I am writing this article to introduce you to Lloyd Loom Wicker Furniture and Lloyd Flanders®’ furniture products and give you the history of the Lloyd Flanders company. I will be focusing on Marshall Burns Lloyd and his invention of the Lloyd Loom® process. It also provides an overview of the Lloyd Flanders company’s current products and processes. Lloyd Loom wicker furniture has been inspirational for decades and continues to be the wicker furniture of choice desired by commoners and aristocrats.
Lloyd Flanders Known for Quality Elegant Wicker Furniture
The Lloyd Flanders name has been synonymous with the words “quality elegant wicker” and for good reason. The Lloyd Flanders company has been around for about 100 years with a few changes in name and ownership. Since its inception, the company has continuously made strategic advances in the casual indoor and outdoor wicker furniture industry.
Lloyd Flanders furniture is the icon of American-made furniture. Stemming from its invention of woven loom wicker furniture to its historic advances in durability and comfort, Lloyd Flanders has made the largest advancements in modern-day casual wicker furniture manufacturing.
Marshall B. Lloyd the Inventor
It was Marshal Burns Lloyd that had the dreams, interest, knowledge, and ability to begin his manufacturing business that eventually led to developing the phenomenal Lloyd Loom process. His objective was to supply fine wicker furniture to the world easier and more cost-effective than the manual weaving process. He was passionate about his interest and highly capable to carry on his quest.
Lloyd was not satisfied with the complicated, laborious, and expensive way of hand-weaving wicker cane furniture that did not hold up well to outdoor conditions. This led him to pursue a better way to make wicker furniture that used common materials but with more strength and significantly less labor thereby reducing costs and improving the desirability of the product.
A Little History about Marshall B. Lloyd
Marshall B. Lloyd lived from March 10, 1858 – to August 10, 1927. He was known as an inventor and manufacturer. During his early years, Lloyd moved around different places in Canada and the United States. He worked many different jobs. He succeeded and failed at many different things. Lloyd possessed unusual initiative and aggressiveness. While employed, he patented a weighing scale for use of farmers. In exchange for the right to use a machine he had panted for weaving wire door and table mats, Lloyd was rewarded part interest in the C. O. White Manufacturing Company. He later patented a machine for weaving wire spring mattresses, which became very successful. This allowed him to buy out the White company in 1900 when he founded the Lloyd Manufacturing Company.
Lloyd Flanders Factory Menominee Michigan
In 1906 Marshal B. Lloyd moved his factory to Menominee Michigan where the Lloyd Flanders factory remains today.
The Lloyd Manufacturing company dabbled in developing and manufacturing different products. This is where he successfully improved the manufacturing process to make wire wheels for baby carriages. His next successful patent was in 1910 where he invented the machine for manufacturing thin tubing out of ribbons of steel and machinery to make wicker-ware. These were very important steps leading him to develop the Lloyd Loom wicker furniture that became and remains one of the most popular wicker products made today.
Lloyd Changes The Way Wicker Furniture is Made
In his efforts to develop new manufacturing products, Marshall B. Lloyd changed the historic way of manufacturing wicker furniture. In 1916 he invented and developed the process for manufacturing loom wicker furniture. In 1917, the process was patented.
The loom process for making wicker fabric included wire reinforcing for added strength. Rather than using wicker cane and hand weaving it onto wooden frames, Lloyd’s process included manufacturing the woven sheets of wicker fabric separately from the frames. After which, the wicker fabric was cut to size and attached to the metal frames and woven trim pieces were added to clean up the edges.
Switching the Seats of Control
In 1921 the Heywood-Wakefield Co. took over ownership of Lloyd Manufacturing. Then, Don and Dudley Flanders purchased the Lloyd Manufacturing works in 1982 from Heywood-Wakefield to form Lloyd Flanders and began manufacturing contemporary loom wicker furniture that’s durable enough for outdoor use.
This new loom process would take about 75% less time than the hand-weaving process. In the terms of time, a baby carriage that would normally take a weaver a day to complete would then be completed in about 15 minutes using the Lloyd Loom process. One loom machine took the place of thirty weavers.
Lloyd generously gave his time to and was active in community affairs. He served as part-time mayor of the city from 1913-1917. Along the way, Marshall obtained and held about 200 patents until his passing in 1927, an amazing feat for any individual.
Background of Lloyd Loom Manufacturing Process
In 1917, Marshall Lloyd was mainly manufacturing wicker baby buggies using the looming process. Over time, through the Heywood-Wakefield owners, the Lloyd Loom process expanded into a full-fledged wicker furniture manufacturing process.
Marshall Burns Lloyd invented the process by which cellulose strands are woven into a wicker fabric as an alternative to the popular method of wrapping cane around a frame and making intricate hand-woven designs. Each hand-crafted piece of Lloyd Loom furniture made today uses the same process to create the loom wicker fabric, as was originally established back in 1917. However, advanced technologies since 1982 have resulted in the ability to produce a continuous strand that will not burr, crack, or peel resulting in a consistently smooth weave.
Lloyd Flanders set out to make furniture suitable for outdoors. It has become a durable line of outdoor wicker furniture that is visually appealing and practical for both indoors and outdoor use. Since that time, Lloyd Flanders has become the most trusted and sought-after wicker furniture today.
Lloyd Loom Frames
Metal frames are fashioned using either aluminum or stainless steel tubing. These metals are chosen to eliminate the worries about rust and an early deterioration of the frames. These tubes are cut and bent into the appropriate shapes using forms and hydraulic presses. Frames are cleaned and prepared prior to assembly.
Making of Wicker Cord For Lloyd Loom Wicker Furniture
Wicker cord is produced by starting with large rolls of special fiber paper developed specifically for the process that is fitted onto a machine then slit to the proper width.
Then they are drawn through a glue mixture before spinning and tightly twisting it into cords that are wound onto the small spools.
Weaving the Lloyd Loom Fabric
The smaller spools used in making the wicker cord are rewound onto larger spools that feed into the looms. The looms draw the cord simultaneously from more than 500 spools to weave the Lloyd Loom Fabric.
This is a continuous process from start to finish. When completed, the wicker fabric produced is 39 inches wide and is rolled up into massive length spools. A unique feature of Lloyd Loom fabric is the use of aluminum wire that is encased within the horizontal pieces of fabric called stakes.
The stakes are inserted into the loom to be integrated with the regular paper cord. These stakes enhanced the stability and durability of the wicker loom fabric.
Sealing the Lloyd Loom Wicker Fabric
After the weaving process is complete, the loom fabric is then sealed completely by submerging it into a latex bath ensuring it withstands the elements of the outdoors. The loom fabric is then dried before it goes onto the large spools to be stored or directly transported to the cutting room.
Upholstering The Lloyd Loom Frames
Once the loom fabric is sealed, dried, and wrapped onto massive spools, it is ready to be cut and used to cover the metal furniture frames. The completed spools are moved to the cutting room ready to be used. In the cutting room, the fabric is sized and cut in preparation to be fitted and attached to the frame. The wicker fabric is stretched tightly and stapled to the Metal frames.
Skilled craftsmen fit each piece of fabric to aluminum frames that are shaped and welded in the factory, taking great care to stretch the wicker into place and secure it with custom-made stainless steel staples. The edges are trimmed and a pre-woven wicker braid is fitted and stapled into place by hand so that each piece is beautifully finished leaving no rough or unsightly edges. At the Lloyd Flanders production facility in Menominee Michigan, many processes, both modern and traditional come together to create the Lloyd Flanders award-winning Lloyd Loom all-weather wicker furniture.
Finishing Lloyd Loom Furniture
Lloyd Loom wicker furniture has a wide selection of about twenty beautiful and durable colors finishes developed exclusively for the Lloyd Loom outdoor wicker furniture collections. Whether your decor is traditional, transitional, or contemporary, the available finishes provide a range of choices to enhance any style.
These finishes deliver excellent color with a smooth glossy surface that resists wear and fading. Thanks to the Lloyd Flanders unique Durium® polyester finishing material, a high-performance paint finish has been established to ensure the finished paint job is both flexible and durable. Each piece of furniture is hand spray-painted covering the loom and exposed aluminum frames forming a perfectly blended finish between loom and frame. The furniture is then baked in an oven for several hours to cure the finish. This care and painstaking finish process ensure the best finish available on the market today. Lloyd Flanders continues to lead the industry in innovative and stylish all-weather wicker furniture.
Lloyd Loom Cushions
Up to this point of the discussion in this article, the focus was on the manufacturing of Lloyd Flanders loom wicker and frames. However, that’s not the whole story. Deep seating Wicker furniture, like the majority of what Lloyd Flanders manufactures, is not complete until the cushions have been added. Elegant deep seating wicker furniture requires the right choice of cushions and fabric to provide the feel, comfort, and aesthetic look that you want for fine wicker furniture. The expectation is that high-quality wicker requires equally high-quality cushions. Not only do you expect them to perform well but you also want them to look fantastic. In order to accomplish these requirements, Lloyd Flanders has developed its Comfort Plush™ outdoor seating system that offers about the best cushioning in the industry.
After years of research and the help of modern products and technologies, the cushions being manufacture by Lloyd Flanders are more superior as compared to most other cushions on the market. Since the 1980s, it was apparent that not only did the furniture frames have to be worthy of existing outdoors in the elements, so did the cushions. As a result, after many years of development, the Comfort Plush cushioning product was born. Lloyd Flanders not only manufactures new cushions but also manufacture Lloyd Flanders Replacement Cushions.
Lloyd Flanders premium Comfort Plush cushioning is constructed from multiple layers. There is an SMS surface layer consisting of spun-bond fabric that sandwiches an inner layer of melt-blown fabric that is attached to a 100% polyester wrap. The polyester wrap is attached on its opposite side to the center BioComfort© Foam. The quantity and quality of these select materials and the way they are layered ensure one of the most comfortable cushions made.
The BioComfort foam is a 1.8 density high resilience California fire-rated foam. It is formulated to include soy-based products. This reduces the amount of oil-based products required to make the cushions. Each cushion is hydrophobic (drains and dries more easily).
These cushions meet the requirements of California’s Technical Bulletin #117.
Sunbrella® Cushion Fabric
Over the years Lloyd Flanders has offered and used many different types and styles of fabric in the manufacture of their furniture cushions. To ensure high quality and durability, Lloyd Flanders has their own swatch book of Sunbrella® fabrics that provide the best available wear, durability, water, mold, and mildew resistance. Sunbrella fabric is made from acrylic. As such, it is less likely to absorb water and is very easy to drain if it gets wet. It’s also difficult to stain. This highly desirable fabric is very low maintenance and is easy to wash and clean.
Current Lloyd Flanders Sunbrella Fabric Choices
- Lloyd Flanders A-Grade Sunbrella Fabric Choices
- Lloyd Flanders B-Grade Sunbrella Fabric Choices
- Lloyd Flanders C-Grade Sunbrella Fabric Choices
- Lloyd Flanders D-Grade Sunbrella Fabric Choices
A real plus is that if you need to, you can even use a water-bleach solution and other cleaning agents to remove stubborn marks on the Sunbrella fabric and sterilize the fabric if necessary. The colors in the Sunbrella fabric are embedded in the yarn itself. Modern additives in acrylic keep the colors from fading even in the strongest sunlit areas. This is what makes Sunbrella Fabric a great choice and pairing with Lloyd Flanders Loom Frames. In as much as this cushion fabric is well suited for outdoor, it’s also very suitable for inside your home or business.
Vinyl Wicker Furniture
Demands by the public to use wicker outdoors and make it so that it withstands the outdoor elements brought forth the age of resin wicker. People loved the style of hand-woven wicker but were disappointed in how natural wicker deteriorated in harsh weather conditions. Resin wicker is wicker furniture that is handwoven with a man-made material rather than an organic one.
Manufactures extrude synthetic wicker cane in long lengths and wind it on rolls where the weavers can use it efficiently. There are all different types of resin used in the industry and not all of them are of good quality. Vinyl wicker furniture by Lloyd Flanders is an extremely high-quality synthetic, considered one of the best on the market.
Lloyd Flanders labels their resin wicker furniture as 100% Pure Virgin Vinyl wicker. A more technical reference to this high-quality resin is High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) wicker. This is the best resin for making wicker furniture. Depending on the design, some of the resin strands are reinforced by nylon cord emulating the Lloyd Loom process and appearance. Some of their vinyl wicker collections do not have the inner nylon cording because the cord is not required or is not conducive to the design. The vinyl is formulated with built-in ultraviolet stabilizers and inhibitors to discourage fading allowing many years of outdoor use with little maintenance. The exclusive vinyl extrusion process gives it the appearance of handwoven natural wicker.
Resin Used in Making Lloyd Flanders Vinyl Wicker
Resin is a strong durable plastic-like material that can be manufactured in various colors. Too many companies cheat and thin down the HDPE resin resulting in cheapened products that fail much sooner than they should. Lloyd Flanders uses the HDPE resin at its full strength to ensure long-lasting durability and resistance to fading. This resistance ensures the vinyl lasts a long time in outdoor use without getting brittle and limits fading. Resin is moisture resistant and perfect for use as all-weather wicker furniture. More about resin wicker furniture.
Unlike the Lloyd Loom furniture, the vinyl furniture is handwoven. It’s a much more labor-intensive effort indeed. Weavers start with a metal frame and staple an end of the synthetic cane onto the frame and begin to weave it onto the frame. They can start and end pieces of cane by either stapling them onto the frame or by leaving and end sticking down in an inconspicuous place in the middle of a pattern. The long lengths of the cane on rolls allow the weavers to use just the right amount of cane with very little waste.
Resin Wicker Weavers Create Hand Crafted Elegance
Weavers have to be experienced and ensure that they use consistent weaving techniques for each style of furniture so that the patterns match. It may take one day for example for an experienced weaver to weave a lounge chair as compared to taking 15 minutes for a craftsman to complete a Lloyd Loom lounge chair. A huge benefit to weaving with vinyl as compared to natural wicker is that once the weaving is done, there is no gluing, sealing or painting that needs to be done. They are ready to ship out to the customer.
Vinyl wicker has truly revolutionized the woven wicker industry. People are using vinyl wicker on their patios and porches as well as inside their homes. It’s easy to care for and lasts a long time.
Teak Furniture, A Noble Addition
As part of the advancements in offering contemporary furniture that can be used both indoors and outside, Lloyd Flanders has now infused teak wood furniture into its product line. Lloyd Flanders Wildwood collection is a teak-loom combination. They have a full line of universal teak furniture that can be used along with its wicker furniture line and they have one complete teak seating group collection.
Teak furniture has many qualities people are looking for in patio and four-season room furniture. The teak tables can be intermixed with the wicker furniture offering an immeasurable number of furniture combinations and arrangements. Teak dining tables and chairs are a very popular selection to go along with wicker seating groups. The teak wood offers long-lasting low maintenance and ages well outdoors.
Notable Lloyd Flanders Furniture Appearances
Lloyd Flanders furniture is so popular that many very popular and prestigious places and people have and use the furniture. To name just a few, Lloyd Flanders furniture has been used at the following places:
- The Carriages of Mackinac Island
- The Minnesota Governor’s Mansion
- The Stetson Mansion
- The Breakers Palm Beach
- The Grand Hotel, Yellowstone
- The Hotel Hershey
- The Vinyl Renaissance
- The Waldorf Astoria
- The TV Series Revenge
- The Movie the Green Mile
- In Kenny Chesney’s Video Be As You Are (Song From An Old Blue Chair)
Before he died, Marshall B. Lloyd reached and surpassed the ambitions and dreams of most men. From a public viewpoint, he will remain known as an inventor, businessman, and ambassador of the community. More importantly, he will be known in the industry as the father of Lloyd Loom wicker furniture.
Lloyd Flanders Lloyd Loom furniture has come a long way through the century. From the development by Marshall B. Lloyd of the Lloyd Loom process to improvements made since 1982 by the current owners’ Don and Dudley Flanders, Lloyd Loom wicker furniture has skyrocketed in popularity because of its aesthetic elegance, comfort, and durability to be used indoors and outside on patios and decks. The frames are extremely water-resistant and the loom wicker weave is durable and reinforced with wire for strength. The baked-on Durium paint finish is smooth and long-lasting. The finish is available in a wide selection of colors to coordinate and enhance any style.
The Lloyd Flanders Comfort Plush Cushioning perfectly complements the Lloyd Flanders wicker and teak furniture owning up to its reputation as quality cushioning. It’s designed for comfort, durability and to resist the sun’s rays, water, and moisture. Lloyd Flanders also offers replacement cushions for Lloyd Flanders furniture.
Lloyd Flanders vinyl wicker furniture offers the more traditional handwoven style available in styles and colors that last outdoors in the elements. Vinyl wicker requires little to no maintenance and will last for many years.
Lloyd Flanders Wildwood teak furniture collection and universal teak collection is offered to fill that need by customers who are looking to complement their wicker furniture with real wood or to have an all-wood patio set. The teak tables work well with all wicker seating and are especially popular for outdoor dining tables and chairs.
Lloyd Flanders offers a very worthy warranty against manufacturer’s defects for its products to the original owner. Barring signs of abuse, beginning with the original retail purchase date, frames and finishes are warranted for a period of three years. Fabric and cushions are warranted for a period of one year against the manufacturer’s defects.
If you’re in the market for unique high-quality wicker furniture, then you should choose Lloyd Flanders Lloyd Loom furniture that’s made in the USA.
Much of the history of Marshall Burns Lloyd, his life, and his inventions were researched to put the timeline and his activities in place. The remainder of the content is based on the authors’ experience in working in the wicker industry for over 14 years and directly with the Lloyd Flanders Company for over 5 years.
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Who Was Who in America, Vol. 1 1897-1942. Chicago: A. N. Marquis Co., 1943.
1926-27; Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents
The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol. 25. P. 121.
The Toronto Star Weekly. July 8, 1920.
The Herald-Leader Menominee, Michigan, August 10, 1927, P1.
The Herald-Leader Menominee, Michigan, August 10, 1927, P10:1.
Lloyd Flanders, A Profile of American Tradition, Innovation, and Craftsmanship Pamphlet
Lloyd/Flanders ComfortPlush Outdoor Seating System Pamphlet
https://www.lloydflanders.com/about, Notable Lloyd Flanders Appearances, Historical Milestones
https://youtu.be/bet-KGP_kc0, Woven For Life Video.