Under the guardianship of founder Forest Kong (Kong Su Len), Colydor Industries began as a furniture manufacturer in 1981. Necessity being the mother of invention and with fibreboards of the time garnering a reputation for warping and peeling in wet environments, Colydor Industries introduced of one of the world’s first waterproofed high density fibreboards in 1997.
This development enabled Colydor Industries’ transition into the manufacture of weather-resistant furniture — a convention-defying manoeuvre made possible by proprietary post-processing techniques, practiced design expertise, and artisanal workmanship honed over the course of a decade. Dr. Milor Kong (Colydor Industries’ Managing Director) describes the rationale behind their focus on modernistic fibreboard furniture in a statement of their philosophy: “We believe that through the love and dedication of our craftsmanship, every piece of furniture can be made to convey meaning to our existential identities and articulate our values and visions of life.”
Although known more for their grand entrance doors—hundreds of which have appeared in far-flung places such as Oman, in the Middle East – Colydor Industries has also been a trusted source for gilded prayer altars of traditional design and more recently, as an innovator of small home furniture made from oil palm fibres and high density fibreboards. With their applied efforts in the research and development of weather-resistant oil palm fibreboards going as far back as 2004 and with the support of the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB), Colydor Industries is set to become a disruptor of sorts in the realm of wooden outdoor furniture.
While Malaysia’s furniture industry has been able to almost fully utilize rubberwood over the past decades, declining rubber cultivation area has prompted a pressing need for other readily available fibres. Just as the MTIB was credited for the widespread use of rubberwood in furniture manufacturing, the MTIB has also advanced the acceptance of physically similar fibres derived from oil palm plantations as an alternative biomass for use in medium-density (MDF) and high-density fibreboards (HDF).
Rubberwood fibres entail a lengthy wait for mature trunks to be felled at the end of the rubber cultivation cycle, but oil palm fibres could be acquired from otherwise unused empty fruit branches—greatly reducing production time and costs while enabling furniture manufacturers such as Colydor Industries to maintain quality and affordability. The appeal of using oil palm fibres is clear to manufacturers: with a more readily available source of fibres, designers are able to experiment with novel forms while maintaining the weather-resistance required of outdoor furnishings – which is why Colydor Industries was willing to work with oil palm fibres. As Dr. Milor Kong explains it, “At Colydor Industries, we strive to create good, innovative, and quality furniture that will not only improve the quality of living but also embody positivity and happiness.”
Colydor Industries has been supported by MTIB at various exhibitions in recent years – coupled with their own penchant for product innovation and a creative approach to product design, Colydor Industries is now one of the few homegrown entities that have successfully become specialists in working with palm oil fibres and fibreboards.