What is a Wicker Chair?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

A wicker chair is a type of furniture design that makes use of wicker. In many cases, the chair is composed entirely of wicker. Other designs call for the use of a basic frame created with some other type of material and then covered by woven sections of wicker. While a wicker chair may be used with ease in many rooms of the home, wicker furniture is more commonly used on patios or porches.

A wicker chair may be used with ease in just about any room of the house.
A wicker chair may be used with ease in just about any room of the house.

In order to understand the nature of a wicker chair, it is first necessary to know the definition of true wicker. Wicker is slender and very flexible branches of wood, usually willow, reeds, or some types of canes. While wicker and a similar product known as rattan are sometimes considered to be the same type of material, they are slightly different in nature. However, the extreme flexibility of both materials make it possible to weave the slender twigs and branches into sturdy baskets and pieces of furniture.

Wicker chairs and other wicker furniture may be found at flea markets.
Wicker chairs and other wicker furniture may be found at flea markets.

As with many types of chairs, wicker chairs come in a wide range of designs. A wicker patio chair may sport a large and rounded back coupled with an ample seat and graceful arms. The wicker chair may be a combination of hardwoods and wicker, making it possible to create a pleasant yet simple design sporting four legs rather than a woven base. A wicker bistro chair may be a combination of elongated metal legs with a wicker seat and short backrest. The design of wicker furniture in general ranges from the traditional to the eclectic in today’s market.

A wicker chair may be treated with a clear sealant in order to preserve the natural look of the material, or painted to match the décor for any space. It is not unusual for wicker to be painted a pristine white when the idea is to use the furniture in a Florida room or an enclosed patio area. The painting is usually accomplished using some type of paint sprayer in order to ensure that the color is uniform over the surface of the woven material and covers all the small nooks and crannies that are part of the weave.

Purchasing a wicker chair is a relatively easy task. Most retail outlets that carry lawn or patio furniture will offer one or two wicker furniture options. Decorating boutiques are an excellent source of wicker when there is a desire for something more unique for use in the home, a patio, or a front porch. There are also some excellent buys on sturdy wicker chairs and other wicker furniture found at many flea markets and antique malls.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


If you have wooden wicker furniture on your porch or patio, you should consider covering or taking it indoors in the winter months. Over time, wind, rain, and snow will damage the wicker and cause splintering. Protecting your wicker from the weather will help it last for many years.


While wicker chairs are typically made of various kinds of wood, some companies make them using plastic or vinyl. Chairs made of this type of wicker look like traditional wicker furniture. However, I have found that wicker furniture made of plastic or vinyl is more durable than wooden wicker furniture. It doesn't splinter, and it holds up nicely when exposed to the elements.

People who have cats may also find that this type of wicker furniture is better for them than wooden wicker. Many cats will use wicker furniture as scratching posts. However, they can not damage plastic or vinyl wicker with their nails.

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