A modern take on shou sugi ban

Shou sugi ban, or yakisugi, is an ancient Japanese art of treating wood with a flame to make it more waterproof and rot resistant. Thermory’s Ignite range turns the concept on its head, replicating those traditional advantages and adding in the unique benefits of our expertly heat-treated wood to bring it into the modern age. Ignite cladding panels emulate shou sugi ban’s gorgeous singed look, while our state-of-the-art thermal modification process gives the wood even greater levels of durability and rot resistance.

An ancient tradition brought up to date

The practice of shou sugi ban has been in place for several centuries – and it isn’t exclusive to Japan. In fact, evidence has been found all over the world, going back several millennia, of cultures around Europe and Asia charring the outer edges of their wooden panels to make them more durable. It seems the method’s ability to preserve this precious natural material is universally recognized, and has been for some time.

These days, using fire to protect wood is still hugely popular all over the world. And although it works – and the finish is undeniably attractive – technology has moved forward significantly since the technique was first perfected in Japan.

Thermal modification offers superior protection from moisture, rot and parasites, while also overcoming some common issues associated with flame-treating timber, such as messy residue and the rot resistance being limited to the outer surface of the treated panel.

Why is shou sugi ban so popular these days?

Shou sugi ban is trending right now, and with good reason. In addition to the improved durability and attractive appearance of the wood when treated with this technique, it gives any wall a striking and unconventional look.

Black cladding is definitely having a moment when it comes to creating striking facades. It is considered a traditional look for many houses in Belgium and Netherlands, but it also has become architects’ favorite for creating modern buildings both in urban and rural areas. It instantly adds depth and unique charisma to a building, making it stand out from the crowd.

Shou sugi ban adds to the bold color trend with its unique pattern of charred wood. Even if the building is architecturally minimalistic with simple lines, the organic pattern of shou sugi ban brings the façade to life and adds interest to the eye.

Both indoors and outdoors, adding that focal point makes all the difference. If cladding your whole building with black embossed boards seems too strong of a statement, creating an accent wall may just be enough.

Shou sugi ban works well with different materials and therefore complements and contrasts other interior elements nicely.  

How does Thermory Ignite compare with traditionally charred wood?

Ignite cladding panels are made from alder or spruce wood that has received Thermory’s thermal modification treatment. The charred look popularized by shou sugi ban is achieved through a combination of black paint and a scorched pattern that is embossed into the wood’s surface.

The antiquated look of fired wood combines with the contemporary benefits of our natural heat treatment technology, which uses only heat and steam, to create the perfect balance between ancient and modern.


Here are Thermory Ignite’s main advantages over traditional flame-treated wood cladding:


Ignite by Thermory

An ancient cladding tradition with reliably modern performance. Ignite combines the stunning look of yakisugi with superior strength and durability all the way to the core. Compared to the charred wood surface, Ignite cladding boards have a significantly longer maintenance interval.

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