35+ Pros and Cons of Marquetry (Explained)

Marquetry is an interesting art form that involves decoration with various tiny colourful wooden pieces. They are applied to a wooden structure to create multiple decorative designs and patterns. These decorations are primarily done on fine veneers and wooden surfaces- especially on furniture.

They are also applied to decorate pictorial panels. Marquetry is often described as “inlaid work” and it differs slightly from an ancient art form called “intarsia” that was practised in Italy during the 15th century. This impressive use of inlays on wooden surfaces has become an intricate art form and is now practised across the world. 

Now let us explore some of the advantages and disadvantages of Marquetry:

Benefits of MarquetryDrawbacks of Marquetry
CreativityTime consuming
Low cost      2. Can be damaged by water
Flexible designs      3. Tedious installation process
Eco-friendly      4. Needs maintenance
Durability      5. Irreparable 
Good way of utilising wood
No use of toxic chemicals

Advantages of Marquetry:

  • Creativity:

This intricate art form can inspire one’s creative quotient. Any form of art is creative but this particular one requires a lot of sincerity, patience and dedication. It is true that mastering the art of marquetry may take a long time, but once you acquire your skills, nothing else can be greater, more creative and more pleasurable than this. It is also a creative pursuit that one can convert into his profession and can actually run a successful business. 

  • Low cost:

Probably learning this craft requires a lot of time but the materials you require for this art form are pretty affordable. It is advisable for someone to learn marquetry from an experienced instructor and buy the materials required for marquetry from a reliable source. Otherwise one wrong choice can damage a beautiful experience. Wood veneers are available at affordable prices and all one needs to learn is attaching the minute wooden particles carefully to render an aesthetic design. 

  • Flexible designs:

There are no strict guidelines that you need to follow so far as marquetry designs are concerned. One can explore myriads of design possibilities to give his furniture a completely new and exclusive look. There are various designs including pictorial, floral and abstract patterns that one can apply on wooden surfaces. If marquetry is your profession, you can customise the designs as per the demands of your customers. 

  • Eco-friendly:

Another positive aspect of marquetry is it is extremely eco-friendly. These eco-friendly materials can be easily recycled and the entire process does not promote any kind of pollution. These wooden veneers can also be crushed into wood waste and that again can be reused to make MDF and particle board. 

  • Durability:

We know that any wooden structure is durable. Although marquetry is a delicate art form that requires specialised skills, the aesthetic patterns it can enable you to produce are durable and strong. In fact, adding a layer of wooden veneer to your furniture can increase its strength and can also amplify its aesthetic appeal. 

  • Good way of utilising wood:

It is indeed a great and effective way of utilising wooden products. Since ancient times, people have explored various artistic possibilities using wooden particles. Marquetry gives you an opportunity to utilise recyclable wooden particles to create artistic products. 

  • No use of toxic chemicals:

Wood veneers are natural products and this art form does not use any toxic chemicals that can pollute the environment. Simple designs are carved on wooden surfaces and colourful wooden particles are used to make the decorative designs more attractive. But this whole process does not involve any toxic chemicals or emission of toxic gases. This is exactly the reason why marquetry is one of the most nature-friendly art forms one can learn. 

Disadvantages of Marquetry:

  • Time consuming: 

One of the biggest disadvantages of marquetry is it is time consuming. It takes a lot of time for someone to master the art. Even the amount of time one needs to spend in making the designs on wooden surfaces is huge.

It requires a lot of patience, time, energy and dedication to design these beautiful patterns. If someone thinks of starting a business based on his skills in marquetry, then he needs advanced tools and a lot of human resources to finish the products within the given deadline. 

  • Can be damaged by water:

These wooden veneers are made on thin sheets of wood and thus they are quite prone to damage by water. If these delicate designs are exposed to water for a long time, chances are high that they might get damaged. This can be avoided if a sealant is effectively applied on the wooden surface. In damp conditions, these wood veneers are susceptible to damage. 

  • Tedious installation process:

It is not that easy to install the wooden veneers. One requires a skilled installation team to execute this. If the air gap is not removed, then these veneers can be maligned and damaged. Also, one needs to keep these wooden sheets in a room for a few days before they begin the installation process. 

  • Needs maintenance:

This “inlaid work” on wooden items is extremely delicate and needs proper care and maintenance. If these wooden veneers are not polished periodically, then they cannot be preserved for a long time.

Any product of art requires maintenance and a lot of care. Otherwise, you will not be able to do justice to your artwork. An aesthetic art form that involves such elaborate techniques and skills should be practised properly and the finished product must be preserved with extreme care. 

  • Irreparable:

Every sublime product comes with a price. Wooden veneers cannot be repaired easily. That is the reason why they need more maintenance and need to be preserved in good conditions. If marquetry is your passion, maintain your artwork carefully.  

Every art form has certain disadvantages but if you keep them aside, marquetry can be a great hobby which you can also convert into your profession. It takes a lot of time to get acquainted with the skills, but once you ace it, this art form can become your passion.  

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