Blog by Wicker Paradise
Have you wondered what gives wicker furniture its one-of-a-kind texture and shape? How do artisans create an aesthetically pleasing, structurally sound piece of furniture out of plant-based materials? The process of making wicker furniture is a millennia-old tradition of weaving and craftsmanship.
Wicker furniture dates back to the ancient Middle East and Mediterranean, where people adapted the same technique used to make woven baskets to make reeds and grass into chairs that were more comfortable and breathable than those made of hard surfaces such as stone. Today’s techniques for making wicker furniture are similar in some ways and different in others. For example, the intricate weaving of materials such as reeds is still present in modern wicker furniture, but there is a wider variety of materials wicker furniture can be made from, such as rattan, bamboo, cane, or even synthetic resin. From this, we see that wicker is not a type of material, but a technique for creating furniture with a type of woven pattern.
Before the weaving starts, craftsmen must make a frame to support the furniture piece. The parts of the frame can be made from material similar to the woven areas, such as bamboo, rattan, and wood, or they can be made from metals such as aluminum. After this, the wicker layers are laid along the frame. Strands of the chosen material are woven horizontally and vertically so that they are perpendicular to each other. This classic perpendicular “over-and-under” weaving method is the most well known weaving pattern, but artisans have learned how to add different levels of complexity to this pattern, resulting in variances in appearance and texture across the many pieces of wicker furniture made worldwide.
Weaving wicker furniture is a lengthy and intricate process that can take weeks, depending on the complexity of the project. The weave must be tight enough to be sturdy, but not so tight that it becomes easily broken. After the frame is completely covered in the desired woven pattern, the furniture must be prepared for a customer’s use by sanding and smoothing it out, painting it, and adding a stain, finish, or sealant. Wax and lacquer are popular finishes to add to wicker furniture.
No one understands the dedication and creativity of the craftsmen who create these works of art more than the people at Wicker Paradise. Their collection of beautiful, exquisitely crafted wicker furniture is full of pieces that are sure to catch your eye. You can also get outdoor replacement cushions from them.