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The benefits of buying weather wicker patio furniture

Summer is fast approaching, and that means more time outdoors. Being outdoors is good for your physical and mental well-being, but sometimes finding the right furniture to fill your outdoor space may be a bit overwhelming. You have to consider your current outdoor space, your budget, what types of weather conditions occur on a regular basis, and how much use your outdoor furniture will get.

Traditional wicker furniture, although beautiful, is not always practical for some environmental conditions. So you may consider weather wicker patio furniture.

Weather Wicker, AKA all-weather wicker, can endure the heat of the desert and the rainy conditions of the east coast. This type of wicker doesn’t chip and does not require refurbishing. Because of the nature of man-made wicker materials, this type of furniture can be molded into different shapes, from ornate to simple. The cost for this type of furniture will vary depending on the complexity of the design.

Outdoor wicker furniture may be constructed with natural materials, vinyl or even resins. Each of these materials is light and easy to move around and comes in a variety of natural shades to match any outdoor décor; typically in browns or greens to complement the outdoor space.

If you decide to use wicker made from natural organic plant material remember it is eco-friendly. Even the resin used to create outdoor wicker furniture is derived from plant materials.

When purchasing wicker furniture for your outdoor space consider how the furniture will be used. If you entertain a lot, you may want to purchase seating arrangements of long couches or multiple chairs. If you use the space for relaxation, consider chaise lounges. And, if your space is family oriented, think of using a combination of eating spaces, lounging spaces, and gathering areas. Also, look for furniture that is kid and family friendly.

Weather Wicker furniture is easily cleaned with a garden hose and a bit of light brushing (depending on the material used for the furniture).

Synthetic materials don’t need a lot of maintenance and have inbuilt water and humidity resistance to help prevent susceptibility to mildew and mold.

It is easy to update your outdoor space with durable and timeless all-weather wicker and because of its affordability; it can fit into almost anyone’s budget.

Tips to preserving your wicker furniture

 
We love the timeless look of wicker furniture and can appreciate the craftsmanship that went into creating each piece, but without proper care your beautiful piece won’t last very long.

Wicker furniture that is maintained can last anywhere between 50 and 100 years. So here are a few tips to help you keep those heirloom pieces beautiful.

  • Wicker furniture needs a spring cleaning and a fall cleaning. It is recommended that you deep clean your furniture every six months. Start with a nylon brush and soapy water. Get into the cracks and crevasses of the weave to remove dust, dirt, and grime. Rinse the furniture with a garden hose to remove the soap and any loose dirt. Be sure to dry your furniture thoroughly in the sun before using it.
  • Keeping wicker furniture made of materials like bamboo protected from the sun is important. After a while, the sun’s rays break down the wicker materials by drying them out and causing them to become brittle. Try keeping cushions on the seats and when not in use consider covering the furniture or moving it out of the direct sunlight.
  • Shield your furniture from the severe weather. Wicker furniture is made to withstand most types of weather, but if you live in a rainy climate or your area is prone to heavy winter snow, you may need to store your furniture during these seasons. Keep the furniture in a dry place and cover with a breathable cloth to keep dirt and dust away.
  • Polish your furniture with lemon oil. Lemon oil will help keep the moisture in the wicker materials and will also help keep harmful chemicals and other products out. Not only that, it smells great too. After you have cleaned the furniture, and it is dry, use a soft, dry cloth to wipe the oil.
  • Clean up spills immediately.
  • Resurface your furniture every few years. Clean the furniture well, take a wire brush and remove the old flaking paint, sand with a fine grade of sandpaper, and paint or polyurethane as needed. These steps will help your furniture look brand new.
  • Replace or repair any broken materials or parts. Check all bolts and screws on a regular basis. Don’t wait until the broken piece becomes a bigger and more costly issue.
  • Wipe the furniture off when it rains. Wicker can sometimes be prone to mildew, so cleaning off the excess water will help reduce the probability.
  • If you use your wicker furniture outside by the pool, be sure to wipe it down after use to remove suntan lotion residue. To help avoid any stains, consider using a towel as a barrier.
  • Use silicone lubricant for any wheels or hinges.
  • Take the time to put some care and effort into your investment, and you will have a piece of furniture that will last a lifetime.

Wicker 101

Loved for centuries, wicker furniture is known for its versatility and strength. Fairly inexpensive, wicker furniture can add that extra pop to a room. Today’s version of wicker shows that it is no longer the furniture you see in cute cottages or college dorms.

Remember, Wicker is not a material, but a form of weaving. Wicker is created by weaving together strips of flexible wood like rattan, willow, or cane. There are also synthetic versions of wicker available.

Natural wicker is a traditional choice. There are even natural wicker pieces that date back to the Egyptian pharaohs!

No matter your style there is a version of wicker furniture for you. There are furniture options for your bedroom, living room, sunroom, kids rooms, bathrooms and more.

Even though Wicker is lightweight, it is still strong because of the weaving process. The wicker process allows for a small amount of flexibility to maintain its shape and hold your weight. You can move wicker furniture around to change the look of your room whenever the mood strikes you.

If wicker furniture is too scratchy for you, try a custom made cushion.

There is nothing more beautiful than a piece of well-made wicker furniture. Even the man-made versions come in calming colors to blend beautifully with any room in your home.

Wicker furniture is the first “Green” furniture. Made from renewable sources like bamboo and rattan, wicker furniture does not require deforestation to make a beautiful piece of furniture.

Wicker may sometimes be combined with other materials for a different look. A bookshelf, for example, will be made with plywood shelves and wicker sides. Also, a special glue may be used to hold the pieces together.

The sun is harsh on the wicker. Imagine getting a sunburn, the same thing is true for your natural wicker. Untreated wicker is affected by the harsh rays of the sun, and the fibers will eventually break down. Be sure to treat your wicker if it is going to be exposed to the sun on a regular basis.

Mold is also not your furniture’s friend, especially in humid climates.

Wicker is easy to clean. Just hose it off and set it in the sun for a bit too dry.

You can even repaint wicker furniture will a little sanding.

The versatility of wicker furniture makes it an ideal piece for any home no matter what the style.

What it takes to restore antique wicker

Every once in a while we come across a beautiful piece of antique wicker that needs some serious repair. Although there are things you can do to touch up the wicker, a serious repair should be taken to a professional.

Analyze whether or not the wicker is work repairing. Some wicker may be beyond repair or too cost-prohibitive to even consider it. It may also be too intricately woven to do at home, so be sure you feel comfortable enough with your weaving abilities to keep this piece from having additional repairs later.

Turn your furniture around and check the sturdiness of the frame. If there are any wood screws missing, now is the time to replace them. This will give you a secure frame to work with.

Clean your wicker with mild dish soap diluted with water and let dry for a day.

Review the arms, legs, and seats for visible signs of damage. These are the most common places and are typically the easiest areas to repair.

Glue any loose strands that haven’t begun to work themselves out of the wicker weave.

Start with repairing these areas first. Wicker around the feet or legs of a piece of furniture is traditionally wrapped and can easily be replaced with a wicker repair kit (available on Amazon or in one of your local craft stores). Soak the cane pieces for about a half an hour in water or until it is pliable. Wrap the piece around the leg and secure with epoxy glue made especially for wood.

You may find you have to replace and reweave some of the strands. If this is the case, begin by pulling out the old strand and cutting it just above the damaged region. Use the cut piece to measure your new piece of can. When measuring, be sure to add two inches before cutting with a utility knife. Weave the new piece of cane back into the piece in the same pattern as the original design. (take a picture if needed to use as a guide for weaving).

The new piece of cane may not be the same color as the original piece of furniture, so you may need to try out different stains if you want to keep the natural color of the cane. If you are going to repaint the piece, try to use spray paint. It has better coverage and will get into the small areas of the wicker weave.

Finish with a varnish or polyurethane coating to preserve the piece.

Wicker isn’t just for grandma’s house anymore!

Did you know wicker migrated from Asia to the Nile, to Europe, and then America? This long-lasting form of furniture making has spanned generations and continues to be a favorite today. As styles change, wicker furniture adapts and continues to hold its own as one of the most commonly used types of furniture. From baskets to headboards, wicker furniture finds its way into just about every room in our homes.

If you are considering an eclectic look to your home or sunroom, consider natural wicker or rattan. Decorate the curves and spirals with tinted accents and add unique pillows and lighting to the room. Natural wicker will balance the colors of the room and help add a bit of elegance to the space you are creating. Match the furniture with Victorian-style marbled side tables and Tiffany style lamps and your room will come to life.

For some, it is the call of the sea that leads them to use wicker in the decorating. Typically associated with tropical settings, wicker can be neutral colors like white or natural, or bold like navy or red. Mix them with nautical ropes, burlap or marine striped pillows, and an old wooden chest and you have a room any sailor would be proud to call home.

Create an enchanting space for your daughter with a wicker bedroom. Traditionally white, wicker bedroom sets can be painted any color of your child’s choosing. Place accent pieces around the room and you have the perfect space that will grow from a child to teen to adult.

So you have a contemporary room, so what! Wicker furniture is no longer just the dainty feminine wicker of by-gone days. There are boxy, tightly woven types of wicker furniture in dark modern colors. The sculptural pieces can be used to add a sense of comfort and warmth to a modern space.
Simple wicker pieces can mix with your current upholstered pieces to change the whole mood of a room. Use pillows from your current pieces to tie the wicker into the design space, and you have an entirely new look.

Take the time to find the right piece of furniture to match the style and feel of the room you are decorating.

Remember, one piece or a room full of furniture, wicker can add a bit of whimsy, pop, or art to any decorating scheme. If you are new to wicker or want to learn more, stop by WickerWorld today and talk to one of our associates about how wicker can make a difference in your rooms.

Custom Cushions

Custom cushions enhance the beauty of our outdoor furniture and wicker, not only that, they increase the comfort of the piece while we are sitting in it.  Some fabrics are designed to withstand the outdoor elements, and some are not, but there are some things you can do to ensure your cushions last longer.

Shake it up! Yucky things build up on your cushions. Things like pollen, leaves, bugs, and other things that can be brought in by the wind. Leaving these things on your cushions can help mildew to develop, an even nastier mess that isn’t very easy to clean up. Shaking your cushions periodically helps remove the debris and build up that is occurring. Not only that, but shaking will save your clothing too.

customcushion

Mother Nature can be fickle, one minute its bright and sunny, the next…. Constant exposure to the effects of Mother Nature can begin to wear on your new cushions. If it starts to rain, bring your cushions inside or purchase furniture covers for the rainy season. After the rain wait until things are dry and remove the covers or return the cushions.

When your cushions are not in use because of seasonal changes, store them. Storing your cushions in plastic bags help prevent buildup from debris, snow, rain, and sun, as well as the occasional small animal looking for a warm place to burrow. Be sure the plastic bag has plenty of air flow to avoid the previously mentioned mildew (kind of defeats the purpose of storing them if that happens, don’t you think?).

Choose cushion materials specially made to withstand the outdoors. Today there are many options of outdoor fabrics to match just about any décor and these materials are made to withstand the rain, snow, and sun. If you live in a humid area, look for ones that are mildew resistant.

Periodically turn your cushions over for even wear and tear.

See spot disappear. If you find a spot on your new cushion, treat it immediately. Spot cleaning will help your cushions retain their new look, just be sure to test a small area for any color changes first.

These simple things will help you preserve the life and look of your custom cushions from Wickerworld.

RATTAN VS WICKER

What is the difference between wicker and rattan? This is the most common question posed by our customers. My response is as follows: rattan is a raw material whereas wicker is the product of the craft of weaving natural materials together. If you think of wool or yarn vs knitting ormacramé for instance the relationship is similar.

Rattan is a climbing vine-like palm that grows in the rainforest . Although it has a solid core, unlike bamboo which is hollow, it is very pliable when steamed. I have visited many factories overseas and watched as the steamed lengths of rattan are so easily molded around pre-engineered forms. These forms can be quite simple. Imagine a sheet of plywood with pegs sticking up around which the rattan is bent to create the frame of any given chair or table for instance. Some forms are made of metal. Each manufactured item has its own unique set of forms for its production. When the rattan cools or is heated by torch it retains its shape and can then be assembled and prepared for the final process of weaving. The rattan poles are typically 1-2 inches in diameter when harvested. I witnessed a machine that takes a large diameter length of rattan and converts it to smaller diameters. Think of a pasta machine making spaghetti! These varying diameter rattan cores are then woven on the frames to create unique pieces of wickerwork. Every piece is handmade and therefore unique.
Weaving

Rattan is the strongest material used to make wickerwork but there are other materials such as willow, fern, sea grass, cane, reed or bamboo which can be used as well. Wicker can be woven of any natural material.

A quality piece of wicker furniture will last for generations and add a certain charm that no other product can offer. Wicker lovers are encouraged to visit us at Wickerworld and if you’re new to the experience you are in for a treat. Come in and we will help you find the perfect fit for your space.
Weaving3

Not All Wicker Chairs are Flakes!

If your wicker furniture is looking a little less than beautiful, you may want to consider a fresh coat of paint. Flaking paint, worn feet, and bare spots on the arms are a pretty good indication that your furniture may need a little pick-me-up. So grab your paintbrush and let’s get moving!

The best way to paint wicker furniture is to remove all the flaking paint first. There are a few methods you can use depending on the type of material your furniture is made from. The best way to remove flakes is to take a soft wire or brass brush and gently brush over the flakes to remove them. This will preserve the material and will take less time than some other methods.

If the flakes are stubborn, you can always try a flathead screwdriver or a house paint scraper. Either of these will help remove the flakes that just won’t let go, but you run the risk of gouging the furniture.

If you wicker furniture is made from Rattan or Reed, consider using a high-pressure car washing hose to remove the paint. Just watch out, water can weaken the glue in the furniture joints, so be sure the furniture is thoroughly dry before you begin painting (we recommend waiting at least 24 hours to be sure).
Once you have removed all of the flakes, sand the furniture. Sanding helps remove any last bits of flake; it will smooth the rough spots, and creates the right type of surface to help the paint adhere to the furniture.

Wicker needs primer, if you don’t use it the paint will soak into the wood. Use an oil-based wood primer and apply two coats with a natural bristle brush or a sprayer. Primer is also necessary if you are going from dark to light furniture.
Leave enough drying time in between coats.

Now to the fun part, paint! Choosing the right kind of paint is important if you want the paint to last. One of the best types of paint to use on wicker is oil-based semi-gloss house paint. It is flexible and sticks to the furniture for long-lasting wear. Latex is another choice, just be sure to buy a high-quality paint. If not, you will be repeating this process in a few years.

Use a bristle paint brush or a sprayer to ensure complete coverage.

Let the paint cure for about a week before you sit in the furniture.

For additional information on the care and painting of wicker furniture be sure to ask one of the knowledgeable staff at Wickerworld. We can help you find the right look.