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What Should I Consider When Buying Wicker Furniture?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 May 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Wicker is plant-based or plastic fibers woven together to form an object, typically furniture or accessories such as baskets. Buying wicker furniture can add a tropical or hand-crafted feel to your home and garden. You can use wicker furniture to complement a variety of design styles, but several unique factors in the upkeep and design of the material should be considered before buying wicker furniture.

Although synthetic fibers are now more common, wicker is traditionally made of natural fibers, such as bamboo, rattan, reed or willow wood. As a natural material, wicker is often biodegradable, and can be a great choice for anyone concerned with minimizing impact on the environment. Moreover, most of the fibers used for wicker come from fast-growing, non-endangered wood sources. Bamboo in particular is an efficient and easily grown wood, and probably one of the most environmentally-friendly natural materials available in the world.

Before buying wicker furniture, check to see what the fibers have been coated in to give them a hard outer shell. Some wicker coatings can reduce dust and improve durability or even prevent water damage, a useful feature if you are planning on buying wicker furniture for outdoor use. Ask your salesperson about the coating to find out what features it may offer to improve the natural material.

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Wicker is lightweight and tends to add an airy feel to any environment. If you have a lightly-decorated room and are looking to add bulk to the room, wicker will probably not be the best choice. Heavier woods, such as teak or mahogany are better suited for adding to the complexity and heft of an environment, and may still be suitable to your design aesthetic.

Before buying wicker furniture such as chairs, check to see if it is truly comfortable to sit in. The fibers, while not unpleasant, are decidedly hard, and may not be the best choice if comfort is your primary goal. Poorly made wicker can also end up with fibers sticking out, so check the piece over carefully to ensure that it holds together well. Most wicker furniture will also creak or make some squeaking noise when used, especially over time.

Wicker furniture can be used to compliment a wide variety of design styles, so consider what overall look you wish to achieve before buying wicker furniture. Victorian, Arts and Crafts, and tropical styles all frequently make use of woven wicker in chairs, tables, and accessories like baskets and magazine holders. It is also used outdoors, adding to a light and natural environment through the use of lounge or deck chairs, outdoor dining furniture, and even barstools and tables.

Because of the simplicity of material, wicker furniture is often a good choice for the budget shopper. Synthetic wicker in particular is usually fairly inexpensive, especially when compared to heavier wood furniture. Wicker armchairs with simple cushions are often available for less than $100 US Dollars (USD), and can be found for even less at secondhand stores.

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