Did you know that 40% of American homeowners use their outdoor space for entertaining? Not only that, but over 66% of American homeowners also use that space for relaxing.
It’s clear that we highly value our patios and yards, which is why so many of us are willing to spend a small fortune on perking up the outside of our properties. You just might be one of those homeowners who wants to make your backyard one of the best your family and friends have ever seen!
Are you considering buying wicker patio furniture for your outdoor space? Then you’ll want to read on, as we’ll discuss 5 things you need to consider when you’re shopping!
1. Wicker Isn’t Actually a Type of Material
Many people think that wicker is a type of material, but it’s actually not! The word “wicker” refers to the type of weave that it is.
Typically, wicker is made of some sort of plant material. For instance, you’ll see wicker furniture made of rattan, reed, cane, willow, or bamboo. There are even synthetic fibers used for wicker nowadays!
Wicker is so popular because it’s not only sturdy, but it’s also light. This means that if you’re going to be moving your furniture around a lot, it’s worth investing in wicker since you won’t throw out your back doing so.
So when you’re looking at wicker furniture, you might indeed be looking at a wide variety of materials, just in the same weave. And this weave is popular for outdoor furniture because you’re probably constantly moving around. That, plus weathering outdoors, makes wicker perfect as a type of patio furniture.
2. There Are Two Main Types of Wicker
When you shop patio furniture, you might notice that there are both natural rattan and synthetic wicker pieces.
In general, if you want to use this furniture indoors, you should opt for natural rattan. While it can be used outdoors, there’s the extra step (and pain) of needing to bring it back indoors as soon as you’re done outside. Otherwise, the natural rattan will soak up both moisture and UV rays, which will cause it to break down very prematurely.
If you don’t want to bother with that, synthetic wicker takes all the hassle out. Synthetic wicker is also known as resin wicker, HDPE wicker, synthetic rattan, and all-weather wicker.
As the name suggests, this type of wicker is highly resilient to all sorts of weather, which makes it perfect as outdoor furniture. This is because it’s made from engineered resin material, which makes it look like natural wicker but allows it to withstand all sorts of weather.
With synthetic wicker, you’ll get to enjoy all the benefits of natural rattan, but without added trouble. If you wish, you could keep your synthetic wicker pieces outside 24/7, all year long.
3. Look Carefully at the Pieces
Not all wicker pieces are made the same. At first glance, you might think a cheap wicker chair looks no different from a higher-end one. But it’s all in the details.
For example, cheaper pieces are usually made out of leftover strands of material. The more strands there are involved, the more easily and the quicker your wicker piece will start to unravel. This is not only unsightly, but will also be precarious to use.
You want to go for the higher quality wicker furniture. While this might cost you more upfront, it’ll pay for itself when you have pieces you can use for years to come that don’t look ratty and worn-down.
How can you tell if a wicker piece is of higher quality? Take a look at how the end strands are dealt with.
In a good piece of furniture, it’ll be wrapped around the frame multiple times. In addition, these end strands will be stapled firmly to the frame. That way, the chances of them unraveling are minimized.
4. Check the Support System Too
Not only should you check the wicker material itself, but you need to check the frame and support system too.
For example, you might have a chair that looks like it has a fantastic weave to it. But if it doesn’t have a good support system and you’re just sitting on the weave itself, it’s inevitable that the wicker’s going to snap one day.
You want to take a look underneath and inspect the frame. Better quality wicker furniture will have thick aluminum and/or netted support underneath the wicker material. These things help to distribute weight evenly across pieces so not as much strain is put on the wicker material itself.
On this note, avoid any frames made of steel. They’ll rust much more easily.
5. Don’t Forget About Your Patio Theme
You might’ve been so concentrated on finding some good pieces that you’ve completely forgotten about your patio theme. But what good is a high-quality wicker set if it looks dreadful and doesn’t match your current decor at all?
Just like with indoor furniture, you should consider the theme of the area. This includes both colors and textures, as well as style.
For example, if you’re going for a modern feel, then you should opt for pieces that are more angular and boxy. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more classic or antique look, you’ll want the opposite: rounded and smooth.
Get the Right Wicker Patio Furniture With Our Tips
When it comes to wicker patio furniture, you now have some useful information to help you choose the right pieces of furniture for your home and budget. We hope this article has helped you learn more about wicker so that you can make smarter decisions moving forward!
Did you find this post on wicker outdoor furniture helpful? Then make sure you check out our other articles too!