Wicker furniture has a long history that goes back almost 5,000 years. The word “wicker” comes from Scandinavia and is a combination of the words wika (to bend) and vikka (willow). Wicker has been around for thousands of years and is one of the oldest furniture-making techniques in recorded history.

Wicker is traditionally made of plant materials such as willow, rattan, reed and bamboo. Modern wicker refers to products woven from synthetic fibres. It is light yet strong making it ideal for products that are moved around often, such as porch and patio furniture. Wicker outdoor sofa are perfect for outdoor entertaining.

Ancient History

In Egypt, wicker items were made from reed and swamp grasses. Archaeologists working on the tombs of wealthy pharaohs have uncovered wicker chests, baskets, wig boxes and chairs. It has also been found on ancient battlefields where the technique was used to make shields.

Wicker baskets have been in use since the beginning. Almost every ancient culture developed the technique of weaving natural materials into baskets for carrying and storing items. The tradition of wicker making passed from Egypt and Persia to ancient Rome.

It was so useful that Romans elevated it to a high art. Rome had such an influence on the world in its time that the use of wicker spread throughout the entire Mediterranean region.

The 19th Century saw the popularity of wicker increase in Europe, England and North America. It was used for both outdoor and indoor furniture and accessories. In the Victorian era, it was believed to be more sanitary than upholstered furniture. It was inexpensive, resisted harsh weather conditions, and was adaptable to many different styles.

Wicker is as popular today as it was in ancient times. Many people still prefer wicker over outdoor furniture materials.

Manufacture

Wicker furniture making is an art that has been passed down through many generations. It takes patience, skill, and an understanding of the materials used in its making. Wicker refers to the technique of weaving natural or synthetic fibres.

Natural materials like cane and rattan are mostly used for indoor furniture because they require protection from outdoor elements. Bamboo and reed are more robust offering better durability and last longer in outdoor environments.

Synthetic wickers made from resins like vinyl have become increasingly popular for buyers who are looking for easy-to-maintain options. Resin wicker can withstand high temperatures making it ideal for outdoor use. Other materials can start to mould if exposed to too much rainwater. Synthetic materials add versatility by having a wider range of colours available than natural materials.

When it comes to natural wicker materials made outside Australia, the Department of Health requires them to be treated before entering the country. It’s another reason for the popularity of modern synthetic wicker products.

The specific weaving technique depends on the design of the product. A traditional wicker weave may require under-and-over, double weaving, pairing, waling, or triple twist depending on what the final piece looks like.

Wicker furniture is available in a wide variety of colours, shapes, sizes and quality so you can find something that fits your tastes.