The Wicker Furniture Making Process

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Wicker is not a material, but rather is a general term that is given to a group of natural or man-made materials that can be woven such as cane, rattan, willow, reed, rush, grasses, resins, vinyl, and splints among others. Wicker also pertains to the weaving process by which the materials mentioned above are then made into furniture. In summary, wickerwork is an ancient technique that is being utilized to manufacture furniture with the application of natural materials. Most commonly, the chosen natural materials are made wet which in turn facilitates easy weaving process.

Aside from natural materials such as rattan, wicker can also be made from synthetic materials such as vinyl and resin. The wicker pattern that is most commonly used makes the finished product firmer and sturdier than furniture produced using other production techniques. Learn more about making wicker furniture below.

 

Benefits of Wicker Furniture

 

You may be wondering what makes wicker furniture the better furniture solution for your home. Here are the top qualities as well as advantages of choosing wicker furnishings:

Lightweight

Wicker furniture is relatively lightweight and easy to carry as well. The unique woven design makes furniture sturdy which in turn gives wicker furnishings the ability to accommodate people of all sizes and shapes.

Durable

Wicker furnishings are incredibly durable, especially those made from rattan. Furniture made from bamboo and reed feature strong and sturdy qualities too. Wicker furniture with aluminum frames are remarkably sturdy as well as those made from resin.

Classic and Flexible Design

Wicker furniture comes in a variety of colors namely brown, black, white, tan, and even olive green shades. Homeowners may even add cushions on top of wicker chairs to make them more stylish and adaptable to existing home design and style too.

 

Different Types of Wicker Materials

 

Cane

Cane is made from the peeled off bark of rattan. The skin or the strips of bark are then uniformly cut into strips. The end product is then used for the weaving process of seats and backs for chairs. Cane is also commonly being used for the legs of chairs and tables.

Chairs and backs of chairs that are made from cane can be easily cleaned with a damp towel to ensure that that material does not absorb too much moisture which may lead to it becoming brittle.

Rattan

Rattan is undoubtedly the most common material used for making wicker furniture. The rattan refers to a climbing palm called Calamus. It grows at a fast rate of 36 inches per day, thus making it a highly abundant and renewable material. Aside from its skin which is then processed as cane, the rattan’s pithy interior is then cut into reeds of various sizes. They are then used for wickerwork. Aside from their strength and durability, rattan wicker furniture is weather resistant which makes them highly suitable as outdoor furniture.

Reed

Reed simply pertains to the pithy interior of the rattan. Reed can then be processed into a variety of shapes and sizes such as round, flat, and wedge. Reed most commonly comes from genera Arundo and Phragmites.

Willow

Willow is a natural material from Europe and the United States and is a common weaving material that comes from willow trees and shrubs. Willows usually come in blonde color and often feature small knots where offshoots have been removed for processing.

Bamboo

Bamboo, a member of the grass family, features a tough outer bark which is similar to rattan. Bamboo that is being woven into furniture are less weather resistant as they are susceptible to moisture. The quality of bamboo makes it a great option among those who desire quality but inexpensive wicker furnishings at home.

Traditional wicker made from natural materials is well suited in the production of indoor furniture. They are an excellent choice of materials for your living room, bed room, and dining room too. Although they may also be used for the outdoors, frequent exposure to moisture and too much heat can result in damage too.

Synthetic Wicker

Synthetic wicker furniture has only emerged in recent years. The increase in the demand for more sturdy but inexpensive wicker material has brought about the utilization of man-made materials such as resin and vinyl.

Resin and vinyl are basically made from plastic and are then cut into very thin strips and are then woven to cover a given furniture frame. Due to the makeup of synthetic furniture, they have become the perfec solution for outdoor furniture. It effectively stands out to moisture and the suns UV rays. Since resin and vinyl are made from plastic, they are very low maintenance.

 

How is Wicker Furniture made?

 

The process of weaving either natural or synthetic materials is ideally done by hand. Depending on the type and complexity of a given furniture project, a wicker furniture may be completed between 1 and 4 days. In essence, the tighter the weave, the more time is required to finish a project. It is also more costly to make furniture that features a tighter weave since you will need more materials to fill in the frame.

Aside from the weaving process, the materials are also known to go a series of processes which may include two or more of the following:

  • Deburring
  • Sanding
  • Painting
  • Lacquering

Before setting out on a wicker furniture making project, be sure to familiarize yourself with the activity of weaving the materials. It will take some time before you can actually master this process. If you simply do not have the time to invest on wicker production, it is best to simply purchase furniture from a company that has years of expertise in production of wicker furniture.