There is lots to know when thinking about buying Outdoor Wicker Sofas. You have a beautiful deck or patio and you want quality furniture. Let us start at the beginning. What is the frame made from?
Heavy gauge aluminum is the best as aluminum does not rust. It is best for every outdoor area, but even more so if you are near salt water.
If you buy furniture made with steel frames you know that steel can rust. Picture this. A hollow steel pole that is then sprayed with some rust protection. The spray goes on the outside of the pole. What about the inside? There is no protective spray there. Rust stains are a terrible thing to try & remove from your deck or patio.
Our next “red flag” that gets our attention is—are the frames factory welded or do they require assembly? Some smaller accessory items assemble very easy and are strong after being assembled. We stay away from larger items as their assembly can be lots of work, parts can be missing, attachment areas may not line up properly and they may even loosen. When we see “steel & assembly” we automatically think this is a lesser quality product.
Another very important thing to consider with your outdoor wicker sofa is the width & depth of the seat areas. Quality furniture will have seat depth of 26”. When you sit on the furniture the seat cushion should come all the way down behind your leg towards your knee. Cushions width's should be 24”.
Certainly not less than 23”. What about the height of the frame. From the floor to the top of the seat cushion should be 18”-19”. Less than that you are sitting too low. More than that, too high.
Now that we are talking about sitting, what about the fabric that you select to have your cushions made from? You will need a synthetic fabric if you are going to have quality outdoor wicker cushions. Spun Polyester fabrics are good outdoor fabrics, but they do not accept dye easily. When the fabric mill makes a stripe or floral print they have to do what is called a “silk screening process”. The dye sets on top of the fabric. It does not go through to the other side. These fabrics will fade in sunlight. We recommend these fabrics for indoors or well covered outdoor areas.
For an outdoor wicker sofa in sunny areas we recommend “dyed solution” acrylic fabrics. There are a few fabric mills that offer this. Sunbrella is one of them. This is our fabric of choice. Most people know about Sunbrella as their fabrics are known to amongst the most, fade, stain & mildew resistant. Outdoor awnings that you see in front of businesses are mostly Sunbrella.
We are almost done, but one of the most important materials used for Outdoor Resin Wicker Patio Furniture is the wicker itself. It has to be synthetic wicker and synthetic wicker does not grow naturally like rattan.
It is a man-made product. This is very important because like everything else there are lots of different levels of quality. The less expensive ones have a higher plastic content. They are prone to cracking and in general have shorter lives. The better quality materials are known as –HDPE—high density polyethylene. This is the only synthetic Wicker material that we use. To summarize — this is what we recommend for Outdoor Wicker furniture including outdoor wicker sofas, wicker love seats, wicker chairs, wicker rockers, and wicker chaise lounges.
In short, remember heavy gauge factory welded aluminum furniture with quality high density polyethylene woven over it and full size seats that house quality American Made Cushions. Not recommended---steel frames, furniture that requires assembly and cushions made overseas.
You are now prepared to buy your patio furniture or get a job in the wicker industry!
We’re available to answer questions on purchasing wicker sofas or any other wicker furniture from 9 - 5 Monday through Friday and 9 - 4:30 Saturday Eastern Time. Give us a call at 1-800-274-8602.