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Wricker Furniture

When it comes to redecorating, you should not overlook the possibilities that can be produced with wicker furniture. The wicker made today is much different from what you bought in the 1970s. In fact, the use of wicker has been around since 2500 BC and today, there are so many different styles and materials for wicker that you can achieve any look you want.

For starters, you might hear wicker referred to as rattan or rotan. This material is the main source for making wicker, which includes the skin, pole, and every aspect of the furniture. The two main types of wicker include paper fiber and reed. Rattan and rotan is imported form Malaysia, Southeast Asia, China, and the Philippines. Looking like grapevine, rattan or raton grows from the jungle floors, climbing up through the trees. This amazing resource can reach staggering heights of 600 feet and can grow to as thick as four inches thick. Typically, rattan or raton is what is used for the framework of wicker furniture although there are some manufacturers that have switched to hardwood frames.

Cane is the skin or bark of the rattan palm. Once all the thorns have been removed, it is weaved into seats and used to wrap the joints of the furniture. This resource has a nice, glossy finish that is all natural but it can also be painted or stained. Reed is the inner pith of the rattan palm, which is very pliable. Since this material is so versatile, it is most often used for basket weaving and wick furniture. Once the outer glossy skin is removed, the internal material, which is very porous can be painted or stained.

Bamboo is a material that most people are familiar with and is often mistaken for rattan. The difference is that bamboo is hollow while rattan has a solid core. The area of the bamboo stalk where the leaves grow leaves a beautiful dark spot that gives the bamboo its distinctive appearance whereas rattan does not have this. Although bamboo can be used in wicker furniture, because it breaks and splits easier than rattan, it is usually used for tables or pieces that will not hold weight.

Paper Fiber Rush is a manmade product that was first created in 1904. This particular material looks like a cord with a diagonal twist. During the 1920s/1930s, designers added a wire core to the paper fiber, which provided reinforcement for weight-bearing pieces of wicker furniture. Commonly, the paper fiber is used to make the seats for wicker furniture and the result is a nice cattail leaf rush woven seat that is sturdy and beautiful.

Lloyd Loom Paper Fiber Rush was first invented in 1917. With strands of paper rush that look like spaghetti, these are woven on a large loom with a result of looking very much like a piece of fabric. Again, a wire core was added for reinforcement. This type of material is used for all types of wicker furniture to include couches, chairs, baby buggies, lamps, teacarts, and so on.

The great thing about wicker is that good quality wicker furniture is quite durable and sturdy, and it is affordable. That means for young couples just starting out or for those people on a budget, you can have a great looking room that is cozy and warm, and not spend a fortune.
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