Recognizing Quality Bangle Stands
With the explosion of ethnic Indian influence in fashion, such as beaded khussa shoes (embellished flats) and Indian glass wedding bangles, comes a new hot item, wooden bangle display stands from Pakistan and India. Unlike the velvet and vinyl bangle and bracelet displays that are common-place in jewelry stores across the U.S., these ethnic bangle stands feature a unique shape and cultural difference from their standard counterparts.
Since most wood bangle stands can only be found and purchased online, finding a quality wood bangle holder can pose a challenge. It's difficult to see the difference between a good quality bangle stand and a poor quality bangle stand in pictures. Many problems associated with low quality stands are not immediately evident. The lower quality stands may appear solid and high quality in pictures and when new, but when handled over time many construction and design flaws can creep up that can ruin the function and cosmetic value of the bangle stand.
Most wood bangle stands that come from India and Pakistan are hand made or use very little machine work in their construction. Typically wood handi-craft from India and Pakistan come from small shops all over the country. Many of these shops do not keep their work areas clean of sawdust. The introduction of termites and other wood-eating insects are prevalent in this environment. These pests tend to find their way to the completed bangle stands prior to shipment to the retailer and then inevitably to the customer.
Larger shops use clean environments and closed conditions to keep such contamination at bay. Many of the cleaner shops tend to supply retailers such as World Market, Pier One Imports, and Beachcombers! Bazaar. The turn-around time from manufacture to delivery of the stands is much faster, lessening the chance of any such contamination. The handmade nature of the stand is left intact (many of these larger handi-craft shops are family owned and operated, passed down for generations). What is delivered is a clean and bug free stand. Ask the retailer if such credentials are true of their bangle display stands.
Signs of Low Quality Bangle Stands
Signs of insect damage and contamination:
- Small holes in the wood
- Fine powder like sawdust in the packaging of the stand when first opened
- Small black ant-like or flea-like insects in or around the stands
- A faint crunching noise coming from within the wood
Other traits of low quality stands can be found in the design and construction of the stand itself.
- Narrow tall stands that lend to being unstable
(be sure the width of a stand can accommodate the height of a stand)
- Thin lightweight wood that can contribute to a less sturdy or unstable stand
- Soft wood that can be prone to splitting, warping, and humidity damage
- Uneven cuts and screw holes leading to stands that teeter and do not stand flat and stable
- No assembly instructions provided
(it seems straightforward, but there are some assembly pitfalls that you should be aware of)
- Shallow drilled holes for the screws, leading to splits and cracking
- Low quality screws that strip and/or damage the finish of the stand
- Metal work such as brass end caps on the end of the arms that do not fit or are dented
- Using nails to hold the caps instead of pressing on which lend to cracks and splits
(nails holding on the caps is a big red-flag for low quality work)
- Rusty hardware
Signs of High Quality Stands:
Like low quality stands, high quality bangle holders have traits to look out for. Most high quality display stands are the direct opposite of the low quality versions.
- Thick heavy wood with straight cuts, even holes, and a wide base
- Clean bug free wood with no warping
- Zinc or stainless steel screws and hardware (to prevent rusting)
- Pressed end caps and metal work or painted/staind ends (no nails)
- Threaded inserts in the handle and brace for a stronger stand without splitting the wood
(this is very import for the longevity of your stand)
- Clear assembly instructions should be provided to help avoid common assembly mistakes
As with any handmade product a few duds always fall through the cracks. The final mark of a good wooden bangle stand can be found not with the stand but with the retailer.
Spotting a Good Quality Retailer:
- Always read the return policy (if you can't find it, you should always ask)
- Are they willing to refund or exchange a defective stand?
- Do they cover return shipping and is there a restocking fee?
- Find out if the retailer is a solid company with a good reputation.
- Do they offer assembly of the stand?
As wooden bangle racks grow in popularity and become more mainstream, an array of both low and high quality stands will be available. Armed with this knowledge you will be able to make an informed decision and in the end purchase a stand that can last for years.
Keep in mind, as with all things, if the deal sounds too good to be true, it is. You often get what you pay for.
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All information in this guide is Copyright Beachcombers! 2006. All rights reserved.