This is an exquisite wood which owes its popularity to the interlocked grain that results in a wide number of unique figures and patterns from the more common wavy, figured and pomelle to the less common quilted, fiddleback, mottled and beeswing. The wood is generally reddish- brown with various degrees of golden hue and tends to darken with age; in some cases, the golden hue overpowers the other tones and the wood is flooded by an intense amber tinge. The
combination of these unique color tones and grain patterns can result in pieces of outstanding beauty; using techniques such as adding a coat of shellac prior to applying the finish can augment the character and color strength. The wood is exceptionally stable and water-resistant; sapele and teak are the two species used for boats and yachts cabinetry because of their minimal movement. It is quite hard (1,400 on Janka scale), with very good stiffness and bending-resistance yet lighter than woods similarly hard.