Reclaimed parquet flooring:
Panga Panga (Millettia stuhlmannii)
Panga Panga is from East and South-East Africa (Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe). This species is sometimes confused with its cousin Wenge (pronounced Wengay). Wenge is very similar in appearance, but grows in West and Central Africa.
When reclaiming parquet in the UK, we tend to find Panga Panga as opposed to Wenge, because it comes from the parts of Africa that were formerly British colonies. We find it was used in late 1950s and early 1960s buildings. It seems to have become very fashionable during the new ‘Brutalist’ architectural style. Concrete buildings, particularly schools and colleges are the most common sources. We never find it in pre-war buildings.
Panga Panga characteristics
Panga Panga is a deep, dark chocolate brown with alternating depths of colour and whitish tissue which has the effect of stripes and swirls. This species looks superb when laid as a parquet wood block floor, with the bold wavy-stripe appearance giving an added dimension and interest. It also works well as a striking border to a paler colour parquet block, such as sycamore or maple.
A hard wood, stable and heavy, so as a consequence it has exceptionally good ‘resistance to wear’ properties. It glues satisfactorily and will take a polish well, with a very faint scent when sanded. A dense timber, which feels cool and hard to the touch with a smooth feel to it. This is an unusual species of great interest and quality.
This is a stunning, quite masculine wood. It makes a great floor and is to be highly recommended.