Barber Pole Effect
Cut and Finishing Techniques Matter
As logs are sliced into veneer, each leaf has a tight side and a loose side.
Compression of the natural grain occurs on the inner side (tight side) of the leaf as it passes over the knife. The outer side (loose side) reacts to the cut with a slight expansion of the grain.
When the veneer leaves are book matched — every other leaf is turned over — the cuts can reflect light differently and display pale and dark stripes similar to a traditional barber pole across a door face. Adding finish to the veneer, such as stain, accentuates this phenomenon.
The Barber Pole Effect is not considered a manufacturing defect and is a natural occurrence in practically all cuts of wood veneer.