Deciding which outdoor furniture is right for you can be a long process of weighing the costs and benefits. How do you know which material is right? Does all outdoor furniture require significant upkeep? And how do you know you’re choosing a quality product?
At Outer, we understand there’s a lot to consider when designing the perfect outdoor space. But purchasing wicker furniture might be just the thing to meet all your backyard needs.
What Is Wicker?
The term “wicker” actually refers to the technique used to weave suitable plant materials together. The material that has taken on the same name as this technique is valued in outdoor furniture for its naturally lightweight and durable characteristics.
Although many common wicker products today are made from synthetic materials, the traditional choices for wicker creation include bamboo, rattan, and reed.
At Outer, outer master craftspeople make our wicker furniture using 30% recycled materials, just one small part of our commitment to sustainability as a Climate Neutral-certified business.
Beneficial Wicker Features
With so many choices for outdoor furniture, it can be hard to determine what really sets one material apart from the rest. For wicker, the answer is in the design.
Being able to conveniently move your outdoor furniture around is a major selling point. Since modular designs are becoming increasingly popular, picking up your outdoor sofa and seeing how it looks in a different spot should require minimal effort.
Outdoor furniture should also be simple to move in the event of severe weather. That’s why lightweight wicker is the style of choice for so many people’s yards. Moving the product around will never take more than a couple of people.
A primary concern with lightweight products is that they’ll be frail or flimsy, but when it comes to wicker, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The weaving process of the wicker technique creates a simple yet strong tie in the final product for reliable durability. This way, a lighter chair does not have to sacrifice strength for a modular design.
Keeping up with outdoor furniture should never be a hassle, but certain materials can easily rust or deteriorate over time without proper care. Wicker is one of the few that requires virtually no routine maintenance.
However, it’s still important to clean your wicker furniture, especially at the end of the season. Use a soft-bristle brush or a vacuum to remove any leaves that may have fallen onto the materials, and then use a cloth to wipe away any loose dirt before hosing down the frame.
Once the wicker is good and clean, it’s best to let it air dry in partial shade or filtered sunlight instead of direct sunlight. Alternatively, you can easily dry the furniture with a clean towel.
Ready For The Outdoors
Lightweight, durable, and low-maintenance designs are ideal in any outdoor environment. So, wicker is truly designed to withstand the elements and anything that life can throw at it.
When you decide that it is time to store your Outer outdoor furniture for the season, the simplicity of wicker continues. Our cushion’s OuterShell® design provides light-duty protection from the elements and makes transportation as easy as carrying a briefcase.
If storing your wicker isn’t an option, then be sure to purchase All-Weather Covers to protect your furniture in every weather condition and make it last for as long as possible.
And once it has reached the end of its long life, our wicker furniture at Outer lives on by being 100% recyclable.
Cons Of Wicker
The benefits of wicker furniture are enough to make anyone opt for this choice. And any disadvantages that come with the design are typically the result of low-quality materials that you should be on the lookout for when shopping.
Let’s take a look at some of the things to be mindful of when hunting for the perfect wicker piece.
To start, wicker itself is not the most comfortable material. But that’s OK because, when it comes to outdoor furniture, the real comfort is found in the cushion.
Bare wicker products are visually pleasing, but sitting on one can be unforgiving after a while. The simple solution is to make sure the same level of care used to design the furniture is also used in making the cushion.
At Outer, our multi-layer memory foam cushion — the type usually found in luxury mattresses — provides premium, unbeatable comfort. That’s why we don’t shy away from saying that our outdoor cushion is the most comfortable in the world.
Don’t believe us? Try our risk-free at-home trial for all the certainty you need.
Another common issue with poor-quality wicker is that it can easily scratch and quickly fall apart. While spotting cheap wicker is not always simple, you can avoid this problem by paying close attention to the material.
For example, if the wicker itself is shiny like plastic or has inconsistencies with texture throughout the piece, there’s a good chance the manufacturers took some shortcuts to make it.
Quality wicker, on the other hand, is built to last using masterful techniques for a beautiful and durable weave.
When looking for well-crafted wicker, keep an eye out for high-quality and supportive aluminum frames, rust-proof legs, even weaves, and overall symmetry. This is a good sign that the furniture was carefully crafted instead of mass-produced.
Tips For Buying Wicker
Distinguishing high-quality wicker from cheaper products is only the first part of buying your new outdoor furniture.
Before you settle on a good product or brand, it’s important to do your research to determine personal preferences, practicality, and even ethics. It might take a little more time, but that final purchase will be well worth the wait.
Decide On Space
Of course, the smaller the space the more limited the options will be for furniture placement. It will be the difference between decorating your outdoor space with a couple of Wicker Armchairs or a 5-seat L Sectional.
To start, measure your space and determine the size of furniture you can reasonably fit and how much space you intend to fill. Be sure there will still be plenty of room to walk around and allow for an open, comfortable feel rather than a cramped space.
At Outer, our designs are modular, so you’ll be able to move things around for a new look each time inspiration strikes.
Pick A Theme
Most people think of a natural beige color when wicker comes to mind. While this is an excellent choice, it’s not the only choice.
At Outer, we offer wicker designs that come in the classic beige color or black to elevate your outside areas. Picking a theme for your yard will make it easy to coordinate which pieces to buy and where to put everything.
For a sleek look, consider choosing a black 5-Seat Sofa with Armchairs, or choose a Black Loveseat as a standout piece.
The bottom line is no matter which color you go with, both options are timeless and sure to wow every guest.
Know The Source
Made right, wicker products are environmentally friendly and extremely sustainable. But not all products are made the same.
Checking the values and mission of the company that you buy from is as important as checking the quality of the furniture itself. Not every company is going to aim for sustainability and maintain the best possible relationship with customers and employees alike.
At Outer, we’re always thinking of our planet and future generations with every decision we make. From the design of our fabrics to our all-weather wicker, we're committed to delivering the highest quality and sustainable products to our customers.
We care for our products and our people. That’s why we also work to ensure fair wages, safe work environments, and benefits for our employees and their families.
And we’re proud to continue developing our community through our Outer Neighborhood Showrooms. These “showrooms” are actually real outdoor spaces that our customers have designed in their own backyards.
You can see, touch, and feel our products in person and get candid reviews before making any purchases.
This community feel is part of what makes Outer so special.
Choose Outer For Wicker Done Right
Differentiating the good wicker from the bad takes a bit of work, but choosing the right product created by the right company makes for the perfect yard.
Being lightweight, durable, sustainable, and ready for any weather, wicker easily and effectively livens your space. As our customers know, once you’ve made the move to go with wicker, it’s hard to ever go back!
For all of your wicker needs, check out our full collection of wicker furniture. From classic beige to modern black and armless chairs to U-sectionals, there’s sure to be something that works perfectly for you.