This article intends to educate you and leave you with an appreciation for quality craftsmanship (and good prices). Although you want to make sure you invest in quality materials, overpaying for the same product will leave you feeling cheated. Let’s get started!
How to Tell Quality Apart from the Cheap Stuff
Cheap wicker is made out of plastic materials that will scratch, tear, and unravel over time. As you know, plastic is not biodegradable and will eventually fill our landfills with trash. Cheap wicker will look and feel fake. It will appear to look like a shiny piece of vinyl. Plastic wicker furniture is flimsy and will also stick to your skin when you sit on it. You will notice inconsistent texture in the material.
Quality wicker is made out of a material called Polyethylene. Polyethylene is a synthetic resin that is eco-friendly and safe for the environment! Some strands are infused with UV inhibitors that prevent fading due to exposure to the sun. Polyethylene is highly durable, low-maintenance, and is made to withstand the elements. It is resistant to cracking, scratching, and fading. Plus it’s a sustainable material!
Now you may be quick to assume that it’s a great deal because they purchase in bulk. While that may be partially true, the material and quality of these wicker sets are incomparable to those made with Polyethylene (PE). Polyethylene is very hard but also retains certain a level of resilience and flexibility. Resistant to cracking and scratching, it’s the best material for outdoor wicker furnishings.
What is wicker?
Wicker is a woven fibre, and can be made using synthetic or organic materials. For garden furniture, it is usually the synthetic option that is used because it’s weatherproof and is much more hard working. It’s also possible to have it UV stabilised, protecting it from cracking or snapping when it becomes exposed to the sun. This sort of protection is known as all-weather wicker, or all-weather rattan.
Organic wicker is also strong and durable, but is much better used inside the home, perhaps in a garden room or conservatory. Unless you are willing to carry it through the house into the garden, every time that you want to sit outside in the sun, or just enjoy an evening out back, transportation can be done with at least two people. Left outside, wicker can develop mould in damp conditions and might even become brittle in the heat of the sun – at Desser we do provide a number of aftercare products and will always be able to help you with any questions you have.
Synthetic wicker furniture is made all around the world in various different qualities and styles. Indonesia has been well-known for a long time for producing top quality synthetic wicker, while Vietnamese wicker is also of a good quality. Again, please get in contact to find out more information about our lines of wicker furniture, and to find out which part of the world we source it from.
Well-built wicker furniture is professionally hand-woven, doing just a few rows at a time. When manufacturers attempt to maximize quantity instead of quality, the wicker is woven in rows of 10 at a time. This often results in patterns that sway in a certain direction and spacing that is not identical or symmetrical. Low quality weave will stray from one side to the other. This is because it is nearly impossible to adjust PE strands and keep them straight when working with such a large number of rows.
Most consumers aren’t aware of the tedious process involved in making genuine wicker furniture. The outcome is a simple and sleek piece of outdoor furnishing that will complete your outdoor kitchen patio.
Let’s just clarify something for those who are a bit confused. Some people use wicker and rattan interchangeably. They are not the same. Wicker is a type of weave and rattan is a type of material.
Build quality is also an important aspect in choosing a piece of furniture. Rattan weaving should be tight & even especially at corners & joints. It is also important to turn the furniture over to check on the workmanship; you can often see the build quality better from underneath. There shouldn’t be any loose ends of rattan or visible staples.
Frames should be made of aluminum tubes as they are light and won’t rust. A powder coating would also improve the longevity of a piece of furniture as it will protect the metal from the elements.
Weight bearing furniture like sofas & chairs, should have “support lines” under seats (as shown here). Without these “support lines”, the seat will sag when used. They should be made of wicker not metal tube, if they are made of metal, the seat will be uncomfortable to sit on.
Choose wicker that suits your space
Wicker furniture can allow you to transform your garden or inside living space into something that looks and feels completely different, improving your ability to relax and providing a suitable seating solution for a number of different situations. Wicker creates a fabulous setting for almost any occasion; you could create a living room style setting outside, on the patio, terrace, deck or lawn. This allows the family to sit together, enjoying long, relaxed evening meals – utilising your beautiful wicker furniture.
Our dining chairs have supportive backs and deep, comfortable cushions, whilst the equally comforting armrests make mealtimes more enjoyable and relaxing. At Desser, you can choose from a number of contemporary curvaceous wicker designs – all of our furniture is generous with seating space and armrests, letting you sit down comfortably but also allowing your space to feel free and properly relaxing to stretch out.
How to choose the best wicker furniture
All types of wicker furniture are not the same, there are plenty of differences between different lines and styles and it is important to understand what they are, no matter how subtle or how big those differences actually are.
You always need to consider the type of wicker you want as you are able to buy both flat and round types. Round wicker is more durable and robust whilst flat wicker is more likely to fade or maybe even snap. If you’re not sure about what you want, don’t hesitate to ask us.
It’s important to make sure that your wicker is UV stabilised so that it will last a long time. Make sure to look at the cushions, making sure that they are well-filled so you will be comfortable for longer, and as long as you would be on standard indoor furniture. Also make sure that the cushions are UV stabilised so that they maintain their good looks, especially when subjected to sunlight which can make patterns fade.