Woven fiber that is formed into a rigid material which is often used to make furniture or baskets is known as wicker.
It is basically a weaving process and not the name of any material. Materials used to produce wicker objects such as furniture are mostly of plant origin, but synthetic fibers and vinyl are also used.
Wicker is light but sturdy which is what makes it suitable for making furniture especially those that will often be moved around such as patio and porch furniture.
There are a lot of things you need to know about wicker most of which can be obtained from outdoor furniture experts who are vast in the production of wicker furniture.
But basic information such as types of wicker materials, care and general use of furniture made from wicker are outlined here.
There are five major natural materials used to make wicker furniture. These include; rattan, reed, willow, paper and bamboo.
Rattan is a climbing palm called Calamus and is the main material used for wicker furniture as all its parts; the peel, core, pole etc. are utilized. Rattan peel is called cane which is the material used for weaving; its core is called reed which is usually used to make ornamental objects for wicker furniture and its pole is used in making the frames of wicker furniture.
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Wicker outdoor furniture, especially those that will be used in outdoor areas without covering are usually made with synthetic materials such as vinyl, synthetic fibers, and resins.
The frames are usually aluminum made but the synthetic materials keep the wicker look and such wicker furniture can withstand the elements.
Willow and bamboo are also used to make wicker furniture which can be used outdoors on patios, porches, and balconies.
Care for your wicker furniture is based on the particular material it was made from. Wicker furniture can be tough to clean and maintain, mainly because it has small holes and crevices which makes it susceptible to harboring dirt.
It can be time intensive cleaning your wicker furniture, but worth the effort so as to preserve its beauty and sturdiness. First, you can vacuum the furniture which leaves it ready for more thorough cleaning, and then you can get the dirt in the holes with a toothbrush, plier or tweezers.
You then wipe down with water and detergent using a cloth. The furniture can be dried with a fan, hairdryer or left under a shade outdoors to dry out in the air.
Outdoor wicker furniture made from synthetic fibers can be washed used a water hose and left to dry out in the sun. Trim wicker furniture loose ends with scissors especially if the furniture is old.
Wicker furniture includes; tables, chairs, benches, recliners and loungers, coffee tables etc. of different shapes, sizes and styles.
Wicker accessories are also available and can be used to complement wicker furniture. The wicker weaving process makes wicker furniture suitable for outdoor use as they are light, sturdy and beautiful to behold.
They have a natural, earthy look that fits perfectly in any garden, backyard or empty outside space adding an element of coziness that makes such places inviting to people of all ages.