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Resin wicker, also known as all-weather wicker, is manufactured predominantly for use in outdoor patio furniture. It is meant to look like natural wicker, but is made of a synthetic material, generally polyethylene, a food grade plastic that only requires minimal maintenance and is extremely durable.
Unknown to many, wicker is not actually a material, but a method of weaving. The word is said to be derived from the Scandinavian word "wika" which means "To bend." Traditionally, natural plant materials were used to manufacture a variety of different products including baskets, trays, indoor and outdoor furniture. Wicker was originally made from natural fibers, such as rattan, a material gained from the so-called rotan tree, a vine like plant. The term rattan is sometimes used interchangeably with wicker, but in fact depicts the fibre used to create the wicker work. Rattan is very elastic and therefore greatly apt to produce baskets, hampers and chairs. The branch like material is woven for the purpose of constructing a sturdy but elastic product, wicker. The end result are those comfortable deep seating wicker chairs that we all know from our parents or grandparents. The elements gradually break down the color and make the wicker brittle. The fibres lose their elasticity and eventually break and the product ceases its use. Nowadays, most natural wicker products are used indoors, e.g. as furniture in a sun room or solarium.
Resin wicker is a very similar looking material. However, it is not subject to the impact of the elements. Synthetic polyethylene fibres resin wicker is durable, resistant against the sun's UV radiation as well as against humidity and water. The color is added in the production process and forms part of the fibre, thereby maintaining the desired visual appeal of the product it is used for. Resin wicker is very elastic and sturdy, providing for great stability and seating comfort, those exact features that we like traditional wicker for. Furthermore, resin wicker requires much less maintenance. It is very easy to clean; it can simply be hosed down. It also does not require to be re-painted, as its colors barely fade over time. Due to these features, resin wicker has become extremely popular for outdoor products such as patio furniture.
Resin wicker is generally used over an aluminum frame to create light weight outdoor furniture. This type of furniture benefits from the advantages of resin wicker. Often described as all-weather resin wicker, it withstands the forces of the elements. Be it in very hot and humid climates or through cold winters, it has become the material of choice for swimming pool lounges, patio dining sets, outdoor sofas and terrace bistro type settings. Especially with the newer modern designs, resin wicker furniture is the new trend in the entertainment industry, i.e. patio parties, outdoor dining and lounging.
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