We all remember seeing the lovely wicker furniture on the set of the “Golden Girls”, but believe it or not, most people don’t know much about wicker. It doesn’t just belong at your grandparents house, or as a basket the hands of Red Riding Hood, wicker has a place in and outside your house. But before we go any further, maybe a good lesson in what exactly wicker is, would be a good starting point.
Now most Americans are very accustomed to wood as being a strong foundation for furniture. Regardless of if that wood is the foundation for a couch, dining room set, or a swing chair on their patio. However, it needs to be understood that just because wicker may give more than wood, that hardly makes it weak. Let’s take the make-up of both wood and wicker for starters. Wood is an organic material composed of fibers embedded in a cellular matrix that resists compression. While this composition makes wood fantastic for building and construction of certain objects, it makes it a less desirable material for others.
Wicker and Rattan Patio Sets
The sturdy cellular network that causes wood to resist compression also results in the cracking and splintering of wood-not such a desirable trait for those of you that have ever had to dig a splinter out of your person. Wicker on the other hand describes any object that has been made by the weaving of stems or vines. Wicker can be made from a number of different materials, such as: bamboo, willow, reed, rattan, and even some synthetic materials. More recently however, most wicker is made from the vines of the rattan palms.
Rattan vines are found in Asia, Australia, and Africa. The rattan vines have a similar outer makeup to bamboo, but the vines are much stronger than bamboo and some even resemble the strength and girth of a palm tree trunk. Not to be confused with the type of vines that climb up houses and bloom pretty little flowers-these vines are very resilient. What makes these vines so strong is the internal structure of the vine. The rattan vine is filled with strong, dense fibers that run the length of the entire vine. This leads to the strength and flexibility that makes rattan such a fine material for the building of wicker. The flexibility of the vine makes it possible to bend and shape, the strength of the vine is responsible for the lack of breaking and splintering during the making of wicker furniture and patio sets.
Next comes the maintenance of wicker. Here is the plus: there really isn’t any. Wicker is incredibly easy to maintain to keep looking beautiful for a long period of time. Though wicker is sturdy, there may come a time that it could bend or crack. If it does, do not panic, these problems are easily repaired. You may find yourself with a beautiful wicker patio set, you are going to want to make sure that you protect it from the elements. Here are some how-to tips to properly maintain your wicker-from indoor to outdoor maintenance. First, you may want to paint your furniture with some sort of primer-probably oil based-if the furniture comes without primer already on it. This will help to prevent the absorption of moisture and of any paint that you might be considering on your furniture. Regardless of where your furniture is, be it indoors or outside, you will want to clean it regularly.
There are many spaces in wicker furniture that debris and dust can collect. Not only could the collection of these materials in the furniture end up looking bad, they can actually compromise the integrity of the wicker. Do not clean your wicker with a lot of water or liquid cleaners. Once again, wicker is rather porous and can soak up the water or liquid, and once wicker is wet it can take a long time to dry. This can ultimately lead to bends or cracks in the wicker, which is not good.
If you notice that your furniture is starting to sprout mold or perhaps even mildew, you can use a solution containing a mild amount of soap, or even ammonia if you have it handy, and some water. But be sure to use sparingly, and after wiping down with the cleaning solution, have a damp rag at the ready to wipe of the solution and follow up with a dry towel or sponge to help rid the wicker of excess liquid. All these are easy steps to maintain furniture that can last many years if it is properly cared for. Well-tendered wicker not only lasts, but looks beautiful no matter what environment it is in the middle of.
There are many looks to wicker patio sets. They range from the very chic to the laid-back modern. Whatever your style, be sure that there are many options as far as: what material the wicker is made from, what color the wicker and associated pillows (or maybe no pillows) are, and last but certainly not least, price. Now perhaps you are shopping and you see the prices of wicker and think that it is too expensive for your budget. But remember- that you get more than you pay for with wicker. As I said earlier, not only is wicker very attractive accompanying you out on your veranda, but it LASTS a very long time, it’s lightweight and easy to move, it’s comfortable, and it is kid-friendly. You can’t compare any kind of furniture against the attributes that wicker claims.
All in all, wicker patio sets are the best furniture you can spend your ever-dwindling money on. You will not be able to find furniture as stunning or as easy to maintain as wicker. Wicker has a style for every generation, phase, and skeptic. So when trying to find furniture as unique and long-lasting as you are (God willing) remember, wicker is easy on the eyes, easy on the wallet, and really easy to kick up and melt away in.
You can also lookout for a store that gives away these covers free as a part of the deal and does not charge extra for them. Rainfall apart, covering the patio dining set protects it from dust and sunshine. The latter can cause the color to fade and the former forces you to dust the set unnecessarily each time prior to use. If you do not want to spend, the amount needed for silver patio dining set, but do not want to purchase a glass one, check out the ones made from bone china.