Outdoor Wicker Patio Furniture
Properties and care
Outdoor wicker patio furniture is the epitome of modern country living. The oldest wicker dates back to the Egyptian Empire in 3000 BC where pieces included chairs, wig boxes, and chests. They were all made from reed.
The material itself is not actually ‘wicker’. This term refers to the method of weaving any one of a variety of materials. These materials usually include bamboo, rattan or willow.
Wicker was hugely popular in the Victorian period, where it was designed for both indoor and outdoor use. The popularity of the material was attributed to its simplicity and its ability to be woven into many styles and designs.
One of the main reasons for the success of wicker is that it made perfect outdoor furniture as it has a light and summery feel to it. Almost anything can be made from wicker, with the most popular items being tables and chairs, with designs being from the simplest weave through to an intricate creation. Items consist of a strong frame, with pieces of bamboo, rattan or willow woven around it to fill in the area. It is recommended that cushions are used on wicker chairs in order to increase the piece’s lifespan.
In this current day and age, most wicker and rattan garden furniture originates from Southeast Asia and is manufactured by hand. It is very durable and when it is taken care of properly will last for decades.
Wicker Patio Furniture Care
You Will Need: Tooth brush or paint brush, two pieces of cloth (one to wash with, and the other to dry with).
Wicker furniture will stay looking its best if it is kept in the shade, as the sun tends to dry it out. One of the tricks about cleaning wicker is not to use too much water. Drenching the piece of furniture with the garden hose will only end up ruining it, as the water tends to lodge among the weave and sits for too long.
So firstly, wet one of the cloths in a bowl of water and mild detergent, and slowly wipe down a small section of the piece of furniture. Then use one of the brushes to clean in the tight spaces between the weave. Once you have cleaned each section, wipe it dry with the other cloth.
Try not to disrupt the weave pattern or its spacing when the piece is wet, because it will shrink and if the strands have been separated, it will dry with a hole in the weave pattern.