Pure Timber's Cold-Bend hardwood allows you to incorporate bent wood in furniture without having to steam bend the wood yourself.
Cold-Bend hardwood is actual hardwood that has been subjected to carefully controlled, but intense longitudinal thermo-mechanical compression. It has been engineered to be extremely flexible, so long as it is moist. Once cold-bent by hand - or with jigs, clamps and fixtures - Cold-Bend is dried to fix the shape.
The company says:
Why does it work? It works because it can stretch. When wood bends, it has to stretch on the outside of the curve, which gets longer. Wood can't stretch, so steam benders use a steel backing strap on the outside of the curve to force compression to the inside of the bend (the inside gets shorter, but the outside stays the same length). With Cold-Bend Hardwood, the wood is compressed before it is bent. Therefore it can stretch on the outside of the curve during bending - no steam or backing strap needed. Since the wood is first plasticized in an autoclave and then compressed in a hydraulic press, very tight radiuses can be bent. We can bend it in any direction, make S-curves, twist it, and bend it on edge.

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