Wicker furniture is among the most popular types of garden and patio furniture. “Wicker” actually refers to the way that the chair, recliner, table, or whatever item it is made – not the material used. The “wicker” is the weaving technique and styling used to create the effect that so many people love. Thus, wicker furniture can really be made from many different materials such as rattan, bamboo, cane, aluminum, synthetic plastic, and resin.
Today, wicker patio and garden furniture made from resin is highly thought after and becoming more preferred by wicker lovers all the time. To put it technically, a resin is a synthetic or an organic substance which becomes stronger when it is treated with a particular chemical method. A resin used on wicker patio and garden furniture may be a protective and reinforcing coating, such as that often used these days on aluminum wicker furnishings, or it might be the weaving material itself.
Synthetic wicker furniture is becoming more and more popular among patio and garden decor enthusiasts today because, even though it is made from non-renewable hydrocarbons, it has developed and evolved veryly in the last 30 years and it offers some significant advantages over other wicker materials like cane or rattan.
Resin wicker furniture today can be made in many different colors and, furthermore, the colors are actually embedded into the resin rather than painted on, meaning that none sunlight nor even marks, scratches, and such will cause resin wicker furniture’s colors to fade. Resin wicker furniture will never rot due to mold or water exposure, and of course it can not be hollowed out by insects. Resin wicker patio and garden furniture is easy to clean, too, and stains are easily wiped off. Yet another advantage of resin wicker is that no matter how hot it gets outside the furniture will still remain cool to your touch – unlike, say, wrought iron that could actually burn you if you touch it on a very hot, sunny day.
It used to be that the big criticism of resin wicker furniture was that it was cheap-looking. These days, that is no longer a valid criticism. Resins today are made that mimic the look of heavier, organic materials like bamboo and rattan so closely that only an expert would be able to notice that the resin furniture is not naturally organic. Yet, in addition to its being easier to clean and far less intolerable to the elements, resin wicker patio and garden furniture is also less expensive than its wicker counterparts.
There are some people who still will insist that resin wicker furnishings are too light-weight, but at the same time they love all of the other advantages of them. For these people, aluminum-framed resin wicker furniture is an ideal solution. As with resin materials, aluminum materials used for patio and garden furniture have come a long way in the last few decades. Outdoor aluminum furniture is made to look exactly like the classic wrought iron furnishings in appearance and style, yet of course they are still much lighter than iron furnishings, making them easier and safer to move. But aluminum will still be heavier than resin material and for some people, such as those who live in relatively windy parts of the world, this furniture is the better choice. The outer resin coating makes the aluminum garden and patio furniture extra-protected, although new resin treatments may need to be applied every few years.
Aluminum outdoor furniture with a resin coating is very competitively priced compared to other wicker types of outdoor patio furniture but, on average, will be a little more expensive than all resin furniture. You can also buy resin wicker furniture with frames made of heavy synthetic plastic, stainless steel tubes, and even iron tubing. These pieces of furniture are still heavier but not too heavy for moving, rearranging and such. They are very sturdy and durable outdoors in spite of their reliably light weight.
Resin wicker furnishings, whether woven of resin, resin coated, or with another material for the frame, are still susceptible to being scorch-marked or melted (although not by the sun’s heat), and depending on the frame possibly dented or having holes punched in them. Also, there are people today who worry about too much exposure to non-organic materials (whether this concern is unfounded or not is a matter of personal perspective). So, in spite of all resin wicker patio and garden furnishings’ advantages they are not “perfect” for everyone. Still, given all of their qualities, from ease of cleaning and weather resistance to pricing, resin wicker furnishings are fast rising in popularity along so many for very good and sound reasons.
You might of course see some wicker garden and patio furnishings that are more expensive than other pieces. The reasons for higher or lower pricing come down to sturdiness of build, labor, shipping and quality of appearance. Also, for many years outdoor resin wicker patio furniture was exclusively made in Italy and became very expensive to import to America. Quality resin wicker furniture will still be heavier than synthetic plastic furnishings, and a certain amount of thickness is desirable even in pure resin furnishings. With the capabilities today of making resin wicker furnishings mimic the appearance of organic woods and so on, you should expect to pay more for eye-catching resin furniture than you would for “generic looking” resin furniture.
You get what you pay for in terms of quality. But with quality resin wicker patio and garden furniture, you usually get the most for your money.