Wicker Furniture – The Good and the Bad

If you though that wicker was a natural fiber, you’re not alone. You’re also quite wrong. Wicker refers to the style of weaving materials around a frame to make furniture. This technique has been around for a long time. Even the ancient Egyptians used this style to make baskets out of reed and grass. So, wicker is not a kind of material. However, since weaving requires pliable material, wicker furniture is generally made from natural fibers like bamboo and rattan and over time, wicker became synonymous with natural fiber. These days, however, stunning wicker furniture is available in a number of synthetic materials too.

Wicker has carved a niche for itself because of its distinct style. The interlaced weaving is intricate but sturdy. Since wicker lacks rigidity, it requires a sturdy frame for the latticework. Good quality wicker furniture makes use of materials like wood, aluminum or stainless steel. In case of inexpensive furniture, rattan frames or bamboo may be used. High grade wicker furniture is generally made from treated wood and rattan.

Generally, wicker furniture is made from natural materials. However, materials like rattan and wood may rot or decay. Natural material is exposed to the attack of parasites like termites. Therefore, untreated natural material does not last long. By using synthetic materials like metal wires and frames like plastic, steel, wrought iron and aluminum, you can ensure that your furniture lasts for an eternity while maintaining the natural good looks of wicker. Synthetic fibers may be made from hydrocarbons and have several advantages over natural fiber.

Wicker furniture made from synthetic materials comes in a variety of colors. Therefore, you do not have to limit yourself to shades of brown. Since the colors are embedded into the material, rough handling does not leave scratches or cause the color to peel off. The color does not fade even when the furniture is exposed to long hours of sunshine. Being synthetic, the material is immune to the attack of parasites.

Wicker furniture is lightweight. So, they may be moved around easily. At the same time, they are sturdy because of the technique used to weave the material. Therefore, they can easily support a lot of weight even though they are lightweight.

Since natural wicker furniture is generally placed in the outdoors, it is important to take good care of them to ensure long life. You might need to store them away during the rains or during intense heat. Synthetic materials do not need much maintenance. They may simply be wiped clean. In case of heavy stains or dirt, they may even be washed.

The cost factor also adds to the appeal of this furniture. Wicker costs less than most other kinds of outdoor furniture and there is absolutely no compromise in the look or elegance of the furniture.

The only disadvantage of wicker furniture is that they are prone to attracting dust in the tiny nooks and crevices between the layers. However, since it is easy to wash off the dust, this is easily taken care of.

Indonesia Outdoor Furniture by Winston Jenkins

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