What is All-Weather Wicker Outdoor Furniture?

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As you look for wicker patio furniture, you will likely find some wicker furniture that is labeled as “all-weather wicker.” That sounds great, right? You want your outdoor furniture to be “all-weather,” but what does it really mean? You are about to spend a lot of money on your patio furniture for your outdoor space, so you need to know exactly what you are buying.

 

So, continue reading this post to learn more!

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What is All-Weather Wicker

Overview: Is all-weather wicker good outdoor furniture material?

All-weather wicker outdoor patio furniture is a good choice for outdoor furniture for your outdoor living space. It will provide your outdoor space with stylish furniture designed to last several years. If your budget allows, look for HDPE or recycled plastic wicker options, as these will be more durable and longer-lasting furniture pieces.

What is wicker?

The first thing we need to define is “wicker.”

 

Unlike commonly thought, wicker is not a material. Instead, wicker is a style of weave used to make furniture, and wicker can be made from various materials. In some cases, these materials are natural plant materials, and one of the most commonly used plant materials is rattan. Rattan is a vine-like palm plant that grows mainly in Asia, Africa, and Australia. When wicker furniture is made with natural materials, you will typically see it listed as “natural wicker” or “natural rattan furniture.” To summarize, wicker is the method to make the furniture, and rattan is the material used for the furniture.

 

However, natural rattan wicker furniture (or another natural plant wicker) is not durable or weather-resistant for consistent outdoor use. Natural wicker furniture (or natural rattan furniture) will easily mildew and decay if left outside for extended periods. Instead, synthetic materials create durable outdoor wicker furniture, sometimes called “all-weather wicker.”

What does all-weather mean?

As discussed previously, natural wicker materials won’t last long outdoors. Thus, synthetic materials are used to make durable outdoor wicker furniture. The wicker furniture you will find shopping for outdoor furniture is made out of synthetic resin. Synthetic resins are artificially synthesized polymeric materials, and these resins are the main components of plastics – additional fillers are added with these resins to make plastics. Thus, when you see something listed as “all-weather wicker,” that means the wicker furniture is made from some form of synthetic resin – most likely a form of polyethylene as this material is known for being truly “all-weather.”

 

One popular synthetic resin is Polyethylene or PE for short. PE can come in various forms, with High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) being the most common forms of PE. Other synthetic materials used for outdoor wicker furniture include Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polypropylene (PP), and Polyurethane (PU). Again, all-weather wicker is some form of polyethylene as this material performs well in, you guessed it, all forms of weather.

Other names for all-weather wicker patio furniture

You may see come across various names and terms used when describing synthetic wicker furniture; some common ones are:

  • PE Rattan Wicker
  • PE Wicker
  • HDPE Wicker

Outdoor wicker made from polyethylene is usually what is used in “all-weather” wicker materials. However, not all synthetic resins are the same. The highest quality synthetic resin wicker is made from HDPE. You will sometimes see this advertised by the manufacturer in the product description of the wicker furniture. However, sometimes the information may not be provided if it is HDPE or not. Generally, if you are paying a higher price for a wicker patio furniture piece and it is from a reputable brand, you are likely getting HDPE wicker. In the sections below, we detail some of the differences between HDPE and PE wicker furniture.

Is all-weather wicker durable?

All-weather wicker is a durable outdoor material; however, the type of resin used in the synthetic wicker will determine how well the furniture can withstand backyard wear and tear. HDPE and Recycled Materials are higher density materials, making them much more durable than LDPE. As a result, these materials can withstand more wear and tear than LDPE, making them less susceptible to breaking, cracking, or tearing as you may experience with LDPE.

Is all-weather wicker waterproof?

One of the best selling points of all-weather wicker is that the synthetic resins are highly water-resistant and virtually waterproof. These materials will not absorb water, and as a result, they are mold and mildew resistant. Thus, this material is an excellent choice if you are concerned about rain or humidity affecting your furniture.

Can all-weather wicker be left in the sun? Will it fade?

Not all all-weather wicker options are created equal; some resin wicker options will withstand the effects of sun exposure better than others.

 

For HDPE, the color of the materials is introduced during the production process of the resin, which means the color is part of the material. This is opposed to LDPE, which typically has the material’s color applied on top of the resin. As a result, HDPE is more UV-resistant than LDPE because the color is consistent throughout the material. Thus, LDPE or other types of synthetic resins will likely fade faster than HDPE unless they have been specially treated with UV damage inhibitors.

Can all-weather wicker be left out in the winter?

All-weather wicker, if it truly is PE or HDPE material, can be left out in the winter. These materials are known to withstand the effects of winter without cracking, chipping, or degrading. However, if the wicker is made from PVC or other low-grade synthetic resin, you will likely find that the furniture will crack and come apart after the winter.

 

In all, we recommend that you always cover or store your outdoor furniture (regardless the type of material) in the winter months to help protect it when you are not using the patio furniture.

How do you clean all-weather wicker furniture?

One of the great things about all-weather wicker furniture is that it is relatively easy to maintain. If you find any dirt or dust on your patio furniture, you can easily clean it off with a wet rag and mild dish soap. Beyond that, you will just need to check if there are any cracks or tears and repair that as needed.

In all, we recommend that you always cover or store your outdoor furniture (regardless the type of material) in the winter months to help protect it when you are not using the patio furniture.

All-Weather Wicker Outdoor Furniture Options

All-weather wicker furniture is used in many different outdoor furniture pieces, and you can find a wide variety of options to fit the style of your outdoor living space. Whether you are looking for a patio set, sofa, chairs, table, sectional, or other items, you will find plenty of options to shop to find the ideal furniture item. Below are some examples of all-weather wicker patio furniture. One note though: all-weather wicker outdoor furniture is not sturdy enough by itself, so this furniture is usually supported by a powder coated steel frame or a powder coated aluminum frame to make the furniture sturdy enough to sit on.

Patio Conversation Sets

Conversation sets are outdoor or patio furniture that typically includes a sofa (usually a loveseat), two chairs, and typically a coffee table. You can find a conversation sets that come in a variety of configurations that may include additional furniture items. Additionally, you will find a wide-range of styles for conversation sets to best fit your backyard decor.

SOLAURA 4-Piece Conversation Set

Bistro Sets

A bistro set, or also called a patio bistro set, is a table and chair set designed for the outdoors for small outdoor areas. Bistro sets typically come with two chairs and a small table, but larger patio sets can also include smaller tables and chairs in various configurations. Bistro sets can be a good space saving option if you are looking to have a seating area, but you are very limited on space. Are you interested in more small outdoor space items? Read our post here on small outdoor space furniture considerations.

SUNCROWN 3-Piece Patio Bistro Set

Chaise Lounges

A chaise lounge is a long piece of furniture designed to support your whole body with your feet and legs propped up by the piece of furniture. Outdoor chaise lounges generally feature an adjustable back that may help you sit up or lay flat. Additionally, some chaise lounges may have armrests that provide additional support and comfort. Learn more about Chaise Lounges here.

JETIME Outdoor Chaise Lounge

Dining Sets

An outdoor dining set is a furniture set that includes a dining table and at least four chairs. Some dining sets can have 6 or 8 chairs, and the shape of the table can be a square, rectangle, circle, or oval. So, you need to assess your outdoor dining plans and available area to determine which type of dining set is right for you. Luckily, there are plenty of all-weather wicker dining sets to fit your needs

SUNCROWN 5-Piece Patio Dining Set

Daybeds

An outdoor daybed is a piece of furniture that provides a large lounge area that can typically support 2 or more people to fully recline. Daybeds can provide an excellent spot to rest and relax outdoors, and some daybeds may have extra storage or dining options. 

SUNCROWN Outdoor Patio Round Daybed

Patio Chairs

You may simply just need patio chairs for your outdoor space. Fortunately, there are plenty of all-weather wicker designed patio chairs to fit your backyard needs.

Ashley Clear Ridge Lounge Chairs

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