Wicker is the art of putting or weaving material together to make products. The material here is either rattan, reeds, bamboo, or resin. The process involves the interweaving of horizontal strands of reeds into vertical strands to form various shapes. The horizontal strand passes over and under each vertical reed to form tight loops and create the needed strength.
Most rockers are products of this fantastic art. They have an additional curved pivot stand that allows back and forth swaying when one sits on them. Being outdoor chairs doesn’t mean one should leave them outside for extended periods. Wicker rockers are frail in harsh weather and need a lot of care to attain maximum longevity.
In this article, we will see the importance and how to care for your wicker furniture.
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First, Here are more Details on Wicker
Wicker is a method of making universal furniture. Seats from wicker are both for indoor and outdoor use.
This method has its roots in ancient Egypt, where they made furniture from the bark of trees. The most common material for this furniture is rattan. The materials used are all-natural and usually require little professional skills to put together.
Modern living rooms widely embrace this ancient design. It is common to spot a wicker rocking chair or other furniture in every house you visit nowadays.
During weaving, they moisten the reeds by putting them in warm water to make them flexible. When dry, the furniture becomes hard. In this state, you can not sit on them for long. Therefore, you should have a foam cushion as an added accessory for maximum comfort.
Besides the all-natural wicker, other forms of synthetic wicker exist. These alternatives are from polyethylene resin fibers. There are also pre-woven fibers, that when making wicker furniture, you cut to your desired shapes. After that, you use furniture glue or nails to fasten the edges.
Natural wicker vs. synthetic wicker
Natural wicker furniture is from the bark of trees, while synthetic is man made. Meaning, the synthetic form of wicker is more durable than that from rattan. We will frequently reference rattan since it is the primary material used in this type of furniture.
Most synthetic wicker chairs are resin made, which is a polyethylene material. We call seats made from this the resin wicker chairs. These are the best outdoor chair options since they are more resilient to weather changes.
The resin outdoor chairs are also easy to clean and are usually water-resistant because of their finishing, which comprises an outer coating with lacquer. The lacquer, a paint product, gives them a shiny look and prevents soaking when the seats get in contact with fluids.
Because they are synthetic, they last long and are firm, giving them an advantage over the natural wicker rockers that cave easily with long-term pressure.
Natural fibres stain easily from any paltry amount of moisture. So, if you want bright colored wicker furniture, go for the synthetic ones. These are easy to clean because of the outer coat.
Can One Leave Wicker Furniture Outside in the Rain?
From the above descriptions, the answer to this question is both yes and no. But I would advise that we focus on the ”NO” answer. Because even with resin outdoor chairs, there are still some wooden parts that need care.
When you keep them in moisture for long, the wood absorbs water and expands. With time, your seat snags and becomes unstable. You may no longer fancy spending time on it.
Here Are the Effects of Rain on Wicker Rockers
Rain is the leading cause of moisture in outdoor furniture. Here is what happens:
Reduced Aesthetic Values
Often, after spending time in the sun or a cool breeze from the winds, we forget to lift our chair back inside with us. When it rains, the furniture gets damp, making the reeds shrink. After a while, you expose them to the sun again, causing expansion and drying.
If this process continues, your furniture will not hold any weight after some time. The chairs get uncomfortable.
Moisture also changes the color of the furniture. You will start to notice an awkward fade on your chairs. Mostly, it will be a tough whitish stain. Water will also make the paint on resins wicker to peel off.
When the water dries off, some stain will remain on your chair, as well. This will change the look of your once-favorite seats, reducing their value.
Moisture Traps Odors Easily
When the chair is moist, it keeps the smell of anything that spills on it. Even after the moisture dries, the odor will persist. This creates an uncomfortable stench that will force you to change your entire furniture. With resin wicker chairs, this is not much of a trouble since they are waterproof.
Another cause for unpleasant odor in furniture is molding. Remember, wicker comes from living plants, so molds quickly grow on it in high humidity. When this happens, there will be a musty smell on your chairs.
General Damage and Home Accidents
When you continuously expose your wicker furniture to harsh conditions, the reeds get weak and split. The splits will cause loose, uneven ends that can cause injuries to people who walk by.
You can also sustain injuries from a fall because the chairs get weak to hold any weight.
Tips for Protecting Your Wicker Furniture From Moisture
All extreme weather is detrimental to this kind of furniture. Moisture, however, does the most damage. Here are tips for caring for your outdoor wicker furniture.
- Always remember to carry them back inside with you after spending time outdoors.
- Go for resin rocker chairs if you want permanent outdoor furniture. These types are all-weather. They can endure rainfall and heat.
- Always sit with them under structured shades. You can construct such areas using waterproof tents. The shade will prevent water from reaching your seats when it rains.
- Use a well-squeezed cloth to wipe the surfaces when they get dirty. If you use an overly soaked cloth, the reeds will suck water and become damp.
- Don't overexert weight on wicker chairs. Unlike normal seats, these are more friable.
- Always reinforce split ends and replace the paint as soon as possible before they roll out completely.
- You don't want your seats getting muddy. Always wipe off all dust to prevent it from mixing with water when it rains.
- Always check the edges for any splits.
- Lastly, if your rockers get into contact with water, ensure you allow them ample time to dry under the sun. Using hot heaters to dry them is not ideal since those may overdry them.
Wicker rockers can be one of the fanciest yet friable pieces of furniture. A little too much moisture in their way, and their once beautiful frame fades off. This, however, depends on the material used for that seat. The best material for outdoor rockers is resin. And for indoor wicker, is rattan or any other natural wicker. There are several ways to increase the life of your rockers. The key among them is to keep them as far from moisture as possible.
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