Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture came of age during the Victorian era. Valued for clean lines and smooth surfaces, people thought wicker to be more sanitary than common upholstered furniture of that time.

Immigrants brought wicker to the new world, where it took on many new and unique styles. But today, wicker has gained popularity for its style, comfort and flexibility in home furniture and decor. Wicker, which literally means "to weave”, first appears in our history records more than two thousand years ago with baby Moses passing safely on the Nile river in a reed-woven wicker basket.

Wicker can be used for more than just furniture, as this fabulous room decor shows; with a chest, wall mirror, lampshade and other accessories all made from wicker.

The term wicker is better defined as the use of slim, flexible branches, vines, or grass woven into a pattern, with the resulting “wickerwork” created by weaving the wicker together.

Wicker furniture is made by weaving the wicker around a frame to form chairs, sofas, tables, baskets and many other forms.

The texture and patterns of wicker create great visual impact.You can buy wicker furniture with natural, stained and painted surfaces. Some manufacturers coat the wicker in resins to prevent furniture from cracking, flaking or fading.

Wicker Furniture Trends

Modern furniture makers now manufacture wicker with materials ranging from outer the skins of rattan vines traditionally used to make wicker products, to bamboo, reeds, or synthetic materials.

Versatile and chameleon-like, wicker is often matched with upholstered cushions for added comfort. Put it together with bamboo or teak furniture and your room suddenly seems more relaxing.

Put a wicker porch swing out on your patio for those lazy summer afternoon naps. You can use wicker for a laundry basket or hamper, to decorate your walls or for any of a hundred other purposes!

Wicker Furniture Styles

Traditional wicker furniture designs from the roaring twenties have given way to modern designs of the mid to late 20th century, with sleek lines and simpler shapes.

Styles have moved towards oversize pieces, with bright, colorful Hawaiian prints tending to replace the more traditional patterns and pastel colors used in upholstered cushions.

Because of the range of materials used and its inherently flexible nature, wicker can be used with almost any design aesthetic, shape or size, from Victorian to Polynesian, Southeast Asian to contemporary, wide and relaxing or dainty and trim.

Plastic and resins can be formed to imitate the natural rattan, reed and cane wicker materials, with the added benefit of improved weather resistance, making these synthetic wickers the perfect material for outdoor furniture.

This white wicker chair makes for a perfect place to relax out on the porch!Use Wicker Indoors and Outdoors

A more casual room in tropical climates will be perfect for wicker furniture indoors. It is light and airy and can easily be outfitted with colorful cushions in any pattern.

Wicker furniture is relatively light weight, making it easy to move from your sunroom or other casual room indoors out to your patio as the seasons change.

Non-synthetic wicker furniture should not be left outdoors exposed to a summer shower, so if you plan to use it primarily outdoors, consider the synthetic materials.

In addition to it use for furniture, wicker is also used to make products such as lampshades, trunks and chests, hampers, storage shelves, porch swings, and baby bassinets.

Wicker’s adaptability can help blend your indoor and outdoor spaces. You can coordinate shape, texture and colors to make spaces flow more seamlessly from indoors to outdoors, especially if you live in a warmer climate where sunrooms and screen porches are so popular.

Choosing Wicker Furniture

A rattan or hard wood frame typically is used in making the best wicker furniture. Regardless of the woven material used, it should be solid and dense; lighter weight wicker furniture will tend to be of lesser quality than denser, heavier weight products.

Quality wicker products won’t tend to crack or peel. It is smooth to the touch and fits the body comfortably. Cheaper wicker furniture often has rough or exposed ends of fiber that is uncomfortable.

Caring for Wicker Furniture

  • Dust can be a challenge in caring for wicker furniture. The woven surfaces make them dust magnets. To maintain and clean your wicker furniture, try these tips:
  • Dust or vacuum your wicker periodically and use clear furniture polish to treat the pieces, unless your manufacturer specifies another treatment
  • You can also use a thin layer of clear lacquer to coat and protect wicker furniture
  • Wipe wicker gently with a solution of warm water and mild soap to clean areas that have become more deeply soiled
  • It is recommended that you dry wicker quickly should it get wet to prevent standing water, which may cause it to crack or form gaps between the weave
  • If your wicker furniture develops cracks or sharp edges, try sanding it gently with fine-grained sandpaper

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