When it comes to outdoor furniture, the first thing that would come to mind is usually rattan furniture in wicker weave. But the irony is, genuine natural “rattan” is not really ideal for certain outdoor environment — it would get worn out, faded or moulded easily under sunlight, rain or extreme temperature settings.
In light of the weak side of the material, and with the advancement in plastic production, the furniture sector has long been using synthetic wicker peel to replace natural materials. Most of the wicker furniture one sees today in the market are made with polyethylene (or occasionally in vinyl), which could be made to endure for years the UV lights and rain water without fading or mold-growing, while keeping a degree of elasticity and tenacity in high or low temperature.
During these five or six years synthetic wicker furniture makers trying to come up with new styles as the competition intensifies. Some came up with a thicker type of plastic peels with eye catching colors, while some created new fancy types of weaving, with exaggerating curls or spirals. Others created wicker-like chairs or tables which are actually plastic single-injected pieces with sturdy structure, light weight, and more importantly, stackability — as all industry buyers know, the bulkiness i.e. high CBM and unstackable nature of traditional wicker furniture have been the major reason for the high transportation cost and the subsequent retail prices.
The outdoor wicker furniture production are quite spread out in places in China. But as far as I know, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Fujian and Jiangsu provinces would have more patio wicker furniture makers than the other provinces in China.
For natural wicker-ware or wicker furniture, Zibo in Shandong province is probably still the most famous place to source from.
Feel free to leave me comment if I’ve missed anything, or if you’d like to know more!