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History of manufacture of wicker furniture

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History of manufacture of wicker furniture

Here is a quick history of wicker furniture from Wicker Paradise: The history of wicker furniture goes way back to the mid-to-late 1800s when it was initially made of steam-bent rattan. Cyrus Wakefield opened a wicker furniture factory in Massachusetts in the 1840s. In 1897, his Wakefield Rattan Co. merged with Heywood Brothers & Co. to become the Heywood-Wakefield Company. They produced many iconic pieces of furniture throughout the 20th century.

In the mid-to-late 1800s, wicker furniture grew in popularity. Furniture, especially rocking chairs, was designed in all sorts of shapes and with elaborate details that were popular during the Victorian period.

In 1917, furniture maker Marshall Burns Lloyd patented the Lloyd Loom process for manufacturing wicker furniture, in which cellulose strands were woven in wicker fabric as a sturdier alternative to wrapping cane around a frame. Heywood-Wakefield bought the patent a few years later. Wicker furniture constructed with hardwood frames became common in the 1940s.

Many decades later, casual furniture manufacturers Don and Dudley Flanders bought Lloyd Loom from Heywood-Wakefield in 1982 and formed Lloyd Flanders. The company began testing methods of manufacturing furniture that could be durable and withstand outdoor temperatures for the longer duration of time.

Finally, furniture manufacturers came up with the all-weather wicker or resin wicker furniture. The synthetic not only helped to maintain the nostalgic look and feel of rattan furniture and patio furniture but also promised higher durability and weather-resistance. Woven with polyethylene resin fibers on a sturdy frame, the resin wicker furniture also looks very close to the real thing.

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