11 August 2015
Synthetic Outdoor Wicker Furniture-Everything You Need to Know
What is synthetic outdoor wicker?
Synthetic outdoor wicker is a fiber made from resins and extruded to resemble natural fibers and materials. It is built to be completely weather and solar resistant so the outdoor furniture lasts longer and looks the same as when new. Additionally, synthetic wicker has a natural ability to shed dirt and dust, making it exceptionally well suited to those who require low maintenance materials/furniture.
Synthetic outdoor wicker is a spectacular material choice for outdoor furniture. With the continual advancement in technology across premium material providers, this fiber has become a truly versatile and beautiful choice.
Design Warehouse utilizes only ultra-premium outdoor wicker materials, including those from Viro®, Rehau® and Ecolene®.
Each manufacturer produces their own unique fiber with characteristics that are perfect for long-lasting, beautiful outdoor furniture. But what is synthetic wicker; why would you choose synthetic over natural and what are the qualities of such a fiber?
We’d like to answer all of your synthetic wicker questions.
Why is synthetic often preferable to natural outdoor wicker?
Natural materials are beautiful and often have ecological benefits associated with them (if sourced sustainably). But when it comes to the realities of nature, the usage of outdoor furniture, and the need for products that last a long time in adverse conditions, natural wickers more often than not, fall flat.
Natural materials in wicker furniture are much more susceptible to moisture damage and UV damage. They look wonderful for a couple years and then the effects of constant UV exposure and moisture retention are manifested in the faded colors, cracked surfaces and stretching on your furniture pieces. Synthetic outdoor wicker closely resembles the look of natural wicker fibers, and retains the best qualities of the finest natural wickers (springiness without mushiness; tight weave patterns and strength). Synthetic outdoor wicker also is immune to the harsh outdoor environmental effects that harm natural fibers. UV light is not a problem for synthetic wickers. It is made from the same resin composites that the finest automobile manufacturers use for their dashboards, which are expected to be exposed to sunlight 12 hours a day 365 days a year. It is also a sophisticated material that retains no moisture, meaning there is not an opportunity for rot, mildew, weakness or expansion. Natural fibers cannot boast these same capabilities.
Technology in outdoor wicker has been so good as to afford the most natural looking product ever. New textures, extrusion processes and colors with more depth, bring a new dimension to synthetic fibers for high-end furniture. Additionally, colors that were previously never available give a different approach, with vibrant and variable color schemes allowing for placement of outdoor furniture in more modern and contemporary settings than previously possible.
Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of synthetic fibers when comparing to natural products is the ability to act like natural materials, while being able to retain the lowest possible maintenance schedule and the least amount of care to keep it in optimum condition. Because the synthetic fibers don’t absorb moisture or degrade in sunlight due to UV rays, they last much longer than natural fibers.
This makes synthetic outdoor wicker furniture a perfect choice for commercial applications, part time tenant homes and estates and for those who simply don’t want to have a rigorous maintenance requirement. Often times, a semi-annual rinse down with clean water is all these synthetic outdoor wicker furniture pieces need.
This low maintenance adds to synthetic outdoor wicker’s long list of properties to make it unique in the world of outdoor furniture. It is approachable and forgiving; can withstand wild variations and extremes in weather and outdoor conditions; is easy to care for, looks amazing and lasts a long time without any noticeable degradation in integrity or looks.
Consumers want great looking, great feeling outdoor furniture that doesn’t require hours and hours of maintenance and which do not lose important capabilities due to weather fluctuations. High end Synthetic outdoor Wicker does that.
Design Warehouse uses only top tier synthetic wicker fibers made by Viro®, Rehau® and Ecolene®, because we know and trust the brands and the fibers have an impressive track record around the world.
How is outdoor wicker furniture constructed?
We weave the high end fibers made by Viro®, Rehau® or Ecolene® onto welded, custom fabricated aluminium and Steel Frames, powder-coated to protect against corrosion and to provide a cohesive look. Our master craftspeople have many years of experience and operate in factories in areas world renown for the weaving arts. We use materials that are built to handle extreme outdoor conditions and we finish them for style, functionality and long-term ownership.
Some of the uses for our high-end outdoor wicker is as internal coating for the dashboards of vehicles. This has had a different extrusion method to get the look and feel of leather fabric. The minimum heat testing parameters for these fibers was intense and it has been proven to be a worthwhile test: these fibers have now survived many years of use in the harshest of climates.
The use of synthetic fibers is now being developed in Italy as an outdoor fabric. This is also a different extrusion method, whereas the fiber is made the size of cotton then made into bolts of fabric. Design Warehouse was one of the first to introduce this amazing material on our outdoor seating collections and private label ranges; it has been met with with great success.
Why Viro® synthetic outdoor wicker?
Viro® is a super natural looking and feeling fiber. It is an innovative fiber capable of mimicking natural fibers in appearance and feel. Viro® has a natural feel and flex that makes it super comfortable and easy to love. The natural color tones are full of depth and really do make the fiber appear as close to natural as possible. The unique color blends have the tendency to be able to bring together varied color palettes in spaces with existing furniture or where the background is a complicated scene of color and imagery.
Why Rehau® synthetic outdoor wicker?
Rehau® is like Viro® with the exception the colors tend to be bright and reflective, also they show earth tones and these are very flexible and stable fibers. The consistency and finished look of Rehau® fibers makes it a beautiful and versatile synthetic outdoor wicker. The variations of round fibers and flat make Rehau® an excellent fiber for those who want subtlety in style and design in their space while being able to ensure the long-term durability of their furniture in fluctuating outdoor conditions.
Why Ecolene® synthetic outdoor wicker?
Ecolene® is all about vibrant colors and new looks for Synthetic outdoor wicker. You can find a color palette unlike any other in the Ecolene® range, with bright colors becoming essentially a trademark for the company. Ecolene® also offers beautiful surface finish variations to help a customer, custom tailor the outdoor furniture to their exact needs. From smooth extrusions for minimalist and modern or contemporary settings in bold colors, to textured surface finishes with subtle colors for those who need more blending and less impact from a piece or a collection. Design Warehouse has many gorgeous pieces of outdoor furniture made with the innovative Ecolene® fiber; all wound tightly around powder-coated metal frames to ensure long life, good looks and solid feel.
What can I expect from a maintenance perspective with synthetic outdoor wicker?
As mentioned earlier, synthetic outdoor wicker is a wonderful material for those who detest maintenance schedules and expensive cleaners. You basically need water to clean and maintain the synthetic outdoor wicker furniture we sell. Even then, it doesn’t have to be cleaned that often. 15-30 minutes twice a year will keep your outdoor furniture looking brand new.
Click for detailed information on Cleaning and Caring for your Synthetic Outdoor Wicker Furniture.
Design Warehouse knows that building furniture that lasts an exceptionally long time, with designs that are timeless and service that is spectacular, is the way to cultivating a wonderful relationship with our clients. Synthetic outdoor wicker made by Viro®, Rehau® and Ecolene®; woven by our craftsmen and utilizing designs like we have in our portfolio delivers on all these concepts gives the look of natural fibers, the longevity to last generations and the maintenance you desire in a single portfolio of outdoor furniture.
Be aware of the source of your outdoor wicker. Always ask where the wicker is made. Be clear about the manufacturer's name so you can research its durability, reputation and history. Use a recognizable, proven brand and you can rest assured your outdoor wicker furniture will give you years of satisfaction and good looks.
The outdoor wicker industry is full of fiber weaves that do not stand the test of time. It's unfortunate that many of these substandard examples can be seen in public commercial use. This is obviously not desirable. When choosing the right outdoor wicker, the highest quality is the best option, it is more expensive in the beginning but not in the long run.
Use the following links to find Outdoor Wicker Furniture: