The steigerwald in the children’s room

the steigerwald in the children's room

Sabine christofzik

ebrach- it could be that a little princess will have a tantrum in the midst of her pink-crowned furniture. "A child can rub into it", says toni schindler. "Everything is saliva-proof and free of pollutants." This applies not only to the surfaces of silenta’s nursery furnishings, which are treated with special paints, natural wax and vegetable oils, but also to the pine wood from which they are made.
"Each of our lumber suppliers – sagewerke from the surrounding area – can tell us exactly in which forest they have acquired the logs. Everything comes from the region and from certified, sustainable forestry. Nothing has to be shipped from far away."

Without transport tourism

The raw material for the organic children’s furniture comes from nearby, from the steigerwald nature park. The finished products, on the other hand, make all the more journeys. They are sold throughout germany and beyond: in our own online store, through specialist dealers and mail order companies. There is also a factory outlet in ebrach.
"We have always worked with shippers", says heidrun schindler-schaller. "When the customer’s order is received there, the order comes to us online. We ship from ebrach directly to the shipper’s customer."
The building, which houses the buror rooms downstairs and the exhibition on the second floor, is located directly on the local thoroughfare. The production halls are located further back on the company site, barely visible from the B 22.
There was already a small sawmill there when the further entrepreneur wilhelm schaller started to produce picture rails here in 1926. Toni schindler’s father-in-law still transported money from furth to ebrach on horseback in order to pay the weekly wages. At that time, the entire production was still shipped by rail.
Since 1950, the company has specialized in the production of curtain rails and curtain rods; many innovations have been developed and patented. Curtain technology is also manufactured today. But in 1980, heidrun schindler-schaller and toni schindler founded "silenta" as the fifth generation of entrepreneurs completely new orientation: from then on, children’s and youth furniture was also manufactured in organic quality from domestic pine wood.

Hard and robust

The pine, which grows only slowly in the harsh steigerwald climate, therefore has narrower annual rings and is harder and more stable than imported pine from warmer regions. "We work exclusively with this very high quality solid wood. Nothing in our program is made of chipboard, hardboard or tropical wood. Not even from poor quality wood, glued over with veneer or foil", assures toni schindler.
The trained carpenter, who has worked as an organ builder and completed a degree in engineering, is the one who designs the furniture. Bunk beds with castle battlements, high beds with wide safety stairs and ladders, or an integrated puppet theater stage: "what I couldn’t have as a child, I now make for other children."
"Anyone who works for us must have a feeling for and love of wood as a material", says schindler. "We have a lot of long-term employees. The women, who work part-time in the production, organize their working hours flexibly in consultation with each other."
What silenta in ebrach does not have is a warehouse where pre-packaged furniture is waiting to be delivered in large quantities.
Heidrun schindler-schaller: "before delivery, each piece of furniture is individually sorted from the individual parts already in stock. The parts will be tested to see if they match in color and wood structure. Even when developing new packaging, we make sure that the individual cartons can be carried by one person and transported in a car."

Twelve percent wood moisture

Even the wood cut to order for the production is not stored in the factory, but at the sawmills. There, the sun and wind provide natural drying.
"Only when we retrieve it, it comes in ebrach in our dry chambers. There it will be artificially dried with steam to about twelve percent wood moisture before it is processed", explains toni schindler.
The steam for the drying chambers is not produced by using electricity and heating oil, but by burning the company’s own sawdust, planing chips and pine wood waste.