Wicker & Rattan Furniture – A Brief History

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Brief History of Wicker

Ever surprised when wicker really took off as the choice for outdoor furniture? Well the answer is during the 1600s and 1700s, at least that is the case for England as originally this type of furniture was created and used primarily in Asian countries where the rattan used to create wicker was grown. When wicker for furniture started to become popular in England it started to resemble more of the usual Victorian-style furniture. However for a while wicker styled furniture fell out of favor but there was then a resurgence in the 20th century and this is when it started to become popular both in England and also America, primarily for conservatory but also garden furniture and today wicker is as popular as ever!

The Origin of Wicker
Wicker is the term used to describe the weave of the material, the actual material is made from rattan which is a plant that grows in Southeast Asia where vines from these plants are stripped and weaved into furniture. The vines are filled with lots of fibers which gives it more strength and when it is woven into wicker furniture the strength is even greater especially when the weave is very tight.

Today’s Wicker Furniture

Is actually mostly artificial wicker, often called “rattan garden furniture” and while this may be able to withstand the elements better, especially when used for outdoor furniture, it is the all-natural wicker that will the show stopper and will continue to be used in home and gardens for centuries to come! You do have to keep in mind that no matter how strong & durable wicker is, you do not want to be leaving the furniture exposed to the elements or to the sun for any longer than necessary as they can do irreparable damage to the wicker, even artificial rattan.