Wicker furniture first became popular in England and America during the 17th and 18th centuries. It is made from weaving interlaced slender branches around a frame and molding it into desired shapes such as tables, chairs, bed or sofas. Wicker is made from rattan, canes, reeds, sea grasses, willow branches, fiber rush (twisted paper), and synthetic materials. Rattan is one of the most common plant materials used in weaving wicker furniture. Oils from the plant are durable and can yield to bending, making it ideal for several types of wicker products.
Wicker furniture is durable and strong, because of the way the materials are woven into the furniture. Despite being highly durable, it is also easy to maintain. Ultimately it can last for years without any real hard to perform maintenance or cleaning.
Leaving it in the direct sun for too long can damage and dry it out. It is a good idea to keep wicker in the shade as much as possible, as too much direct sunlight and heat can cause it to warp or fade. Wind, rain and snow can also damage the wicker by breaking down the construction and warping the natural materials, so it is best to bring your furniture inside during the winter months.
When you properly clean it, you not only maintain its beauty, but you add to the lifespan of your furniture which will give you many more years to enjoy its beauty and functionality. Any mild soap or detergent are good to clean wicker. Vacuum wicker furniture regularly to get rid of dust build up. A vacuum cleaner with a soft brush is an ideal way to dust wicker. Weekly or at least twice monthly dusting will help to keep wicker looking good and fairly dust-free.
Wicker furniture can become brittle and damaged with age, but it’s easy to repair with materials available at most craft shops. Wicker strands are available at basket-weaving supply stores and some craft stores.
It is a great idea to buy a set of outdoor wicker furniture if you want to enjoy your summer afternoon in your own backyard.