When you’re considering wood furniture, you probably have more than a few requirements. Maybe you want something durable and long-lasting that will hold its value and prove to be a great investment. You may also want something lightweight, that can be easily moved around to rearrange or redecorate. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, you’re probably the best fit for wicker furniture shopping.
While wicker refers to a method of making wooden furniture, rather than a specific material, it is often associated with woods such as rattan, bamboo, or willow. It’s a favorite of those looking for a light, airy and versatile piece that can be altered to fit your lifestyle and décor as it changes.
The best types of wicker furniture are made from natural products, such as reeds or rattan. These types of wicker are also called cane furniture as they are woven from cane woods. Due to the unique and intricate weaving process, the natural wicker pieces are exceptionally strong and a topcoat provides excellent protection against moisture damage. The process also allows for a wide range of styles and types of furniture.
The idea of wicker can make you think of an outdoor setting, such as a screened-in porch or open patio. While wicker, like any wooden furniture, should never be left exposed to the weather for an extended period of time, patio decorations are probably the most popular place for these pieces. Patio tables, chairs, loungers, and tables can be made from wicker and, with proper care, can be used for years to come.
Many interior styles, from Victorian to greenery, use simple wicker furniture for an earthy feel. Environmental decorations work best with all-natural wicker to maximize natural beauty and minimize ecological impact.
When shopping for wicker furniture, it’s important to remember the different types available. Bamboo wicker is exceptionally strong and beautiful. It is less flexible than other wicker materials, but it will be much more durable for a longer period of time. Rattan is similar to bamboo, but since it is a meandering vine instead of a straight growing cane, rattan is much more flexible. This flexibility makes it better suited for intricate weaving, and it is nearly as durable as bamboo. Similarly, other vines and willow branches, a vine-like tree branch, provide flexibility and strength.
Synthetic fibers have gained a lot of popularity since they hit the market. Since they are easier to manufacture, dye, and weave than natural fibers, they provide a cost-effective alternative. They are generally just as durable and much more resistant to water. However, they do not provide the same ecological benefits as fast-growing plants like rattan and bamboo, and cannot be considered true wooden furniture.