Wicker Basket

Photo by M.A.Linton

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.
Materials used can be any part of a plant, such as the cores of cane or 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 a more flexible material is used to fill in the frame. Wicker is light yet sturdy, making it suitable for items 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, that was considered to be one of the ideal elements of modern outdoor furniture. It was the first natural material to be used for furniture, starting out as baskets and chairs. The history of wicker furniture was exposed when archaeologists discovered dozens of wicker furniture items made from reed and swamp grasses, while working to uncover the civilizations of the pharaohs.

The popularity of wicker furniture was passed from Egypt to Rome and throughout Europe as traders of international sea carried the materials to Great Britain, Portugal, and Spain and wicker baskets have been found in Pompeii. 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.

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