Using Wicker Furniture for Your Outdoor Space


After you have created a beautiful outdoor area and garden with the help of landscaping experts, you will need to purchase alfresco furniture to make it comfortable. There are many different types available and some people choose wicker furniture because it is strong, light and attractive option, especially if it is to be moved around much. A lightweight option will save muscle strain and backaches especially if there is only one person available to move it.

The original wicker was made from a variety of plant materials –

  • Bamboo
  • Willow
  • Reed
  • Cane or
  • Rattan

It was popular in days gone by and many people still look for it because they have fond memories of using it when visiting their grandparent’s home. They may not remember in those childhood days just what all the problems were with such furniture. It could not be left outside all the time because it would soon rot. If stored in a damp basements it would quickly go mouldy and be difficult to clean.  Not to mention it was difficult to clean once dirt or dust got into those small crevices. Don’t forget grandma most likely didn’t have a vacuum cleaner or even a hose to help out with cleaning tasks.

Man-made wicker

These days there is a different type of wicker furniture available, as well as the original kind. Wicker furniture that many furniture stores keep is not made from plant material, but from thin strips of vinyl, fibreglass or plastic. These man-made fibres are then woven together to create furniture that is not only attractive, but can stand up to any amount of weather, so it ideal for outside use.

If you are looking at wicker furniture, you may not be able to tell the difference between the man-made material and the plant-based material, so if you want it to use in your outdoor space, always check to see which one it is first. Unfortunately, the man-made kind is quite a bit more expensive than the other. But to offset that, it is going to last for many years rather than rotting out in one or two years, so it is the better buy.

Caring for plant based wicker furniture

If you truly want the plant based wickerwork, make sure you keep the furniture inside or on a veranda that is sheltered from the rain. It should be vacuumed frequently and can be hosed down occasionally. Mould can be removed with a solution of bleach, but only if the wickerwork is still sealed with paint.

Manmade wicker work should be cleaned with a hose. Very often, such furniture has frames made from metal of some kind, so it’s not advisable to wash it with bleach.  That said, it is not nearly as likely to develop mould because the material does not absorb moisture.