Since wicker furniture come out, it is the first choice all along of literati and celebrities who pursuing elegant taste. Apart from the main skeleton of wicker furniture made of crude rattan, the main part of furniture is made from fine rattan, that make the furniture has good permeability and the contact comfortness increased by adding the contact area.
Wicker furniture has been around since the Egyptian Empire in 3000 B.C., and included chairs, wig boxes, and chests made of reed that was woven together. Wicker is the weaving process, not the material used. This type of furnishing was commonly used in the 16th and 17th centuries as well, but became highly popular in the Victorian period. One reason that type became so popular was the simplicity of it, and the fact that it could be woven into so many different styles and designs. People wanted durable and attractive furnishings to grace their gardens, conservatories, or expansive front yards. The lightweight and summery feel of these furnishings contributed to its popularity. There is no mention of certain types furnishings in the Bible, but some references to furniture remind us of how differently they lived then. “The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle, (Exodus 31:7) .
Wicker furnitures mainly include wicker bedside tables, wicker chairs, wicker sofas, wicker coffee tables, wicker lounge chairs and wicker cabinets. With a soft weaving surface, wicker furniture can not bear heavy things, so wicker baskets and wicker vase are familiar household wicker furnishings we have seen. Currently the rattan woven materials, manual and technical are mainly sourced from traditional Southeast Asian region, with rich ancient NTU’S custom flavors, they are welcomed more by peoples in middle-age.
Bedroom furnishings that are graceful in style and sturdily built is available in both adult and child-size furnishings. Even prams have been part of the wicker indoor furniture history. Hardwood frames provide the base for the weaving design in all of these pieces. The woven reeds are made to the size needed for the piece being constructed; then is steamed to make it pliable, is shaped for its intended use, then allowed to cool. When cooled down, the woven part retains its shape forever, providing a place of comfort for the owner, or a decorative piece.
There are several different materials that are used to make wicker outdoor furniture and wicker indoor furniture. The largest source is an Asian climbing palm tree found in tropical rain forests called Rattan. Rattancan grow to be as long as 600 feet, but usually is no more than two inches in diameter. Cane is the stem of the larger rattan trees, and fine cane is used to make natural wicker, or for stained pieces. Reed is a term used to describe all the swamp grasses that are similar to straw. Those early American chairs that are sometimes found in antique shops, or in the possession of collectors, are made of reed. Bamboo is classified as a large tropical grass that can grow to over 100 feet at a rage of 36” per day. Bamboo thrives in the warm areas of temperate climates.
Wicker Furniture’s Cleaning
The ease with which one can clean these pieces is another factor adding to its popularity. This material can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner to get rid of surface dirt, and brushing crevices with a new, clean paintbrush. Spills can be wiped up with a clean cloth dampened with mild detergent or Murphy’s Oil Soap in water. No need to hire someone to come out and clean. Water can ruin the finish, however, so one must be very cautious. The humidity level is important to the preservation of these pieces. Air that is too dry will make the reeds dry and brittle; while to high humidity subjects it to mold and mildew.
Wicker Furniture’s Export
In recent years the export value of imitated wicker furniture increased annually. As far as I see, the abroad market have more interests about China’s reproduced wicker furniture, Chinese reproduced wicker furniture are welcomed much by buyers from European and American, the Europeans are favorite for fashion and new trend wicker furnitures more, and Americans are seeking for antique and simple style ones.
Americans buy wicker outdoor furniture more than indoor. Its form provides very comfortable seating and convenient tables for the patio or yard during the months when it’s pleasant to entertain outdoors. White is often the preferred color for outdoors, but natural wood colors are used as well. When well taken care of, these pieces will last a very long time. When comes to wicker indoor furniture, pieces can be found for every room in the house, including the nursery. Living room chairs and couches in a variety of styles are available in this material, and dining room sets that are mostly casual in style.
Estimated by some a bold wicker art distributors, the sale season of wicker furniture has just begun, and will continue increasing significantly for the next five years. Some distributors also analysed that wicker furniture were considered as low-end furniture products for their coarse production and low levels of technology few years ago. But in recent years, as environmental and natural style become populared in market, a lot of furniturer distributors catched this great potential in the market, they all adopted new craftwork and technology to upgrade the design standards, enhance the product’s quality, so wicker furnitures become more and more welcomed in the market, and turn into a “new favorite” of the market.
How to Buy Wicker Outdoor Furniture?
Pick wicker furniture to set a decidedly romantic mood outdoors. Pay close attention to materials and weaves for wickers that are much more durable than they look.
– Work with wicker’s nature to find the best place in your garden to use it. Give it some protection from the elements by locating wicker on the porch, under the gazebo or out on the patio or deck.
– Make room for wicker’s sensual statement by creating a sitting group. Start with a love seat or two chairs and a table, and then look for the piece de resistance: a wicker rocking chair.
– Look closely at wicker materials besides all natural wood canes. Modern vinyl and vinyl/resin wickers look remarkably like the real thing but age much more slowly.
– Inspect pieces for tightly woven caning, with no splinters or gaps and smooth surfaces overall. Check leg bottoms for taps or casters to protect them.
– Sit down to see whether the wicker fits. Lean back, rest your arms and cross your legs – if you’re comfortable, it’s yours.
– Buy wicker pieces already assembled – wicker can be difficult to work with. Joints that are pieced together will tend toward instability no matter how skilled you are at assembly.
– Calculate delivery prices and logistics before buying. Include a set of furniture covers in that budget and buy them to fit your wicker for sure winter protection.
Designing your own Custom Made Baskets
Many of us have storage units which are crying out for a set of wicker baskets to keep toys, magazines, etc. tidy. When we can’t find baskets of the right size in the shops the logical next step is to have them made by a basket maker to fit exactly. If you are looking to do that, then here are some tips on how to design your perfect wicker baskets.
1)Measure the space accurately. Sounds obvious, but many mistakes are made in the measuring. You will need to give the width, depth and height of the space available.
2)Make sure you tell your basket maker that the measurements you have given are for the space available. They will then reduce those sizes appropriately so that the baskets fit comfortably.
3)Let them know whether the baskets are sitting side-by-side on the shelf, or if they have their own space.
4Working Baskets. Willow is available in different forms. With the bark on it is known as green or brown. Green or brown can be boiled for a couple of hours to create ‘steamed’ willow, which is a very dark brown colour, almost black. These types of willow have lovely textures and give colour to baskets, but they are not as strong as willow that is boiled and stripped of its’ bark. This is know as ‘buff’ willow, and is the willow used for picnic hampers, for example. If your baskets are going to be working baskets, then make sure they are made primarily from the stripped willow. Green, brown or steamed willow can be combined with the buff to give colour, but is best not used entirely for the basket, as when it dries, the rods will shrink more than buff willow and therefore can become loose.
5Baskets for decoration only. When your basket is purely for decoration, then using stripped, buff willow becomes less important. Here you are entirely concerned with the overall look of your basket.
6Weaving. There are many styles of weave. Some will give you a chunky, rustic feel to the basket and some will give a more elegant, fine finish to your baskets. Decide which style will look best in your environment and discuss the options with your basket maker.
7Space available. If you are filling a relatively small space, narrow perhaps, then you will want to optimise the internal space of the basket, by opting for what is known as a track border. Standard borders can be up to 2cm wide and therefore reduce the actual size of the basket where your external space is restricted. Track borders also give the baskets a finer look than standard borders.
8 Finger Holes/ Handles? Do you need finger holes or handles on your basket? If your baskets are fitting snugly in a unit then you will need some kind of handle or finger hole so that you can get the basket out of its’ space. Also if the basket is relatively large and is going to be carrying heavy weights you will need handles or finger holes to help you carry the basket. On small baskets where access is not restricted, you probably don’t need anything, as you can just pull out the basket using the top border and hold it underneath. Talk to your basket maker as to what type of handle is most appropriate for your basket.
9Basket Craftsmanship. Every basket you see has been made by someone. Basket making is not something that can be done by a machine, so quality can vary considerably. Quality of willow and quality of craftsmanship, so check out both thoroughly before choosing your basket maker.