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A wickerwork cat pole

Wicker is hard woven fiber formed into a rigid material, usually used for baskets or furniture. Wicker is often made of material of plant origin, but plastic fibers are also used.

Materials used can be any part of a plant, such as the cores of cane of rattan stalks, or whole thicknesses of plants, as with willow switches. Other popular materials include reed and bamboo.

Often a frame is made of stiffer materials, after which more pliant material is used to fill in the frame. Wicker is light yet sturdy, making it suitable for furniture that will be moved often. It is often used for porch and patio furniture.

Wicker furniture has been documented as far back as ancient Egypt[1], and wicker baskets have been found in Pompeii.[2] It has been proposed that the extensive use of wicker objects in the Iron Age had an influence on the development of the patterns used in Celtic art.[citation needed] In recent times, its aesthetic was influenced heavily by the Arts and Crafts movement at the turn of the 20th century.

The oldest and most prominent North American manufacturer was Heywood-Wakefield of Gardner, Massachusetts. Antique wicker products are highly sought after by collectors.

There are two types of wicker furniture available—natural and synthetic. Natural wicker is made from rattan vine and is well-known for its strength and durability. Natural wicker is unsurpassed for beauty and comfort, although it requires maintenance to keep it in good shape.[3] Synthetic types include paper-wrapped high tensile wire (using the Lloyd Loom process patented in the early 1900s),[4] and plastic or resin (often preferred for outdoor use).[5]

Gallery

A wicker balloon basket capable of holding 16 passengers  
Plastic-wicker chairs in Toronto  
World's largest wicker basket, Nowy Tomyśl, Poland  

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