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About Wicker and Rattan

The word wicker is believed to be of Scandinavien Origin, from "Wika", meaning "to bend", and "Vikker", which means "willow". Wicker furniture can actually be made with a variety of materials, as the term wicker refers to the weaving process used to make the finished piece. What is usually considered wicker is a type that is woven with reeds. Even today, nearly all the weaving and finishing of quality wicker furniture is still done by hand.

Rattan is the most highly sought after material for making wicker furniture. Rattan is a solid core vine, as opposed to bamboo, which is hollow. The solid core makes it very dense, and even though rattan is flexible, the solid core is amazing for making very sturdy furniture that holds up extremely well. Rattan can be over two inches thick, and good rattan is aged between seven and fifteen years before it is harvested.

In addition to natural materials, Williamsburg Wicker carries furniture made from high-quality synthetic fibers and other durable materials to withstand nearly all types of weather. Ask us if you're not sure, and we can tell you exactly which furniture will last the longest no matter where you live.

High quality wicker, which we carry, is smooth, comfortable, dense, and should not have any stray fibers that will scratch your skin or clothes. We will be glad to take the time to show you how to identify quality wicker, and you will get years of enjoyment from it. Quality wicker furniture can last 100 years or more with normal everyday use. The oldest surviving wicker furniture has lasted since being used in the ancient Egyptian empire.

Wicker became widely popular in the Victorian era, Europeans brought wicker furniture with them to America. Williamsburg was near the first settlements, and when wicker became popular in America in the 1850s we were right in the middle of it. Wicker furniture has been in Williamsburg ever since.

While the more Victorian styles of days gone by are still available, today's wicker and rattan products are appropriate for just about every decorating style. With our wicker and rattan lines, you can bring your garden inside or onto your porch, relax in the island breezes, or show your modern style with streamlined looks. For more information, check out our What's Your Style page. Regardless of your decorating style, we have furniture to suit your needs at Williamsburg Wicker!

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