Outdoor wicker furniture is the right choice for patios, sunrooms, four season rooms and commercial establishments. Our customers use wicker outside in their pool or picnic areas where they can relax, socialize and enjoy family, friends and a meal. Large selections of wicker seating and dining sets are available to choose from so that you can arrange your own plan.
The name Outdoor Wicker Furniture is a partial misnomer for resin wicker and Lloyd Flanders® Loom wicker products. Although the title includes the word "outdoor", outdoor wicker is used extensively inside as well. A large percentage of our customers use our deep seating wicker sets for furnishing living rooms, four season rooms, and sunrooms.
Development of the manufacture of outdoor wicker furniture has occurred across the globe resulting in less then standard terminologies for the product name. The country of origin of manufacturing, the language orientation, marketing and product materials all play roles in the names used to define and refer to outdoor wicker furniture products.
Marketers and retail stores use the current common terminologies to advertise their customers about their products and to discuss the various styles and designs. Over the years, many terms have developed causing confusion to customers as well as marketers and retailers.
Here are some of the common terminologies that all refer to the same or similar product A.K.A Outdoor Wicker Furniture derived from a resin:
Resin is a synthetic plastic like substance that resists water remarkably well but needs other additives to help it be resistant to the sun's ultraviolet light ( UV). Not all resins are created equivalent though. In fact there are many different types of resins. Companies that manufacture the resins keep the recipes a tight secrete. Even resins that hold the same name such as Polyethylene or Polypropylene that are made by many different companies use their own recipes for each. The differences can be many and very noticeable in application. Some resins do better jobs in flexibility while others can hold more additives to fend off discoloration due to UV rays than others. Some shrink and crack easily in cold conditions while others hold their color for many years. Poor quality resins usually end up failing and discoloring within a few years of use. Good quality resin wicker furniture will last many years without degrading.
The Lloyd Flanders Lloyd Loom products are not made from resin so they should not be referred to as Resin Wicker, Plastic Wicker or Vinyl Wicker. Instead, Lloyd Flanders prefers to use the term Lloyd Loom Wicker or All-Weather Wicker to define their Loom product line. Although, Lloyd Flanders does manufacture vinyl wicker which is a resin product and would fall into the list of Outdoor Resin Wicker above. Again emphasizing that Lloyd prefers to use the reference of Vinyl Wicker to their all-weather resin wicker products.
There is confusion between the terms wicker and rattan. Not too many years ago wicker meant one thing and rattan meant another. Back then, wicker meant something woven. So furniture that was woven was called wicker furniture. Rattan meant rattan pole furniture. Ratan furniture originated and was made using the rattan vine material. This pole furniture was not woven. Natural wicker furniture used rattan poles for the frames and reed for the fabric that was woven onto the frames.
The reed that was used to weave the wicker was milled from the rattan vine. Manufacturers in the industry started using the name rattan to refer to wicker furniture materials that originated from the rattan vine. This made some sense considering natural wicker was made from natural rattan. However, it makes no common sense for synthetic wicker. Distributers, marketers and retailers perpetuated the improper use of the term rattan in place of wicker. The use of the term rattan when referring to synthetic wicker furniture has no basis in the natural rattan vine. Using the term rattan in lieu of the term wicker is probably one of the most misused terminology in the whole wicker industry.
Over the years wicker furniture has grown in popularity and contributed to a large percentage of the casual furniture market. In the early days, old style natural wicker could not withstand the outdoor elements. It deteriorated quickly requiring annual and sometimes semi-annual maintenance in order to use it or to keep it looking good. The demand for better performance caused manufacturers to look for quality materials that could hold their own in the rain, sun heat and cold.
The consumers spoke and the challenge was on for the wicker makers. Consumers wanted weatherproof wicker with little or no maintenance. Some wicker furniture manufacturers attempted to use new synthetic materials on the market to replace the woven wicker fabric in stead of the traditional natural rattan reed along with other combinations of metal, wood and resin for the frames. One manufacturer, Lloyd Flanders, developed their own process by which cellulose strands are woven into a wicker fabric as an alternative to the then popular method of wrapping cane around a frame and have added advanced technologies to produce a continuous strand that will not burr, crack, or peel, resulting in a consistently smooth weave.
The new outdoor wicker was superior in many ways as compared to its natural wicker counterpart. The reed was smooth as compared to the natural reed that was porous, rough and scratchy. Continuous lengths could be wound on reels and cut to the desired length in order to make weaving easier and more economical. Instead of tedious weaving onto frames, Lloyd Flanders created woven fabric sheets that are cut, fitted and stapled to the frame for their loom furniture line.
The colors of the wicker are determined by dyes added to the resins or stains to the Lloyd Loom products. Inhibitors are added to the products to help reduce the UV affect that can fade the colors. The more of the UV inhibitors that can be added to the product, the better resistance to discoloration.
White wicker furniture is very popular and can be used in many areas because white furniture coordinates very will in most decors. Luckily enough for many traditionalists, most wicker collections are available in white finish.
Frame designs for outdoor wicker furniture have been refined over the years to basically metal frames. The quality is dependent on many factors such as thickness of the tubing, whether reinforcement bars are used appropriately and whether it has an additional corrosive resistant coating . The most desirable metal frames are derived from aluminum because they are strong, don't rust and they make the furniture lighter to move, arrange and store. Some manufactures bake a powder coat onto the aluminum for ultimate protection but its a hard option to find. Some paint the metal with a good enamel or acrylic paint. Since the frames don't rust, they last a very long time.
Steel frames are very sturdy but need to have a baked powder coating or a coat of quality paint to protect them form getting wet and rusting. A quality powder or paint coating will ensure the furniture will last along time without the frames deteriorating. Over time, powder coated or painted steel frames tend to get bad spots where the protective coating stops working and a rust spot begins. This becomes a problem when you have your furniture on a brick or cement patio. The rust can drip down onto the patio and stain it when it is wet. Even though a little rust may occur, these can still be a good economical choice and still last a very long time. If used indoors where the furniture won't get wet, there is no concern of rusting.
Traditional wicker used round reeds woven by hand onto frames by industry craftsmen. This concept of round reeds was originally carried-over and used when manufacturing resin wicker furniture. Modern designs of resin have included round and flat weave products or a combination of round and flat weave designs.
When the weave is woven very tight so that you can't see much light though it, that is termed close weave. When the weave shows a lot of light through it, that is called open weave. Wicker furniture designs can use close, open or a combination of both close or open weave designs.
Outside wicker seating and accents are available in standard or deep seating designs. Standard wicker is designed to be used with or without seat cushions whereas, deep seating wicker is designed to be used with thick back and seat cushions.
Styles range from traditional Victorian wicker to modern sectional flat wicker designs.
Wicker furniture is easily accessorized using select fabric and cushion designs from a wide selection of choices. Adding solid fabric colors, stripes and patters that coordinate with the frame color and surrounding decor will ensure your furniture will look great in its setting. Add throw pillows to provide an desired accent for seating.
When choosing fabric for your outdoor wicker, choose from our huge selection of all-weather or Sunbrella® outdoor fabric. Use Sunbrella fabric when strong direct sunlight is prevalent for long periods of time. Sunbrella is a premium solution dyed fabric that significantly resists fading. If your in the sunbelt, choose Sunbrella.
Outdoor wicker furniture is ideal to use in places where you need comfortable no maintenance furniture. At home, use outdoor wicker on porches and patios, in the yard or around swimming pools. Inside, decorate your sunroom or four season room with standard or deep seating wicker.
In commercial buildings and properties, decorate court yards and lobbies. Use wicker dining furniture in restaurants and coffee shops and use seating furntiure in hotel rooms for a warm comfortable look and feel.
Decorators love to use resin and loom furniture when designing the perfect room or space for clients. Using a decorator experienced in using all-weather wicker furniture in their designs can help ensure your ideals of the perfect seating and dining designs are met.
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