What You Should Know Before Buying Wicker Furniture

Jeff Quiñz
5 minute read

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Wicker furniture is a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor settings, known for its durability, aesthetic appeal, and versatility. However, before investing in wicker furniture, it's important to understand the different types, materials, maintenance requirements, and common mistakes to avoid. This comprehensive guide will help you make an informed decision and ensure that your wicker furniture lasts for years.

Understanding Wicker: Natural vs. Synthetic

Natural Wicker Plant materials like rattan, bamboo, reed, and willow are the sources of natural wicker. We weave these materials into furniture pieces to create a natural and organic look. Natural wicker is best suited for indoor use, as it can be susceptible to damage from moisture and extreme temperatures. However, with proper care, it can be a beautiful and durable addition to your home.

Synthetic Wicker Polyethylene or other synthetic fibers form the basis of synthetic wicker, also referred to as resin wicker or all-weather wicker. Designers create it to resemble natural wicker, yet it provides enhanced durability and resilience against outdoor elements. Synthetic wicker is ideal for outdoor furniture, as it can withstand rain, sunlight, and temperature fluctuations without deteriorating.

Types of Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture comes in various forms, each serving different purposes and fitting different spaces. Common types include:

Chairs: Armchairs, rocking chairs, and lounge chairs made of wicker are comfortable and stylish.
Sofas and loveseats: These provide ample seating and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Tables: Coffee tables, side tables, and dining tables in wicker styles are functional and add a rustic charm.
Storage Units: Baskets, hampers, and shelves made of wicker offer storage solutions with an aesthetic appeal.

Factors to Consider When Buying Wicker Furniture

Material Quality

The quality of the wicker material significantly affects the durability and appearance of the furniture. For natural wicker, look for tightly woven strands and a smooth finish. High-quality synthetic wicker should be UV-resistant and made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which offers better durability than other plastics.

Frame Construction

The frame of wicker furniture is crucial for its stability and longevity. Aluminum frames are lightweight, rust-resistant, and ideal for outdoor furniture. Steel frames offer sturdiness but can rust if not properly coated. Wooden frames provide a classic look but require more maintenance to prevent moisture damage.

Comfort Comfort is key when selecting wicker furniture, especially for seating. Ensure that the furniture comes with thick, high-quality cushions that are water-resistant and fade-resistant. Test the seating for comfort and support before purchasing.

Maintenance Requirements

Understanding the maintenance requirements of wicker furniture will help you keep it looking excellent for years. Natural wicker needs regular dusting and occasional vacuuming to remove dirt from the crevices. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight and moisture. Synthetic wicker is easier to maintain, requiring just a wipe-down with soapy water and a rinse with a hose.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Wicker Furniture

Neglecting the environment Ignoring the environment in which to place wicker furniture is one of the biggest mistakes. Avoid using natural wicker in areas exposed to moisture and extreme weather. You can use synthetic wicker in various settings due to its versatility, but make sure it's of high quality to withstand the elements.

Choosing Style Over Substance

While the appearance of wicker furniture is important, don't choose style over substance. Ensure that the furniture is well-constructed, with sturdy frames and high-quality materials. A beautiful piece that falls apart quickly is not a worthy investment.

I did not check the warranty. Always check the warranty and return policy before purchasing wicker furniture. A satisfactory warranty indicates that the manufacturer stands behind their product. It also provides peace of mind in case the furniture has any defects or issues.

Forgetting about comfort. Despite the allure of a piece of furniture, one should never compromise on comfort. Sit in the chairs, feel the cushions, and make sure the furniture will be comfortable for long-term use. Comfortable furniture is more likely to be used and enjoyed.

How to Care for Your Wicker Furniture

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is essential to maintain the appearance and durability of wicker furniture. For natural wicker, dust it frequently and use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove dirt from the crevices. For synthetic wicker, a simple wipe-down with soapy water followed by a rinse with a hose will keep it clean.

Protecting against the elements Despite the outdoor design of synthetic wicker, it remains prudent to shield it from the elements. During extreme weather, use furniture covers, and consider placing the furniture in a shaded area to prevent prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. For natural wicker, avoid placing it in areas with high humidity or direct sunlight to prevent damage.

Repair and maintenance Over time, wicker furniture may develop minor damages such as loose strands or broken pieces. Repair these promptly to prevent further damage. For natural wicker, you can use glue to fix loose strands. For synthetic wicker, replace broken strands with new ones. Regular maintenance will extend the life of your furniture.

Eco-Friendly Considerations

When buying wicker furniture, consider its environmental impact. Natural wicker is a renewable resource, making it an eco-friendly choice. However, make sure to source the wicker sustainably. Synthetic wicker, while durable, is made from plastic, so check if the manufacturer uses recycled materials or eco-friendly production methods.

Conclusion

Buying wicker furniture involves more than just choosing a design that appeals to you. Understanding the differences between natural and synthetic wicker, considering the quality of materials and construction, and knowing how to maintain and care for your furniture are all crucial steps in making a wise investment. By avoiding common mistakes and considering eco-friendly options, you can enjoy the comfort and beauty of wicker furniture for many years.

For a wide selection of high-quality wicker furniture, consider browsing through Reperch's offerings to find the perfect pieces that suit your style and needs.

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