History Of The Wood Coat Tree
Since nearly every home could use more room for bulky coats or dripping raincoats, a coat tree near both the front door and in the mud room or near the back entrance works well. These are the most common types of coat racks.
The history of coat trees is centuries old, almost as long as the history of mankind. Ever since man began to put a fur skin over regular clothes to protect from wind and weather, a place to put it has been needed. Early drawing show skins hanging to dry on primitive outcroppings of rock or limbs.
In more recent centuries, before the present era of bedroom closets, many bedrooms supplemented their clothing storage wardrobes with wooden coat trees. Castles in Europe had special wood coat tree racks for hanging armor. Guns, hanging with their gun belts on a wood coat rack near farmhouse entrances were common in the American West.
Wood coat trees can be made from a variety of woods. Pine, maple, oak and mahogany are among the most popular woods for coat tree construction, but poplar, spruce, cherry, walnut, ash and bamboo are also used where they are available. Woods are stained for a natural look, highly lacquered for a polished look or painted to coordinate with the surrounding décor.
Wood coat tree design is as varied as the woods from which they are made. A simple upright timber, set into a sturdy floor base, with four or more knobs or crosspieces for hanging near the top is typical. The crosspieces can be set into the upright timber at an angle to better hold garments hung upon them.
The wooden base is often highly decorated with wood carving and the upright timber and crosspieces usually have some form of wood turning decoration. A wood coat rack tree may be made to either blend in with the surrounding area or to stand out as a decorator piece on its own. Standing near the front entrance, they are an easy way for guests to store outer garments. Back door wood coat trees are ideal for the family, especially a family with children as often used overcoats are within easy reach at the exit the family uses most.
A skilled woodworker with the proper tools can make a satisfactory standing wood coat tree and such patterns are available from woodworking craft outlets, but a large variety of beautifully handcrafted wood coat trees can be purchased as well. They are an asset to any home and easily solve one of the most difficult wintertime problems; where to put dripping overcoats and rain gear. For both the home or apartment dweller, a black wood coat tree provides a decorative touch and instantly solves the problem of what to do with wet or bulky outer garments.