Are you considering getting new outdoor furniture? Did you maybe notice that your old furniture pieces are really worn out after this last summer or that they probably won’t survive another harsh winter? Then let me give you a suggestion…

Wicker furniture sets are the prime choice for backyard furniture and lanais here in South Florida because they are basically all-weather pieces. That resilience is unmatched by wood and metal, which either warp or rust when exposed to the elements for too long. And you’ll rarely have to think about painting furniture again — especially if you get the more modern synthetic wicker furniture which has brought a much more elegant and upscale look to wicker. Both wicker and rattan pieces can be bent, curved and shaped to fit almost any frame, giving a lot of variety in the style of furniture which can be built.

photo credit: Wicker Paradise via photopin cc

photo credit: Flickr via photopin cc

The use of these materials to make high quality and durable products is not new. Rattan was once used as cargo holding materials, like rope or mesh to keep boxes and barrels in place. Upon arrival, ships would discard the materials. Merchants sold it as basket weaving material, but furniture makers in Boston found the substance to be perfect for chairs and sofas.

Today, wicker is made from many kinds of materials, including bamboo or rattan. Modern wicker patio furniture is made even stronger with synthetic threads woven into the fabric of the chair itself.

During the 20th and late 19th centuries, wicker was also prized for its perceived health benefits. Cloth was known to collect dust. And while a piece of cloth looked nice in a sitting room, it was difficult to clean and maintain. Rattan and wicker pieces became a symbol of wealth during the Victorian period, simply because they were easy to clean. And to this day, people have trouble with mites, bugs and other creatures in cloth or padded furniture which won’t thrive on wicker or can easily be eliminated.

By the way, most wicker patio chairs are constructed on an aluminum frame, making them lightweight. Aluminum is typically prepared with a powdered surface, which is done to resist rust even further. Other metals are sometimes used, but aluminum is the strongest and lightest of the materials.

What do you think about wicker? Do you have any wicker in your home?

We’ve got a bunch of chairs around our dining table which are wicker with a wooden frame. They’re very versatile and easy to maintain which is ideal for our busy family lifestyle!