5 Things You Didn’t Know About Outdoor Wicker Furniture

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How often do you think about wicker? Unless you are in the market for new furniture, the answer is probably “not at all.” You might not believe it, but wicker is quite interesting. Here are five things you didn’t know about wicker furniture. Use one or two (or all) of them the next time you need to strike up a conversation at a cocktail party.

Wicker furniture has a long history

The first known use of wicker can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Wicker was the perfect choice for the Egyptians, as the materials that were used were lightweight, flexible, and readily available. Since the wood used for wicker is quite pliable, it was easy for them to use the wicker in a variety of ways to fit all of their needs.

Wicker was such an important part of the Egyptians’ lives that they even immortalized it in their hieroglyphics. There are many instances of tomb walls showing pictures of pharaohs sitting on wicker thrones.  Images of wicker also appear on some of the remaining walls in Pompeii. Wicker was a prevalent material during that time for both homes and businesses.

At the onset of the 20th century, wicker was used primarily for outdoor patio use because it held up just as well as cast iron but cost less and was easier to move. It also allowed for greater variety in design. Eventually, by the 1950s, wicker was no longer exclusively used outdoors, as many people began using it inside as well. The trend of both indoor and outdoor use remains today.

Wicker furniture’s popularity can be seen in television

Wicker furniture’s long-time popularity with Americans can easily be seen on any number of decks, patios, and living rooms throughout the country. It can be seen on our favorite pastime as well. If you look closely, you can see wicker furniture prominently displayed in many popular television shows. For example, the program “Eastbound and Down” often has outdoor scenes where characters are sitting around an in-ground pool in oversized wicker chairs.

The ever-popular “Sopranos” also featured characters in beds with wicker headboards. In addition, the main character, Tony, often talked about a hypothetical alternate life as a patio furniture salesman. There are many other instances that wicker is shown or mentioned on television as well. The next time you turn on the old “boob tube,” pay close attention to the furniture. You’ll be surprised at how often wicker pops up.

Synthetic wicker furniture is the perfect choice for outdoor use

Synthetic wicker furniture combines the strength and durability of natural wicker with the attractiveness of indoor furniture. Originally, wicker furniture was made to live outside. It was utilitarian in its design and favored function over comfort and style. The mindset of natural wicker furniture designers was that the furniture needed to withstand the harsh elements to which it would be exposed, and no other factors were taken into consideration. However, when synthetic wicker furniture was developed, that all changed.

The sturdiness and durability remained, but now wicker furniture also looks like it belongs as part of a design scheme. The parameters are much more flexible, so there are many more designs from which to choose as well as attractive cushions to improve the comfort and aesthetic appeal. These days, there are also accessories such as outdoor bar furniture, side tables and fire pits to help homeowners create a  complete ensemble that is sophisticated and welcoming.

The difference between rattan and wicker

Many people think that rattan and wicker are the same thing and can be used interchangeably. However, that is not the case. Wicker and rattan fall under the same category, but there is a significant difference. Rattan is a material unto itself. It is a close relative to the palm tree.  Although wicker furniture can be made from rattan, it does not need to be.

Wicker is not a material. It is an ancient technique used in furniture making. Natural wicker furniture can be made from a variety of materials including bamboo, willow, straw, and rush, as well as rattan. Wicker furniture can also be made out of synthetic materials such as polyethylene and resin.

Synthetic wicker furniture has many advantages

Many people believe that natural wicker furniture is superior and synthetic varieties are inferior in comfort and quality. However, that may not be the case. Synthetic wicker furniture has many qualities that make it a better choice than natural wicker. Synthetic wicker stands up better to Mother Nature. It will not fade in the sun nor will it crack in the cold. So, you can keep it outside year-round without worry. It is also more resistant to stains and rust, so it can stand up to more abuse than the natural variety can.

If it is time for you to be looking for new wicker furniture for the upcoming season, you need to check out the offerings at Design Furnishings.

If you would like more information, visit our website and speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff at Design Furnishings today.