October 4, 2023

Home Architecture

The Extraordinary Design

Outdoor Wicker Patio Furniture for the Home

3 min read

Outdoor wicker patio furniture is one of the most popular choices for today’s homes, largely because of its timeless beauty and durable nature.

Part of the reason for this is the construction process itself. If you’re buying traditional rattan outdoor wicker furniture (you can also get wicker that is made of man-made materials and bamboo), you’ll be pleased to know that the rattan pole is actually very tough.

Once it is split into smaller pieces using a machine, it’s placed in a big steam box. This softens the rattan so it can be bent into shape by a jig. The jig is different for each type of furniture and it determines how a particular piece needs to be bent. As the rattan cools it stays in the shape of the jig. Once the joints are sealed, the entire piece of rattan furniture is sanded down to remove rough spots and splits. A little stain gives the furniture a nice appearance.

All outdoor wicker patio furniture is not created equally. Some are higher quality than others and often a production line can turn out a top quality and lower quality piece at the same time. Part of this is due to the tightness and density of the weave as well as the quality of the rattan itself.

Humans do the final work in this regard. Each piece is inspected to grade the quality. Inferior pieces are sent to discount houses while the best ones are sold by online and brick and mortar furniture stores that are known for their quality. That’s why you may see an identical piece of outdoor wicker patio furniture at a discount store that is cheaper. It really is cheaper when it comes to quality and won’t hold up as well as a higher grade piece. During this final review process, any imperfections are fixed by hand, including any splits and discolorations.

As noted, outdoor wicker patio furniture can use a range of materials. The term wicker only refers to the process used to create the furniture, not the materials used. Outdoor wicker furniture can actually be made of bamboo, reed, synthetics, willow or rattan.

One reason why wicker is a perennial favorite is its tropical look. Homeowners wishing to create a little tropical oasis at home will find outdoor wicker patio furniture to be the perfect solution.

It’s also popular because it is fairly lightweight. Even a large sectional or sofa can be moved around with relative ease. The light weight doesn’t mean it’s of inferior quality to wood or metal furnishings. Far from it. The weaving process actually makes this type of furniture extremely strong.

If you do have traditional rattan outdoor wicker patio furniture, you will want to make sure it is either covered or stored during the rainy months. An occasional shower won’t damage it at all, but over time the harsh elements can conspire to weaken the weave and make the furniture feel a little wobbly.

While wicker furniture dates back to the ancient Egypt, it has managed to continually reinvent itself over the generations. In the U.S. wicker furniture was brought to the country by European immigrants and the style caught on with others. Over time, many pieces were created that emulated traditional furnishings, that’s why it’s not uncommon to find sofas, love seats, chairs, chaises and tables in outdoor wicker patio furniture.

With new production techniques, manufacturers have taken outdoor wicker patio furniture to new heights. With the introduction of synthetics and new finishes as well as fabrics for cushions, this furniture comes in an endless variety of colors and styles, one that will fit well into the outdoor entertainment spaces of nearly every home.

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