasses  

Geometric glasses are beneficial because of the multiple quirky shapes that bring out your fun side. To those in search of prescription eyeglasses, if you're looking for that perfect pair to achieve that fashion-forward glamourous look, we'll point you towards the route of the Drive Silver eyeglasses.

These geometric glasses are made from premium stainless steel and feature authentic Zebra Wood temples. In addition, these lightweight frames are adaptable to ensure a flawless fit and superior comfort all day long! As for the design, the square aviator frame is designed with a straight top bar and a raised nose bridge featuring a monochromatic silver finish for a sharp and polished look.

These geometric glasses look great on oval, round, heart and diamond face shapes.

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Can’t get enough of how wonderful Zebrawood is? So, can’t we! There is always something new to learn about. Personally, we love it so much we just can’t stop using it for our own manufacturing! You’ll never know the effect it has on sunglasses until you actually purchase a pair and try it on yourself. It is important to take care of the natural richness that Earth has provided for us, including the million dollars tree which is none other than the Ebony Tree.

Watch Below: Making a Zebrawood and Walnut Box

By Rachad Kabbara