Difference Between Mass-Produced vs. Handcrafted Furniture
Custom vs Handcrafted
Finding the perfect furniture for your home might not take very long if you don’t particularly care what you’re getting. For those of us who value the look and feel of our home’s furniture, there are actually quite a number of decisions to make when looking at potential options. Differences in style are a common sticking point for many homeowners, but the source of the furniture should also be a factor that you consider. This is because there is a large difference between mass-produced and handcrafted furniture.
While one option isn’t necessarily better in every aspect, it’s important to know how they differ so you can decide what to invest in. This knowledge might help you avoid annoyances in the future that involve your furniture breaking down or going out of style. We’ll take you through some of the most important ways that handcrafted and mass-produced furniture differ so you can make a more informed decision for your home’s décor.
Quantity vs. Quality
Comparing quantity versus quality is one of the easier ways to see the differences between mass-produced and handcrafted furniture, it’s right in the name after all. Mass-produced furniture is all about cranking out as many of the same piece of furniture as possible as fast as the manufacturer can manage. This mass production of furniture does offer some benefits in terms of price, but you should know that you will have to settle for lower-quality craftsmanship, as most of these mass-produced pieces get made in enormous factories by machines.
If having high-quality furniture is something you strive for, handcrafted furniture is really the best way to go. Handcrafted furniture often contains much higher quality materials such as sturdier wood varieties or stronger metals. For example, our custom metal desk legs are made with high-quality steel that will last you a long time. When you invest in quality handcrafted furniture, you’re investing in a piece that will last much longer than a flimsy mass-produced one. Handcrafted furniture pieces are often passed down through generations because the careful craftsmanship ensures their quality for many years into the future.
Sustainability of Materials
Sustainability is a much newer concern for furniture buyers, but it’s quickly becoming something that people take into account very heavily. If you care about the sustainability of your furniture, you owe it to yourself to learn where a manufacturer or craftsman sources their materials. Handcrafted furniture made by a skilled artisan will usually take sustainability into account far more than a large manufacturer. Large manufacturers need to focus on making larger quantities, meaning they will skirt around sustainable material harvesting practices if it saves them money.
Another issue to consider is how your furniture gets to you. When you buy your furniture after it gets made in a massive factory overseas, it needs to travel a long way to get to you. This usually involves shipping it on enormous freighters that pollute our air and water. Buying from a more local artisan can cut down on the overall carbon footprint of your furniture, allowing you to enjoy the piece with a little less guilt over harming the planet just for a table or a place to sit.
If you need a piece of furniture and you don’t want to wait for it, you’ll have more luck with mass-produced furniture than with handcrafted furniture. The availability of handcrafted furniture is limited to how quickly the crafter can work on and finish individual projects. Mass production facilities don’t have this issue and they’re able to pump out scores of furniture pieces much faster than any small workshop could.
The downside of choosing the furniture that is always immediately available to you is that you won’t get something that you can count on for a long time. Corners get cut all the time in the construction of these pieces so that manufacturers can churn them out at a faster rate. If getting furniture that is higher quality isn’t a concern and you’d rather simply get a piece right away without waiting, you can go for a mass-produced piece. However, don’t be surprised if you have to head back to the store not long afterward to buy the same thing again.
One of the reasons that large manufacturers can create so many pieces so quickly is because every piece is made to the same exact specifications. Every one of them uses the same materials and they’re put together exactly the same way. For homeowners that want their homes to look unique and show off their individuality, you want to avoid these pieces of furniture. You’d be surprised how quickly your home can look like everyone else’s when you buy all your furniture from mass producers.
Customizability is one of the biggest benefits of choosing handcrafted furniture from an artisan shop. Maybe you have other furniture that you want to match it with or you’re going for a specific style that doesn’t match any of the options you see in big box stores. That’s where the ability to customize your furniture gives you a strong sense of empowerment. We are always ready to customize a piece of furniture so it will look exactly the way you’ve always wanted it to.
There’s no denying that there is a noticeable price difference between mass-produced and handcrafted furniture. Because large factories can take advantage of economies of scale, they can price their furniture cheaper than normal. Combine this with the fact that these factories use lower quality materials, and you can see why their furniture is usually such a bargain. If price is a concern, this furniture will get the job done, but probably not for too long.
Handcrafted furniture is often the more expensive option, but furniture is a classic example of, “You get what you pay for.” In the long run, this furniture will last you much longer, possibly saving you money down the line. Choosing handcrafted furniture is certainly a larger investment upfront, but it pays off in how much use you get out of the piece.
Here at Econ Welding & Fabrication, we take great pride in our handcrafted furniture. We don’t cut any corners when it comes to quality craftsmanship. If you have a piece you’d like to commission or customize, contact us today to explore your options.