Everything You Need to Know About All-weather Wicker
When you search for outdoor furniture online suitable for any type of weather, you are sure to come across all-weather wicker. It is an outdoor furniture choice that many are turning to because of its all-weather properties.
All-weather wicker is appearing in residential and commercial outdoor spaces, slowly replacing other metals like wood and metal. But is this the right choice for you?
Those who do not know anything about wicker remain skeptical. And it is fine; before you invest in outdoor furniture, you need to understand all the aspects of the material. After all, this is an investment that has to take you through a few years without needing replacement.
That is where we come in. The information below will cover significant talking points of all-weather wicker furniture. And we will start by answering.
What Is All-Weather Wicker?
First things first, wicker is not material. Though it is widely known as wicker furniture, this word does not describe the material of the pieces. Instead, wicker is a weaving style, and we will get into that in a while.
Wicker furniture is made from a variety of plant materials and synthetic materials. The most common materials used for wicker furniture are reed, rattan, willow, bamboo, and plastic.
Rattan is the most popular one, and you probably recognize it when people talk about rattan furniture. Rattan comes from the thin pliable part of a palm stem. It is a sturdy part that makes strong furniture, including the frames and exterior of the surface.
On the other hand, Reed comes from the inner pith of rattan, meaning it is light in color but retains a workable sturdy structure. Reed is often good for making the exterior surfaces instead of the frames. Bamboo is the next most popular material, and it is less flexible than rattan. However, this feature is an advantage since manufacturers use it for making rigid frames and unique looks.
And lastly, willow is ideal for making furniture items that do not hold a lot of weight. This is because it is light and will snap under a lot of weight. Therefore, willow often appears on the underside and decorative parts of the furniture that do not hold a lot of weight.
PE rattan, PE wicker, HDPE wicker, or resin wicker is polyethylene or vinyl that mimics the look and feel of rattan even though it is synthetic. This material is favored among manufacturers because it is easy to work with and offers durable strength for holding any weight. This material is what we call all-weather wicker because it can withstand the demands of outdoor weather.
The plant materials used to make wicker are not suitable for outdoor use. The constant sun exposure would dry them up. Similarly, rain and snow would damage the materials, and since they are lightweight, they are susceptible to tilting or falling under strong winds. Therefore, you will only find natural wicker furniture indoors.
Despite the material, manufacturers use the same weaving patterns for wicker furniture. The material undergoes horizontal running in an over-under pattern between vertical strings. This creates a uniform look that is also sturdy. This creates a wicker look for outdoor and indoor furniture.
There are many traditional and modern weaving styles manufacturers use depending on the furniture or decor item. This results in designs with straight lines, curves, and decorative elements.
The Benefits Of All-Weather Wicker Outdoor Furniture
So what makes all-weather wicker furniture an ideal choice when considering outdoor furniture. It comes with multiple benefits that make it the ideal furniture choice for most locations, even with heavy rainfall and extreme sunlight. This resin material is durable, tough, and worthy of your attention. Some of the primary benefits that should help you make an informed decision include:
First, this material is highly resistant to moisture. Unlike wood, it does not absorb water and thus is not prone to swelling and uneven drying which can trigger cracking. Similarly, it is not prone to rust, so do not worry if your furniture gets a little wet. Just let them dry out, and everything should be fine.
Resistance to heat and sun exposure
Another attractive feature of wicker is its resistance to heat and sun exposure. Heat absorption makes the furniture unsafe, but you do not have to worry about this when it comes to wicker. Sun exposure makes other materials prone to cracking. But wicker stays strong and bright even after a hot summer day of lounging.
Resistance to mold and rot
One of the shortcomings of wood is mold and rot when it is exposed to consistent moisture. Moisture and warmth are the ideal conditions for mold to grow, and they use wood for food because it is organic. Rot, on the other hand, degraded the fibers. Luckily, all-weather wicker is a synthetic material that does not support mold or rot.
Another primary advantage of all-weather wicker is maintenance. As you will learn below, all-weather wicker does not require much effort to clean and maintain. No expensive chemicals or stains are needed to keep the appearance, and you can wash it with soap and water. Unlike other materials, you will not spend weekends taking care of the pieces.
All-weather wicker looks excellent. It can mimic natural wicker without the need for maintenance. It comes in various looks and weaves patterns to best suit your needs. Additionally, you can get beautiful customized designs to elevate your set’s look. The internet is full of ideas on creating themes with outdoor wicker sets. Take advantage.
Availability in colors
Another helpful advantage of outdoor wicker furniture is its availability of colors. This material comes in various colors, meaning it is easy to achieve specific themes. Similarly, it facilitates the uniqueness of your outdoor set. Even if you chose a standard design, unique color is great for making it stand out. Businesses can even color coordinate with company colors.
Next, this furniture is lightweight. Even though it comes with metal frames, outdoor wicker furniture retains a light feel. This is advantageous because you can easily move the furniture to various spots around the compound. This is ideal for restaurant setups where a party could need more chairs. They will be able to accommodate their whole party easily.
Even though it sounds unbelievable, outdoor wicker furniture is eco-friendly. If manufacturers use resin, the process is gentle on the environment. Plus, the resin is a sustainable material. Additionally, some manufacturers use recycled plastic to make PE wicker pieces. And best of all, when the pieces wear, you can recycle them conveniently.
And lastly, this material comes with an impressive life span. This material is an investment you will be proud of once you go a few years without needing replacement or repairs. Expect nothing short of long service from these furniture pieces.
Shortcomings Of all-weather Wicker Furniture
While wicker furniture comes with multiple advantages, you may notice a few shortcomings with the outdoor pieces. They are not necessarily tied to the material, but it is always good to know what you might be dealing with.
Unfortunately, because this furniture is handmade, it can be costly upfront. Similarly, resin items often cost more to make, so these handcrafted items are pricey as well. And while wicker furniture from recycled plastic is affordable, it retails the same as new plastic, which some people find expensive since it is like paying full price for second-hand goods.
Next, wicker furniture is not always the most comfortable if you go with pain surfaces. It will feel hard and stiff like wood with a bit of flexibility. Therefore, you will have to invest in good cushions and additional features to make your furniture more comfortable. But this is a good investment that will make your space cozier.
Next, when you purchase wicker furniture, you need to ensure it comes from a reliable manufacturer. If loose parts did not receive good weaving, these posts could unravel, damaging the whole piece. You do not want to replace your furniture sooner than you should so ensure you get the right manufacturer.
Susceptible to high winds
This light furniture is helpful for movement, but it is susceptible to high winds. They can carry or tip your furniture, making them prone to cracking or unraveling after multiple hits. This is why storing your furniture is an integral part of care and maintenance.
Frames are susceptible to corrosion
And lastly, the metal frames in wicker furniture can be sturdy and durable. But they can also be susceptible to rust and corrosion. Without powder coating, they will develop rust or corrosion after consistent exposure to water. To avoid unsightliness and brittleness, you will have to clean or replace these parts.
How To Care For All-Weather Wicker Furniture
One of the primary advantages of all-weather wicker furniture is that it is easy to clean. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about spending all your Saturdays tending to your outdoor furniture. The only thing you need to worry about is spot cleaning, general cleaning, and removing dust safely.
Spot cleaning is when you need to clean a specific spot on the furniture because something spilled or will stain the furniture. Spot cleaning all-weather wicker involves mild dish detergent or liquid soap, a damp sponge or old toothbrush, clean water, and a clean rag.
Mix some liquid soap in clean water to create a soapy solution. Then use the clean sponge or old toothbrush to clean the spot. We insist on an old toothbrush because tough bristles can damage the materials. You can also opt for a soft bristle cleaning brush.
Once you clean the spot to your liking, use a cloth dipped in clean water to wipe off the soapy water and dirt.
General cleaning is like spot cleaning only in that you can be more flexible. Start with the same solution of liquid soap and water. Use a cloth to wipe the surfaces with this solution. Then you can rinse the furniture using clean water.
Here, you can use a hose with minimal pressure to wash away the soap. Hosing down the furniture is also ideal if your wicker furniture gets really dirty. Do it before using the soapy water to loosen the dirt and make cleaning easier. Then rinse again with the hose to remove soap.
Ensure that you let the furniture dry completely before using it. The weave makes the furniture susceptible to sagging when you put weight on it while still wet.
Keeping wicker furniture dry and clean will improve longevity. Dust, debris, animal fur, and pollen can get into the crevices triggering respiratory conditions and allergies. Therefore, even if your furniture does not look dirty, you need to keep it dust-free.
One way to remove dust and debris is by vacuuming with a brush attachment. This attachment will help remove dust and debris caught in the weave. Alternatively, you can use a soft-bristle hand brush to brush particles and dust from the surfaces.
This is an effective practice, especially before cleaning the furniture with soap and water.
Storing All-Weather Wicker
While all-weather wicker can withstand any weather, the weave pattern makes the furniture brittle in very cold weather. Additionally, it can become elastic in high temperatures. Therefore, ensure you store the furniture well when they are not in use.
Ensure that you put them under a shade during hot weather. Similarly, store them well when it rains, preferably tilted against a wall to prevent water stains. And when it is cold, ensure your furniture does not ‘freeze’ outside by creating suitable storage space.
Once you follow these guidelines, you will be a responsible outdoor wicker set owner, and the set will last years without needing replacement or repairs.
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