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The Complete Guide To Synthetic Wicker Furniture
Wicker outdoor patio furniture has always been durable, but it was not until the arrival of synthetic wicker furniture that its aesthetics caught up with its brawn. Quality all-weather wicker furniture is impervious to the forces of both Mother Nature and your day to day use. In fact, it will not:
It accomplishes all this and still requires no maintenance. But how?
- fade in the sun
- become brittle and crack in the cold
- blemish when splashed with red wine
What is Synthetic Wicker Fiber?
Unlike traditional wicker furniture which is woven from abaca (palm) strands, modern outdoor wicker furniture is woven from new weather resistant synthetics that are far more durable than abaca. Make sure you know what type of synthetic is used to make your furniture, as not all synthetics perform alike, and some are also extremely toxic!
Please do not purchase any outdoor furniture made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Not only is PVC a less durable choice, but it emits toxic compounds during production and decomposition that are very harmful to the environment.
Be Green, Choose Polyethylene (PE)
As long as you know that the outdoor wicker furniture set that you are interested in is made from Polyethylene, then you do not have to purchase a brand name synthetic wicker fiber. However, like most industries, many furniture manufacturers and retailers will tell you whatever it takes to make a sale. If you are unsure, brand name fibers such as Ecolene®, Rehau® and Viro® are a guarantee that you are purchasing top quality furniture that does not destroy the planet.
How Long Does Synthetic Wicker Furniture Last?
Quality synthetic wicker furniture can resist fading and cracking for decades. When combined with quality outdoor fabrics such as Sunbrella and other outdoor rated fabrics, synthetic wicker furniture will keep its color far longer than traditional outdoor furniture. It is truly amazing!
100% Prime Aluminum Frames
Avoid steel! When exposed to the elements steel will rust. Even if powder coated steel will rust because the powder coating will inevitably become scratched with use and expose the steel. Not only is rust ugly, but as steel rusts it expands and weakens.
Our competitors say that Aluminum does not rust, which is actually half-true. Aluminum will oxidize when exposed to the elements but you cannot see it like you can on steel or iron. Aluminum "rust" is the same color as regular aluminum so it will stay beautiful for decades. Furthermore, it does not expand and weaken like steel so you will never be faced with flimsy patio furniture again! Because of its non-corrosive properties, aluminum is also used to make important components in the automotive industry as well as in spacecrafts and rockets. For long lasting outdoor furniture, buy aluminum!
Outdoor Furniture Design
It's important to look at the way wicker furniture is designed as some synthetic wicker furniture can look cheap and very fake. Furniture weaved from perfectly smooth strands with no texture will be glossy and look unnatural. To solve this, some manufacturers will add multiple colors to each strand in attempt to make the strands look natural. However the best way to make synthetic wicker furniture look and feel natural is by combining natural colors in a single strand along with textured ridges. This way each strand has texture and dimension, each strand is unique, and with so many angles, each strand will pick up and reflect light naturally rather than have a glare like cheap plastic.
Outdoor Furniture Pricing
You may have noticed a wide range of pricing online and in stores for various outdoor wicker furniture sets. There are many reasons why one set may cost three to four times as much as another. Here is a quick list of ways cheap importers cut quality to offer better pricing, and why you should avoid these cheap products:
- Cheap Synthetic – Cheap sets will use low quality PVC instead of Polyethylene. PVC will break down faster than Polyethylene and is toxic to the environment. Also, PVC is not recyclable. It is not good for customers and it is not good for the enviroment.
- Cheap Frames – Cheap sets will use thin steel instead of aluminum to make the furniture frame, causing them to rust and bend with use.
- Glossy Wicker Strands – Cheap wicker will look very plastic and can have a bad glare. Avoid synthetic wicker furniture that does not have textured wicker strands.
- Style – Quality designs are worth paying for. A nicely designed sofa set for example will bring you years of enjoyment. A design that's "just ok" or "good enough" can look out of place with your other furniture as well. Remember that synthetic wicker furniture is designed to last a very long time! Choose a design that you will love for years over the one that you only like a little.
Let us know if you have any questions about outdoor furniture. We take pride in providing the most knowledgeable customer service staff in the industry and would love to help you get the product you are looking for, even if it's not with us. Just give us a call or shoot us an email.