There is various type of wicker in the market; some feel natural while others have a synthetic appearance. It is hard to identify which product is made for outdoor usage for their glaring similarities.

Here we answered all the ifs and buts, so make sure you scroll down to satisfy your concern.

Can wicker furniture be left outside?

Yes, wicker furniture can be left outside. There are two types of wickers, synthetic and natural. Synthetic resin wicker is weatherproof and can withstand any harsh condition. On the other hand, natural wicker can be used outside temporarily, not as much as synthetic wickers.

Synthetic resin wicker can be prone to harsh weather too. The synthetic wicker made of Polyethylene works better in bad weather conditions than its counterpart PVC. Polyethylene and aluminum used to make wicker will live for ages.

Natural Rattan or Real wicker furniture:

Natural Rattan or real wicker furniture cannot be left outside for a prolonged period of time. The weather damages its materials. Natural rattans are meant to be used indoors.

However, you can use real wicker furniture outdoors for a short interval of time. Just bring them indoors or cover them up when the weather deteriorates. The material may crack due to excess heat, cold, and all the moisture outside.

Plastic resin wicker patio furniture:

Synthetic resin wicker or plastic resin wicker is made for especially outdoor usage. You need synthetic resin wicker if you are thinking about buying furniture for your patio. PVC or Polyethylene is used to make synthetic resin wicker furniture.

The materials used in making synthetic wickers are meant to be weather resistant. Synthetic materials do not react to weather conditions as organic materials do. You can leave them out throughout the winter, summer, and rainy seasons.

How does wicker furniture hold up outside?

The real challenge comes in selecting furniture for outdoor usage. You have to consider all the weather components in order to get the best bang for your bucks. Here are explanations for the common weather complications you will face.

In the rain:

Yes, wicker furniture can be left outside in the rain. In order to do so, you may have to choose synthetic resin wicker made of Polyethylene. Generally, synthetic wicker is made of three materials, PVC, Polyethylene and HPDE

PVC cannot stay in firm shape in cold temperatures. It loses its integrity. The material will contract and expand, causing it to form cracks. So, the best would be to go for Polyethylene or HPDE.

In winter:

Synthetic wicker can be left outside the whole winter. Plastic resin wicker is weather-resistant and can stay outdoors throughout every season.

The natural Rattan can withstand cold temperatures to some extent. As long as the temperature does not drop below freezing point, your furniture is safe outside. Move them indoors once it starts to snow.

In the snow: 

Natural wicker cannot endure snow. The materials used in the furniture will break down. Natural Rattan is for indoors only. Bring them indoors when winter hits.

You can keep your synthetic resin winter outside in the snow. The material used in these types of furniture can endure prolonged exposure to snow.

How long does rattan furniture last outside? 

Rattan furniture could last up to 5-7 years if it is made of synthetic materials. Polyethylene rattan has great weatherproof qualities. You do not have to worry about its longevity other than some occasional dusting.

The synthetic Rattan has high resistance to rain and snow, so you don’t have to bring them indoors. It is already durable enough; you can add more to its lifespan by occasional maintenance.

Natural Rattan is not weatherproof. Any exposure to rain or snow will significantly damage its materials. Natural Rattan is made of natural elements that are susceptible to harsh weather.

So, if you use a natural rattan outside, you may see it deteriorating within weeks. It is not recommended to use outdoors.

What is the difference between resin and rattan wicker?

Wicker and Rattan are commonly used interchangeably, but their meaning is not the same. People get confused and often end up understanding the wrong one.

Wicker refers to a style of weaving. It is a technique of weaving cane-like materials. On the other hand, Rattan is a natural material that is weaved to make furniture.

So, it is self-explanatory that rattan wicker means organic, natural wicker, and there is no place for artificial products.

Natural rattan wicker is only used for indoor purposes, and they cannot survive outside. Even exposure to the sun is enough to damage natural Rattan. Also, for their high maintenance, you should only use them indoors.

Resin wicker is also called synthetic wicker. Resin is a substance that can be converted into a polymer and be given any shape. Resin wicker refers to weaving synthetic materials to make furniture. There are many types of resin wicker.

Common types are PVC, Polyethylene, and High-Density Polyethylene (HPDE). HPDE wicker is recommended for outdoor usage. They are the best version of weatherproof materials, among other synthetic wickers.

How to tell if the wicker is indoor or outdoor?

The easy explanation is synthetic wicker is made for outdoor usage, and natural wicker is for indoors. But it is a challenge since there are variations, and you want to pick the best item for your patio. Here are some tips for identifying the correct wicker for your household.

Support System:

Resin wicker or synthetic HPDE wicker will use aluminum framing as it does not rust. It is lightweight and easily movable. Some indoor wicker also uses aluminum framing for its benefits.

Cast iron and metallic framing should be avoided at any cost if you want your wicker to be used outdoors. They will form rust quickly from all the moisture outside. They are best used indoors, even though they may create rust.

If you are looking for outdoor wicker, always go for aluminum framing.

Weave:

The same style of weaving is used in both natural and synthetic wicker. But there are ways to identify wicker that is made for outdoors. High-quality weaving involves weaving a single strand at a time instead of taking a bundle.

You can feel the difference in the material by touching it. Closely inspect the material; if it gives off a plastic and artificial vibe, you’re good to go for outdoor usage. If the weaving is of natural Rattan, you will have to use it indoors.

Indoor wicker has basic materials such as Rattan, willow, and bamboo.

How to keep and care for wicker furniture outside?

Even though synthetic wicker used outside is weather-resistant, they will need a little maintenance then and now to keep in full shape. Here is what you can do to care for your outdoor furniture.

Vacuuming with brush:

Vacuum with a soft bristle brush attachment to get rid of the annoying debris and particles. Dust and dirt can accumulate in the corners due to wind. Make sure you vacuum all the tricky angles.

Hose and dish soap:

If your outdoor wicker gets too dirty and you are not satisfied with vacuuming only, you can use dish soap and water solution. Wipe your wicker with a soft-bristled brush and rinse it with a hose.

Shelter:

Although synthetic wicker is UV proof, too hot temperature may directly damage the materials. Use a natural roof to block direct sunlight, and if you have no overhead shelter, you can cover it up during extreme hot or cold temperatures.

If the weather gets too wild, move your furniture to a safe spot.    

Dry your furniture thoroughly before you use it. Clean the spills immediately with the dish soap solution and soft fiber cloth. Cover it up in excess hot or cold temperature, and your outdoor furniture will live for an extended time.

How to seal wicker furniture for outdoor use?

By now, it is clear that natural Rattan or real wicker should be used for indoor purposes only. While the synthetic HPDE wicker is weather-resistant, it will tear down over time for harsh conditions.

Here are some ways you can maintain its charm even in the most unfavorable conditions.

Marine varnish:

Spray marine varnish over your painted outdoor wicker to keep it safe from moisture. Moisture can easily trap in the most vulnerable positions and damage the furniture’s integrity. Sealing with marine varnish ensures no moisture can trap here.

TotalBoat Gleam Marine Spar Varnish, Gloss and Satin Polyurethane Finish for Wood, Boats and Outdoor Furniture (Satin Low-Sheen Quart)

Rust-oleum for metals:

Steel and iron will form rust over time, so spray rust-oleum to keep the metal frame from losing its shine. Also, if your frame is already rust-free, applying this spray will make the aluminum frame more UV resistant.

Rust-Oleum 245197 Universal Enamel Spray Paint, 12 Ounce (Pack of 1), Satin Black

Final thoughts:

Wicker makes for excellent furniture on the patio. But keep in mind that their upsides also come with some downsides. As the indoor wicker cannot withstand outside weather, you may be in a dilemma. Whatever you decide to buy, make sure it is suitable for your desired environment.

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