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What is Wicker and What is it Made from?

by Household Essentials • October 16, 2019
What is Wicker and What is it Made from?

History of Wicker

Household Essentials Seagrass Decorative Wicker Baskets, Set of 3

Wicker furniture is found in many homes around the world and is considered to be a very durable, sturdy type of furniture that can be used for both indoor and outdoor uses. However, many might not know that Wicker has an extensive history that spans 5,000 years to the present day. It is actually to be considered the oldest type of furniture-making technique in the history of the world. Ancient Egyptians are the supposed inventors of Wicker furniture. It was from Egyptian culture that Wicker furniture was passed on to other Ancient Civilizations, eventually to Rome spreading to European countries, and then finally arriving to America on the Mayflower in the form of a baby carriage.


Colorful Indoor Outdoor Resin Wicker Foot Stool Ottoman Storage Basket

So what exactly is Wicker? Wicker actually doesn’t pertain a type of material, but rather a weaving technique that results in a very sturdy, long-lasting piece of furniture. Throughout the history of Wicker, the materials used to weave these unique pieces of furniture had changed based on the innovations of the time. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, wicker furniture had been hand-woven. It wasn’t until a company in the late 1800’s  named, The Heywood-Wakefield Company,  manufactured wicker furniture using a loom that would automate the process of weaving. Since then, the popularity of Wicker furniture transitioned in and out of the trends, but it never seemed to completely disappear. According to a design trend guide issued by PatioProductions, wicker furniture has gained popularity in patio furniture in 2018 and is projected to have the same success in 2019. The reason for its popularity is that many people are looking for a more exciting look for their patio and indoor furniture as opposed to the common plastic furniture that can give the appearance of lower-quality. Patio- furniture and indoor furniture with mixed materials such as Wicker give a more exotic, interesting look which is refreshing for those that want something of higher quality.


What is Wicker Furniture made from?

Wicker furniture has been made of various materials through history. Essentially, anything that is able to be woven can make up a piece of Wicker furniture. However, there are five types of fibers that have stood the test of time and are ideal for making all types of Wicker furniture.


Paper Rope 3-Drawer Chest, Black
Paper Rope - A  man-made fiber that is essentially a chemically treated twisted kraft paper. It was meant to emulate Victorian wicker furniture from the early 1800’s.


Seagrass/Rattan 5-Drawer Storage Tower
Seagrass - Is a sturdy, textured material that comes from Indonesia, Thailand, and The Philippines. It is extremely durable and has an island look to it, bringing a fresh look to any outside or indoor space.
Rattan - Comes from Southeast Asia and is essentially a tropical palm tree. Rattan is one of the strongest woods available making it a great material for building long lasting furniture.


Indoor Outdoor Resin Wicker Arch-Leg Coffee Table
Resin -  Made from high-density polyethylene, a plastic that is not known to leach harmful chemicals or contain formaldehyde. It is usually used as a higher end alternative to plastic chairs.


Large Curved Wicker Storage Chest with Liner- Water Hyacinth
Water Hyacinth -  Water Hyacinth is an extremely fast-growing plant that is similar to rattan. It is a raw material that can be easily used in its natural state without much of a manufacturing process.

All five materials have many commonalities that include being light-weight and minimalistic, perfect for creating eco-friendly furniture that can be used both indoor and outdoor.

Wicker furniture has been appreciated for centuries and according to several design trends it doesn’t seem like it will be going anywhere anytime soon. Rather, it simply keeps evolving with the times, making it a truly timeless method of creating quality of furniture. Interested in sprucing your indoor or outdoor space with timeless Wicker furniture? Check out our Wicker Collection here. Feel free to reach out to us here at Household Essentials, we will be happy to help!

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