What Exactly Is Wicker?

First, what exactly is wicker? Most people thing that wicker is a type of material, such as a vine growing in the tropics. The materials used in what we call wicker furniture is either a flexible rattan, willow, bamboo, reeds or a synthetic fiber of polyethylene. The synthetic polyethylene fiber is known in the furniture world as resin wicker. This will help you when shopping for that one special piece you still need or for an entire patio set including sitting, dining and relaxing if a synthetic material is your particular taste. If you choose a natural material, it will be woven onto a plant based frame. However, if you want something more maintenance free, a resin wicker would be the choice.

Just how old is wicker furniture? Well, we know that it is at least 2,000+ years old. This was discovered in the tomb of Tatankhamen. Tatankhamen was an Egyptian pharaoh and upon uncovering his tomb, wicker furniture was found.

Will wicker furniture stand up over time? In days gone by, wicker furniture was thought of as a cheap alternative for dorm rooms, apartments and cottage furnishings. No longer is that the case. Wicker now days is very sturdy while also being extremely stylish. Depending on which type of material to use in the weaving process will determine how to care for it so that it lasts for the duration. Just like us, the sun can take its toll on natural material wicker furniture. One of the ways to protect and lengthen the use of that wicker furniture is to rub either a lemon oil or linseed oil that is boiled first. The other issue with a natural wicker piece of furniture is that it can easily get mold. So if you are set on your patio furniture to be a natural material, then it needs to be stored in a dry place such as indoors during any rain or winter conditions. Also, with a natural wicker piece, you may find rough spots which makes sitting uncomfortable, simply lightly sand those spots using a fine grained piece of sandpaper. Now if you choose to go with a resin wicker piece of furniture, when it get a little dusty, simply wash it away with your garden hose and then let dry in the sun. Then what about durability? Your choice of natural vs resin wicker will have a lot to do with that and also how the pieces are cared for over time. If you are looking for maintenance free wicker furniture, then the resin choice is the one to make. Besides the ease of cleaning it, each piece is woven onto either an aluminum or steel frame. Choosing the aluminum gives you more peace of mind as it will not rust over time.

Finally, what about coloring. If you choose a natural material of wicker furniture, it will be a shade of beige. But if you go with a resin based piece, your options are endless. You will find wicker that is snow white to a deep brown. And that is only the beginning. For those cushions, you can find almost any shade and pattern that is one the market today. This can reflect your personality when picking out a style and coloring of your wicker furniture. So be bold, or choose a soft coloring, you have options galore.

Happy outdoor living.

Indonesia Outdoor Furniture by Annette Jones

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