All About Outdoor Wicker aka Synthetic Resin Wicker
Synthetic Resin Wicker Furniture is a wonderful alternative to natural wicker. It is nonporous so water rolls right off of it. Here are some tips to getting good quality furniture.
About Wicker Furniture Frames
If you only buy furniture that is made with aluminum frames you remove the chance of any rusting. Making sure the frames are factory welded as opposed to requiring assembly is also a sign of better quality wicker furniture.
If you make sure the synthetic wicker is, HDPE, high density polyethylene you are doing ok. This is the better quality synthetic wicker. Good synthetic wicker is dyed all the way through and has a nice thick wall to each strand. It has a nice soft feel to it. If you lean back against it has some give. It feels more comfortable. The less expensive synthetic wicker is loaded with plastic. It has a firmer, less comfortable feel to it. It also may dry, crack & have a shorter life.
There are lots of different colors a furniture maker can select for the wicker. White Wicker, Black , Brown , Golden Honey and Driftwood Grey are the most popular colors now. Our White & Black wicker are one solid color. No tone variations. Our Antique Brown, Golden Honey & Driftwood are all multi toned. Eg--each strand of our Antique Brown has what we describe as a “milk chocolate” tone on one side and a “dark chocolate” tone on the other side. When these strands are hand woven you see the multiple tones and we feel this creates a more natural look.
Outdoor Cushions / Indoor Cushions
Our experience tells us that making sure your cushions are American Made is the right choice. They are generally better quality than those made overseas.
if you are in sunlight or in a mildew area having your cushions made from Sunbrella Fabric is the right choice. Sunbrella Fabrics cost more $ per yard so you pay more now, but we feel they actually become less expensive over time as they look better & last longer. Go to their website, Sunbrella.com and read how they actually dye each thread of fabric BEFORE they weave them into yards. This “dyed solution” process makes them very fade, stain & mildew resistant.
All About Wicker Furniture Descriptions
How do we describe this furniture...We have a pet peeve with the descriptions of Resin Wicker Furniture. Outdoor Wicker Furniture, Wicker Patio Furniture, Wicker Sunroom Furniture & Wicker Deck Furniture are all fine. The one we have a problem with is “All Weather Wicker Furniture." We much prefer if it was called “Weather Resistant Wicker Furniture” because that is a much more accurate description. We must use our common sense about the weather conditions we leave our furniture in. Indoors, covered areas & most outdoor areas are all fine. But outdoor areas with extreme temperatures or weather conditions may not be. There is no magic rule as we all live in different climates. Follow your common sense & you will be fine.
Covering your furniture...be careful here. Synthetic wicker must have an air flow. If not you can suffocate the wicker. No air flow may cause a lot of mildew and the lack of air somehow can cause the wicker to deteriorate. Eg--covering a chair...place an empty box or plastic garbage can in the seat of the chair and make sure it extends a few inches over the top of the chair. This will allow for an air flow up from the bottom. Your furniture will stay cleaner & fresher longer.
How Quality Synthetic Wicker Furniture is Made
The first thing is to order the materials needed to make the products. We use heavy gauge aluminum poles. The measurements are done in Millimeters. The poles are normally 1.3 mm thick. 2.54 millimeters equals 1 inch so our poles are about ½” thick,
Then there is the synthetic wicker. Synthetic wicker is a manmade product And there are lots of different qualities to select from here. The better quality Synthetic wicker is called--HDPE--high density polyethylene. The wicker gauges for the round strands are between 2.7 & 3.8 mm. The flat wicker 1mm thick. Be careful when buying because we see a lot of less expensive materials being used to make furniture.
To start production the aluminum poles are cut to size and placed into a form. The form bends the poles to the desired shape. Then the poles have to be powder coated (painted) the same color that the exterior synthetic wicker will be. After the frames are made & the painting cures they are ready for the weavers.
The wicker needs to be steam heated so it is pliable. Weaving is a true skill. All of the strands of wicker have a beginning and an end. The weaving must be done so these ends are in hidden areas & not exposed.
When the weaving is done the wicker dries cool & firm. Then the furniture is ready to be wrapped, stacked & loaded for shipment. We are in the wicker business since 1978 and greatly appreciate & admire all of the hand work & skills involved from start to finish to produce quality products.
Be careful when buying because we see a lot of less expensive materials being used to make furniture. There definitely is a major competition between the different e-tailers to offer products with the lowest price. People think they are getting a bargain, but they may just be getting lesser quality products and may actually be over paying for them.