Wicker Outdoor Furniture
Wicker and woven are available in natural and synthetic materials; natural wicker is great in a protected environment (such as a covered patio), while high-quality synthetic woven can generally be left out in the elements. This category is one where the old adage “You get what you pay for” is especially applicable! Villa Terrazza’s collections of woven furniture all feature strong warranties, and are woven onto welded aluminum frames for durability outdoors.
Wicker, woven, loom, rattan, poly-rattan – What’s the difference?
There are many different variations of woven furniture. Woven furniture for indoor use is typically all natural products, with wood or bamboo frames. Woven furniture destined for outdoor use normally is woven onto an aluminum or teak frame. The first woven furniture was made by weaving plant material such as palm fronds into something to sit or sleep on. In the casual furniture industry, Woven refers to any material that is woven to create furniture. Rattan is the name for about 600 species of palm tree. Most of the world’s rattan comes from Indonesia. It is highly renewable, and easy to grow and harvest. Rattan is well suited for indoor use. Poly-rattan is merely a synthetic material, such as PVC, which is made to look like rattan, but can perform outdoors because it is inorganic.
Wicker traditiionally refers to plant material (such as rattan stems or willow switches, or bamboo) that is woven into furniture. Around the turn of the century Henry Lloyd patented a process where paper-wrapped high tensile wire was used to create furniture. This was known as ‘Lloyd Loom’, and loom is still available today by manufacturers such as Lloyd/Flanders & others. Resin-wicker refers to synthetic material (usually polyethylene or PVC), which is treated to be UV-resistant. Synthetic wicker’s color is typically throughout the material, whereas natural wicker, rattan, and loom are often painted. High quality woven furniture will last an incredibly long time, upwards of 20 years. However, beware of box-store woven furniture at a low price point. It will likely end up in a landfill.
Outdoor resin-wicker is frequently a good choice for demanding coastal environments. Whereas aluminum would be subjected to pitting in salt air, woven furniture looks good for a long time because any surface pitting on the metal frame is hidden by the woven material.
What is the care and upkeep of wicker / woven furniture?
The enemy of woven furniture is mold & mildew, which can cause rot. Mildew needs organic material to grow, which can come from pollen, dust, and the like. A simple hosing off or in case of a lot of dirt, washing with gentle detergent a few times a year is all that is needed to keep the furniture lookiung fresh and new. Natural wicker and loom can be repainted if they are sun-faded. Synthetic products cannot generally be painted, because the paint will not adhere well to the resin material.