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Tips For Furnishing Your Home With Wicker Furniture

Aug 18, 2007
Stylish and elegant wicker furniture is the perfect choice of furnishing for any home, be it a contemporary city apartment, Victorian country home or a vacation retreat. Made from natural materials including rattan, banana bark, willow and rush, wicker furniture comes in a wide assortment of weaving styles and colors that can complement and enhance any decor. Wicker furniture fits in easily with wooden and upholstered furniture, adding texture and warmth to any setting.

Wicker refers to the pattern and process of the weave as well as to the products that are made from these natural materials. When wet, these materials are varyingly pliable and can be woven employing different patterns. Being natural products, each material has its own unique, individual qualities and when dyed, each produces slight differences in color, which adds to the exotic and versatile beauty of wicker furniture.

Rattan, a solid-core vine found in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, is extremely strong and will not break, warp or splinter. Its innate strength and versatility make rattan a much sought after material for furniture. The natural fibers offer optimum comfort and its old-world rustic charm combined with its attractive casual look makes it appealing in any setting. Once solid rattan is woven, molded and set, its contours are permanently retained.

Natural wicker, while perfect for use indoors, may not stand up too well to adverse weather conditions and needs to be moved indoors when not in use. Weather wicker, which looks and feels like wicker but is constructed out of soft, woven vinyl is a better option for use outdoors. A synthetic material, vinyl is resistant to temperature variations, UV rays and rain and is easily cleaned making it ideal for use as patio and garden furniture. High quality weather wicker furniture resembles the beauty and design of the finest hand-woven, natural wicker furniture. Beautifully cushions in a wide array of exotic shape, sizes and colors add to the beauty and comfort of weather furniture.

How to clean and care for your furniture

Proper care and maintenance of wicker furniture will ensure that it stays in good condition for many years.

Brushing furniture

Periodically brushing your wicker furniture using a brush with stiff, non-abrasive bristles such as a paint brush, vegetable brush or a tooth brush is the best way of keeping your furniture looking clean and beautiful. The bristles should be soft enough to be able to get into the areas between the weave and yet stiff enough to have the adequate muscle behind it. Alternatively you could vacuum your furniture using a bristle brush attachment.

Occasional clean-up using furniture cleaner or a mild detergent solution is good for removing stains and will help your wicker furniture maintain its high gloss and good looks. Lemon oil, applied lightly with a soft cloth, will help protect the finish and enhance the shine of wicker furniture.

Washing wicker furniture

Natural wicker furniture can withstand moisture, but only to a limited extent. Too much water over an extended period will leave it looking loose, limp and saggy. Here are a few important tips to remember when washing your furniture:

When hosing, tilt the wicker furniture so that the tighter weave is on top. This way the excess water can run down to the looser weave, which is below, from where it is easily wiped away.

It is absolutely important that the weave spacing and pattern should not be disrupted during the cleaning process, especially when the furniture is wet. Wicker furniture will dry and set in any new position that it has been subjected to. If there is excessive pulling of strands, the weave is more likely to have large gaps in it when completely dry. Strands that are too far out of position could pull the entire piece askew.

Let the furniture dry completely before using it again. Sitting on it or placing any heavy objects on it while it is wet, could leave it looking misshapen when dry.
About the Author
Get rattan furniture from http://www.rattanland.com/
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