Craftsmanship and Materials

The use of glossy finishing on furniture is another trend of modern lifestyle. The predominant colours used on furniture have kept on changing over the years, from dark to light and then back from light to dark. The finishing has also changed from a glossy look to muted hues and then back from muted hues to a glossy look. Such an evolution has been due to the need for adaption with other products used in our daily life and in the course of the evolution, there have been improvements, enhancements and upgrading from time to time. In the past, a glossy look was achieved by the use of polyethylene (PE) paints. Now, Dickson makes the same effect on its products by using polyurethane (PU) paints (as they are commonly used on prestigious piano brands). As the initiator and catalyst used to prepare PE paints do not blend with the three primary colours, PE paints can only be used to prepare black and white colours. In addition, PE paints not only contribute to environmental pollution, but improper application process may also lead to cracking on the coating. Thanks to breakthroughs in petrochemical technologies, PU can be hardened and made tough with low vulnerability to cracks and scratches. However, to achieve a glossy effect on PU painted surfaces is no simple work, as base materials have to be very carefully processed or scratches, lines and spots may easily appear. In order to make every surface perfectly flat and endurable, Dickson uses Italian-made paints for its glossy products. The process involves applying three layers of ultraviolet (UV) primer and two to three layers of PU glossy top coat. Before applying another layer of paint, we ensure even thickness of the material through professional sanding and then carry out high speed polishing with wool pads. The finished PU surface is not only shiny but also perfectly flat and smooth. The heat generated in the polishing process also contributes to the resistance to scratches on the glossy surface.

Dickson uses tempered glass for its glass products. Tempered glass is generally made from silicon dioxide, sodium oxide, aluminium oxide or boron oxide. The quality of glass highly depends on the quality of the raw material and the production equipment. High transparency glass is made from fine glass sand. To strengthen glass, the glass is made to undergo a high temperature treatment known as tempering to raise its density and hardness. If tempered glass is subjected to excess force and breaks, it will break into small, dull and relatively harmless granules. Tempered glass may break spontaneously. While the chance of spontaneous breakage caused by application of force depends on material quality and production technology, the chance of occurrence is also decided by the presence of air bubbles inside the glass. To ensure high quality and safety of our products, Dickson only uses glass that meets international safety standards, which are 8 times as tough as ordinary glass, with heat resistance as high as 300℃, with a rate of spontaneous breakage of only 0.01%, and, when broken, with granule amount of 40 or more pieces present in area of 50mm x 50mm.

Dickson carefully created five glass colours, namely white, charcoal grey, brown, beige and mustard. The water-based primer we use are newly developed base paints imported directly from Italy that blend fully to glass surface, giving a solid colour with high sheen. More importantly, water-based paints are solvent (i.e. thinner) free, odourless and non-toxic.

For exposed parts of furniture that are vulnerable to oxidation, such as metal parts on furniture legs and door frames (including hidden parts which are not easily observed), Dickson uses only anodized aluminum to prevent oxidation and peeling. The metal has also undergone fine polishing, brushing or sand blasting to render a shiny and elegant appearance. As aluminum is a relatively soft metal rendering it difficult to weld, the structural design and thickness of material play very important roles. For example, Dickson's aluminium door frames are at least 2 mm thick and have undergone anodization and brushing. Despite of the similar appearance, products of other brand names are only 0.8 mm in thickness-meaning short usable life. We are aware that it is common practice among manufacturers to use ordinary iron rods treated with simple electroplating or powder coating. The finished products have very low endurance since simple treatments are unable to fill the many dimples appearing on the low-density iron surface and rusting will likely occur first in the dimples and then spread over time, causing considerable paint peeling. For this reason we choose aluminum as the raw material for our products despite its much higher cost.

Dickson's sofas combine careful choice of fabrics, outstanding tailoring and sewing techniques. To ensure durability of our sofas, all plywood, hardwood and foam we use are carefully selected and have been put to stringent tests. We spare no efforts to make every sofa of ours comfortable, stylish and easily cleanable.
We use the following materials for our sofas:

Detachable sofa design: Our upholstery generally has removable covers to facilitate dry cleaning. We design the covers into different removable individual components to eliminate the difficulty of refitting the fabrics for the whole sofa as most fabric will shrink after dry-cleaning.

Dickson's wood veneers are premium oak from France carefully peeled with advanced equipment into sheets of 0.6 mm thick. Every piece of wood naturally has knots, grains patterns and colour shading. The central part of a log is generally rated "BC", parts bearing knots and curvy grain are rated "AB", those on which bear quarter grain and rift grain are rated "A". Those bearing clear rift grain but no knots are rated "AA" and are the most desirable parts in a wood log. The amount of AA wood veneers on a log that can be used on furniture accounts for no more than 10% of the whole log. Dickson uses wood veneers of grade A or higher for side panels of its furniture products. For all front panels, door panels and front parts of other furniture, we use wood veneers of grade AA, which possess naturally even colours and luster, as well as fine and long grain patterns. We choose raw materials according to the strictest standards and carefully match wood grain and colours. Each component of our products bears a unique number at the bottom and is perfectly cut in the same size.

Drawers are the most frequently used parts in a piece of furniture. Drawers can loosen easily when the joints between the side and front panel break, when the roller on the sliding track do not work smoothly, or when the glide runners are bent. As an unusable drawer seriously undermines the functionality of the whole piece of furniture, the drawer is a very important part of furniture.

Dickson uses Russian birch plywood (made of 9 panels each 13mm thick adhered by hot compression) to construct side panels of drawers. It is similar to the making of front panels of sewing machines in the past, albeit that 20-plied board was used and usually only the bottom ply of the plywood was of good quality. Birch plywood is usually several times more expensive and much more durable than common plywood or fiberboard. Empirical data shows that birch plywood has better performance than solid wood since birch plywood boards do not bend over time.

To ensure a long lifespan of our drawers, Dickson uses drawer slides produced by the renowned German company, Hettich, on our drawers, knowing very well that sliding tracks are equally important for the good performance of drawers. We use three different kinds of Hettich runner glides on our furniture: 1. Concealed runners (will not absorb shock from closing drawer), 2. Concealed soft-close runners (medium absorption of shock), and 3. Concealed self-close runners (total absorption of shock).

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