All About Jelutong 


Overview of Wood Species: Jelutong

Name Jelutong
[Dyera costulata]
Type Light Hardwood
Density 420-500 kg/m3 air dry
Janka Hardness 1,740N
Location Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, Southern Thailand
Tree Size 60-80m tall, 2-3m trunk diameter

Jelutong wood, indigenous to Malaysia, is a remarkable and highly valued timber species known for its unique characteristics (and is commonly compared to balsa wood due to its similarities in properties). Scientifically classified as Dyera costulata, this light to pale yellow wood has gained recognition for its ease of carving, making it a preferred choice for intricate woodwork, including traditional Malay and Chinese ornamental carvings. Jelutong wood's light weight and fine texture also make it suitable for a variety of applications, from crafting wooden masks and statues to constructing lightweight structures. D

Due to its limited natural abundance and the need for sustainable forestry practices, the careful management and conservation of jelutong wood resources are essential to preserve this valuable part of Malaysia's cultural and woodworking heritage. Jelutong wood has been overharvested traditionally, and is considered a protected species in Malaysia. With the tree's fast growth coupled with strong replanting efforts, its extinction is highly unlikely. 

Recently, we have also used jelutong wood in our adaptation of Kumiko, a Japanese woodworking technique, to create a Nyonya-patterned Kumko lamp. Check it out in the video below! 

16 Sep 2023