As part of my present research path, I just received yesterday (and read last night) a used (c.1975) book on wicker furniture. I've always loved woven furniture for porch or accent pieces, but I had no idea how popular wicker had been in post-Civil War America.
I think everyone's Grandma had a painted piece or two of wicker on the screened in porch...a plant stand, a chair with a woven rush seat, etc., but the next generation rejected it near-totally. I do not think my mother had any woven seating until I was grown and gone from home. No, I can recall one rush-topped footstool.
Wicker, rush, rattan, cane and all the other natural woven furniture appealed to me, but most of what I've been able to find has been modern, usually imported, not very fancy stuff. I had never seen some of the ornate Victorian styles until I looked at the thousands of drawings, catalog page reproductions and photos in this book. I am not into a lot of ornamentation, but these things are works of art.
Just got me wondering this morning...do any of you have wicker, cane, or any other woven furniture or elements like chair seats in your home? My kitchen out here in the office has pre-woven seats in the pair of chairs. The porch is full of all different types or woven chairs, settees, and some small tables.
Are any of you wild about wicker?
Yes,I do love wicker. I have several pieces, but not old, still good stuff. Plant stand, chairs, rocking chair, coffee table., magazine
rack, picture frames. It has to be white though. Most of it have been gifts from family and friends. When people know what
you like, they tend to buy it for you, it seems. That's a good thing!
I love wicher & have a cheap set on my porch which I need to replace-weather takes a toll even under cover. I have an old rocker that my grandmother had for years; I grew up playing in it. Amazing how it shrunk since I was 3. But it has several broken pieces and upon closer inspection it is not truly wicker. It looks like some kind of wrapped stuff. It's been painted many times & I don't know if I can fix or not. I know it would be silly to pay $$ to have somebody do it yet I hate to ditch it for sentimental reasons.
If the rocker is something you really, really love and consider it a heirloom, try to save it. At the very least, get a quote for the repair.
I remember my grandmother having a cane or willow plant stand. Have seen it in pictures holding a Christmas cactus and my great grandmother beside it. I don't know who in the family has it now. Other than that piece, we never had wicker like furniture.
That twisted stuff ususally is called "rush," I think. If there are any chair caners around, they may be able tofix it or sell you the stuff you need.
The material is very inexpensive, and you usually just cut out the bad piece, a little past the breaks, and re-weave the missing strip or so. You may need to glue the ends of the repair piece, to keep them from unraveling, and leave it so they are on het underside.
You can find repair materials online.
The book I bought used via amazon was about five bucks...although I am sure there are free instructions online if you Google it, too.
If I had any family pieces, I'd hold onto them, too. The furniture was hugely popular in the late1800s and well into the 20th century.
About all I have of it is recent imported things from Pier One. I do have one pair of weatherproof wicker Lane recliners from Sam's clearance...got them less than half-price. (I still remember tying in the load that day, with the two of them and a huge water pressure tank to replace one that had gone :BOOM" in one of the wellhouses. It was a slow ride!)