Understanding Wicker Furniture
Wicker furniture gives a space a light and airy feel, and creates a very different atmosphere than things like steel, wrought iron or teak wood furniture. It’s perfect for that tropical look, because wicker pieces were originally made with things like reed and cane, both found in the rainforest. A wicker chair with a pretty cushion is an invitation to sit down and enjoy the sunshine.
What is Wicker Furniture?
Wicker, or rather the material used in wicker furniture, is not known for weathering very well. Wicker itself is actually the process of weaving used to create the furniture, and not the materials themselves. So wicker furniture can actual be made out of any material, even plastic, so long as it’s woven in the traditional way. And since the traditional materials were reed and cane, both able to withstand rainforest conditions, one might think that wicker furniture should be natural outdoors and stand up to weather very well.
But because the natural materials were alive and are no longer alive when woven into furniture, they lose the properties that kept them flourishing in the wet and hot conditions and become more susceptible to things like sun and moisture. Rattan is a popular material in wicker furniture, and often makes up the frame that other materials are woven around. Rattan is a wood, so you can have sturdy rattan garden furniture with absolutely nothing woven on it at all, or have the woven part be made of rattan reeds.
Types of Wicker Furniture
If you want to use that wicker chaise outside, then consider what kind of wicker furniture it is. If it’s made of natural materials like rattan reed or cane, or even man-made synthetic paper fiber, you’ll want to get some outdoor furniture covers to protect it when not in use. In fact, it would be best to bring it inside when you’re not using it. And know that eventually, the weather will break it down. It’s best if you don’t leave natural material wicker furniture outside at all.
Today’s wicker furniture is usually made of synthetic fibers that can stand up to just about anything. It’s a good idea to still use patio chair covers to protect your furniture and keep it cleaner, but you won’t have to worry about mold, mildew, rotting or fading like you would with natural materials. No matter what type of wicker it is, invest in some comfy outdoor cushions to make it comfortable. And if the cushions get wet, remove them from them wicker frame to dry to minimize the contact the woven fibers have with moisture.
Look for synthetic wicker furniture that doesn’t have a shine or a glare, as the shinier versions are lower quality. The wicker should still have a texture to it that will minimize glare and make it more attractive.