Wicker Patio Furniture
Wicker Patio Furniture Summary:
Lightweight and suitable for hot climates
All-weather materials comes in an array of varieties that perform well outdoors
Maintenance can be high
Charming Wicker Furniture Is Better in New Maintenance Free Materials
Wicker patio furniture is a good choice if looking for lightweight and beautiful seating. It is loosely woven, allowing air to circulate making it especially suitable for hot climates. And its many different styles allow for any look from traditional to contemporary. Wicker mixes well with different materials like wood and metal, making for unusually attractive patio furniture. Wicker patio furniture is best kept protected from the elements and is most often seen on porches or under cover in a patio or gazebo. It should also be protected from rough treatment such as rambunctious children and heavy weight. Quality wicker patio furniture should be smooth with no ends protruding as well as being splinter-free. It is usually best to buy this furniture already assembled because joints will tend toward instabiliy otherwise. There are many handsome designs and an endless array of colors from which to choose.
What is Wicker Patio Furniture?
The term wicker refers to the method of weaving material as opposed to the kind of material itself. The history of wicker goes back many centuries. Woven chairs were made long ago by ancient Egyptians. Wicker regained popularity in Europe and North America in the 1800s. Today, most wicker patio furniture frames are made from rattan. Rattan is a tough, stringy material coming from the reedy stems of palms in Southeast Asia. It is strong, bends easily, and lasts for a long time. When the rattan poles are harvested, they are cut, steamed, then bent into shape. This becomes the frame. The bark of the rattan is cut and wrapped around the joints for support and they are woven into the seat and back of a chair. Quality rattan is sanded as much as six times during manufacturing. All-weather outdoor rattan is always treated with special chemicals. The reed is usually dipped in resin emultions to prtotect from moisture.
The trend in wicker patio furniture is to make the wicker out of synthetic materials like fiberglass, extruded resin, or vinyl. These materials are made into vine-like pieces and woven. The synthetic substitutes should contain ultraviolet inhibitors to protect them from the sun. Synthetic wicker patio furniture usually has aluminum frames instead of rattan, and these totally synthetic wicker pieces can usually be placed outdoors without extra protection. Unless the furniture is specifically labeled for all-weather use, it is best to place it in indoor or covered locations only. Look for synthetic wicker or rattan coated with plastic if outdoor patio furniture is what you need. High quality synthetic materials should not crack, fade, or peel.
Maintaining Wicker Patio Furniture
Wicker patio furniture can be high maintenance. If left outside unprotected, eventually the furniture will fail unless it is a synthetic all-weather wicker. Rattan should be kept safely away from direct sunlight and any moisture or dampness. And the furniture should be kept inside during the winter. To clean the all-weather material, a hosing off is fine. It can also be spot cleaned with a spray bottle of water and a tiny bit of liquid detergent. The water should only be slightly soapy with a ratio of about a tablespoon of detergent to a gallon of water. Be sure wicker patio furniture is completely dry before sitting on it so as not to damage it. When repainting, clean with a damp rag and sand any areas as neccesary. Spray paint is preferable to avoid dripping. Furniture polish can be applied from time to time as needed. With proper maintenance, quality all-weather wicker patio furniture can last for decades.