What is Wicker Furniture?

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  • Written By: KN
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2019
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Wicker refers to a slender flexible branch, vine, or grass that is woven into a pattern. Wickerwork is the resulting form created by weaving or interlacing wicker. Wicker furniture then, is furniture that is made from weaving branches around a frame and into the shapes of tables, chairs, and sofas. Wicker furniture can be fashioned out of willow, rattan, bamboo, reed, or synthetic materials. Wicker furniture is available with natural, stained or painted surfaces; some wicker furniture has been dipped in a special coating to resist fading and reduce flaking and cracking.

Tropical settings and casual rooms lend themselves to the use of indoor wicker furniture particularly well because of its light and airy nature, which is many times paired with colorfully patterned cushions. Wicker furniture is also popular as child-scaled furniture or as furnishings for a young woman's bedroom. Another popular use for wicker furniture is as outdoor patio furniture. Because of its comparable light weight, the furniture is easy to position around the yard and easy to move indoors when the seasons change - just remember to bring non-synthetic wicker furniture indoors during a summer shower. In addition to outdoor and indoor furniture, wicker is also made into objects such as lampshades, chests, hampers, planters, porch swings, baby bassinets and carriages.


The use of wicker for household objects dates back to when ancient civilizations used it for baskets and chair seats. The oldest wicker pieces still in existence, storage boxes and hassocks, date back to the time of Cleopatra. During the Victorian era in the mid-1800s, wicker furniture came back into vogue because the Victorians believed that its smooth surface was more hygienic than upholstered furniture.

Despite that belief, caring for wicker furniture can be problematic. The very nature of their woven surfaces causes them to be dust magnets. For maintenance of your wicker furniture, follow these easy steps:

  • Vacuum or dust regularly and treat with clear furniture polish
  • Protect your wicker furniture by applying a thin layer of clear lacquer
  • For deeply soiled areas, wipe your wicker furniture gently with mild soap and water
  • Dry your wicker furniture quickly if it gets wet - standing water can cause cracking or gaps between the weave
  • For sharp edges or cracks, sand carefully with fine-grade sandpaper

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Discuss this Article

Post 3

@ Babalaas- I have seen discount wicker furniture like what you are talking about on sites like Amazon and Overstock. I have also seen metal and wicker patio furniture at big chain furniture stores too. I would say just go to a furniture store you like and ask the manager or rep if they carry what you are looking for. They may be able to at least point you in the right direction.

Post 2

@ Babalaas- I often go out for sushi and drinks with my fiancée in Scottsdale and there are a few places that have modern wicker garden furniture on their patios. What you are looking for does exist, but where you will find them, I don't know. The ones I have seen are not steel and wicker, but they do look very modern and trendy. I don't know where they can be purchased, but they look like pieces you might find at Denmarket or Ikea. Search and you shall find.

Post 1

I like the versatility of wicker furniture, but I hate the arched style with thick rolled edges. Has anyone seen wicker furniture that is a little more modern, and not so 1950s Vietnam/Hawaii? I am not looking for wicker that my grandmother would admire. I live in the desert, and I have a covered patio that is essentially an extension of my house. There is a grill with a eating bar and grape vines growing up the posts and lattice to block the hot Arizona sun. I think that sleek style and wicker furniture would look great on the patio, but I do not know if they make such a thing. Where can I find modern wicker furniture sets?

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