| It is important to understand that wicker is not a specific
material. It is a very general term that is used to classify woven furniture. Your piece
of wicker furniture may be made of; Rattan, reed, willow, raffia, fiber rush, cane, or
even dried grasses, to name the most popular.
The identification of materials is of
utmost importance before a repair may be started. There are several generalities we can
use, and samples may be sent for identification.
To identify a round sample
If it is smooth, it is probably round
reed, this is ordered by the millimeter measurement -remember that paint or a
finish will add bulk.
If it is made of paper, it is fiber rush, and is
available in many sizes. If the paper has a wire core, this is a supporting spoke and is
wire core fiber rush.
If the sample appears to taper, and has small rough spots it may be willow. There
are many different sizes, and processes used to prepare willow, so it may not
always appear the same.
If the round piece has a hard natural finish, with regular joints, This may be Rattan with
the natural bark left on.
On occasion bamboo is used. Bamboo has regular nodes with a smooth hard surface and is
hollow. If the piece is 3/8" or larger it may be reed, or rattan, bamboo, or possibly
even a wooden dowel. footage chart
To identify a half round sample
Half round is as if you took a round piece of stock, and cut it in half. If it is
smooth on the rounded part, it is probably half
round reed, this is ordered by the millimeter measurement.
If the sample appears to taper, and has small rough spots it may be split willow.
If the piece is 3/8" or larger this will be reed, or rattan.
If used as a structural support, it may be wood. Split Bamboo is also used, this would be
in all sizes, and appear hollow. footage chart
To identify a flat sample
If it is fairly smooth and flat on both sides, it is probably flat reed, this is ordered by the inch increment.
If it is made of paper, it is just that, a flat fiber paper. footage chart
To identify a flat oval sample
A flat oval weaver or wrap is flat on one side and has a graceful oval on the exposed
If it is smooth on the rounded part, it is probably flat oval reed, this is also ordered by the
millimeter or inch increment.
If it is smooth on the rounded part, and has a hard natural finish, and rough spots on
occasion it is probably binder cane, or cane this is also ordered by the millimeter. footage chart
This may be round reed or fiber rush The width of the braid is controlled by
the number of strands, or the size of material used.