Wood veneer is produced by slicing thin layers of wood from the main trunk of a felled tree. Veneers are sliced to produce either constructional veneers, usually for laminating to produce plywood, or for decorative veneers which are cut to approx. 0.6mm thick.These decorative veneers can be used in architecture for panelling walls or, in cabinet making, to produce fine furniture. When selecting veneer, there are three principle areas to consider: the colour, the basic figure and any freak pattern required.

          The base colour of veneers varies enormously. Each species has a characteristic colour but in a given species, the colour can vary across a given leaf and vary considerably from log to log. In general, veneers are available in many different browns and yellows varying from pale - almost white - to very dark brown veneers. There are also reds, even purples but there are only 2 green and no naturally blue veneers.
          The manner of slicing decorative veneers will alter the appearance of the veneer, and some veneer figures come from particular parts of the tree trunk. The four principle figure types in cabinet veneers are:
Quarter Cut:
          A close array of roughly straight, parallel lines visible in the veneer.
Curl Veneers:
         Cut from the junction of the main trunk with a branch, giving a V or U shaped pattern.
Burr Veneers:
         Cut from wart like protruberances on the trunk or, increasingly, from the top of the root bole having a swirling pattern of roughly circular figuring.
Decorative Veneers:
         These are used in fine furniture as the manner of slicing allows consecutive leaves of veneers to be almost identical in surface appearance and colour.
Crown cut:
         An irregular long are figure visible in the veneer.