All-weather, or resin wicker, is a synthetic material that allows for fast and large-scale indoor and outdoor furniture production.
It’s prevalent in most stores, and people are generally attracted to it because of the cheap price tag and the fact that resin wicker is almost maintenance-free material.
But there are significant downsides with all weather wicker furniture, and you have to understand these before you make a decision that could end up being the wrong one for your personal needs.
Let me show you what all weather wicker is all about.
Unlike natural wicker, resin wicker is usually made from high-density polyethylene, which is extracted from plant matter or synthetic resin. Wicker is versatile as it can be used indoors and will also survive the elements outdoors.
Resin wicker furniture normally has aluminum frames, making it easy to move your chairs and withstand all kinds of weather conditions ranging from scorching heat to snowy winters.
But there are other advantages people tend to like about resin wicker.
Here are the main advantages that all-weather wicker furniture delivers.
The main thing that makes all-weather wicker unique is that it is completely moisture resistant and can withstand exposure to extreme outdoor elements without warping. It won’t even be affected by humidity and heavy rain as it won’t absorb moisture.
But even with resin wicker, the natural elements can take their toll, especially with constant sun exposure that can fade the color. This is especially noticeable with a dark resin wicker material.
Unlike natural wicker, no materials need to be harvested for producing resin wicker outdoor furniture. And the manufacturing process of all-weather wicker is not as complicated either.
But that low price of resin wicker does come at the expense of quality and durability. Yes, it requires less maintenance, but the synthetic material is nowhere near as tough and hard-wearing as rattan.
With minimal maintenance, your all-weather wicker rattan dresser will continue to look fresh. You won’t need to worry about mold or mildew appearing on it, and neither will you have to worry about the aluminum frame rusting.
Generally, polyethylene and resin wicker can either be cleaned with a soapy cloth, or you can just wash it down with your garden hose.
It’s important to be aware of these issues before a resin wicker purchase lets you down.
As all-weather wicker is synthetic wicker made from thermoplastic resin, it only sometimes can be recycled. But this doesn’t mean that it’s not harmful to the environment.
When resin products are not disposed of correctly, there is a potential danger of hazardous toxic substances being released into the environment and water systems.
And when resin products are thrown in a landfill, they take up to 30 years to degrade, and in the process, they will release toxins.
When left outdoors for long periods of time, you will find that your resin wicker furniture in the winter is prone to scratching and also marks easily. Unlike rattan wood, you won’t be able to sand away these scratches, so your patio furniture will start to look worn.
Another problem you could face is damage caused by heat, possibly from a candle left unattended. The heat from the flame could disfigure and mark the plastic. Or even a hot cooking dish placed on the table will leave unattractive marks.
When the natural wicker gets damaged, you’ll have no problem repairing it with wood glue. Sadly, this isn’t as easy with all-weather wicker. You’ll need to order matching strips from the manufacturer to be able to replace them if you want your garden or patio furniture to last a few more years.
And for any greater damage, you will find it very difficult to repair in a way that doesn’t make it obvious that it’s not original.
Rattan is an amazing high-quality material that not only looks good and lasts a long time but is also environmentally friendly.
Here’s why we recommend it over resin wicker.
Of all the synthetic wicker and natural materials used in wicker furniture production, rattan is the most eco-friendly. This is because it grows in locations where the harsh conditions often make the land unusable for anything else.
And the rattan vines can be continually harvested without killing the plant, as they replenish after just a few years. That means there’s no large-scale deforestation that damages the environment and impacts the global climate.
Produced from a completely natural organic material, any wicker rattan furniture will have a unique appearance.
Craftspeople are able to curve and shape the poles to create a variety of designs to make the indoor and outdoor wicker furniture more attractive. The popular designs are simple weave, double weave, and triple twist.
But its natural appearance is not only due to the intricate design that craftspeople are able to weave but also because of the attractive slight imperfections that you’ll always find on rattan wood grain.
Rattan is incredibly durable as, unlike bamboo, which is hollow, the rattan poles have a solid core.
And in contrast to resin, it is also pliable when steamed. So it gives the craftspeople the flexibility to shape the poles into intricate wicker designs regardless of the shapes and sizes of the frames of the outdoor furniture.
It will also retain its shape after the moisture and heat from the steaming process have dried out.
It also has the advantage that if it is properly treated, the wicker won’t unravel as rattan creates an extremely strong weave.
All-weather furniture is cheaper and easier to maintain and can be continually exposed to all kinds of extreme weather conditions. But despite being weather-resistant, it’s not eco-friendly and is difficult to repair. And constant sun exposure can result in color fading.
On the other hand, natural wicker patio furniture can also be used for outdoor spaces, but as rattan is a porous material, you’ll need to be sure that it’s covered when not in use and store it indoors during severe weather conditions and throughout the winter months.
If you need some inspiration for natural wicker furniture options, then take a look at our currently available indoor and outdoor furniture options.