Wicker Conservatory Furniture
The term ‘wicker’ has its origins in the Swedish language, where ‘wika’ means ‘small, pliant twig’.
Wicker essentially refers to the practice of forming useful objects from suitable materials and as such does not imply the use of a specific source – however, willow is often used in wicker furniture, as are some more pliable cane types.
Lloyd Loom Conservatory Furniture
‘Lloyd loom’ is a synthetic type of conservatory furniture named after the inventor Marshall B Lloyd who invented the process in 1917. Resembling other woven furniture products it is actually formed by wrapping paper around a metal wire. The resulting product is then woven into extremely durable, strong and hardwearing furniture, sometimes using a metal or timber frame. Many of the original pieces made since the invention of this process are still in daily use – a testament to the durability of Lloyd Loom furniture.
As a man-made product its appearance can be altered during manufacture and as a result a wide range of colour, design and style options are available that would not typically be possible with natural products.
Willow Conservatory Furniture
Willow furniture is commonly made from a type of willow called ‘osier’ (although there are numerous other varieties) which is grown in the UK amongst other places. It is usually woven around a metal or timber frame to give it suitable strength for use as furniture.
Softwood Conservatory Furniture
Softwood furniture is generally one of the cheapest options but it is prone to cracking, warping and distortion when subjected to the temperature and humidity variation found in many conservatories, although this can be reduced with appropriate timber treatments.
Softwood conservatory furniture is generally made from woods such as pine and spruce and is likely to require more care, maintenance and possible periodic replacement in many cases when used in a conservatory.
Hardwood Conservatory Furniture
Hardwoods are far tougher than softwoods – they are denser and have a high oil content and tend to withstand the elements considerably better, and as such are able to cope with the environmental challenges that a conservatory creates. Hardwood furniture is durable and strong, although it will require periodic maintenance in the form of oiling to keep it in peak condition.
One of the most widely used hardwoods is teak which has extremely high levels of durability and a beautiful natural rich red – brown colour. It is harvested from trees native to south Asia, although it is also grown commercially in Africa and South America. Other hardwoods such as mahogany are also widely used.
Hardwood conservatory furniture is a heavy, solid and a naturally beautiful product – if sourced from renewable sources, often denoted by the FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) logo it is also an environmentally friendly choice.
Hardwood conservatory furniture is available in a wide range of classic and contemporary styles to suit all tastes and should last for many years if looked after correctly.
Metal Conservatory Furniture
Metal is one of the most hardwearing materials for conservatory furniture and a number of different metals can be used in their manufacture depending on the style of furniture desired. Metals can be used to create a practically limitless range of furniture, all of which is likely to be suited to use in a conservatory.
Metal furniture will cope admirably with the temperature fluctuations found within a conservatory – the only downside is that metals can be extremely cold in cold weather and painfully hot in hot weather – this small drawback can be easily circumvented with the use of cushions.
Metal conservatory furniture is likely to require no regular maintenance other than periodic cleaning although this will depend on the material used, the finish, and the usage that it is subjected to. If you are planning to also use your metal furniture outside then it is worth considering that which is ‘powder-epoxy coated’ as this is an extraordinarily durable and weatherproof coating as well as being available in a range of colours.
One of the benefits of metal furniture is that it can be easily rejuvenated by repainting it – either to give it a new lease of life after many years use or to fit in with a revised colour scheme if redecorating your conservatory at a later date.
Plastic Conservatory Furniture
Plastic conservatory furniture is probably the cheapest conservatory furniture available. It is lightweight and durable although cheaper coloured examples may fade with prolonged exposure to UV light. Plastic furniture is generally not as strong as furniture made from other materials listed here and has a tendency to buckle with prolonged use, particularly at the cheaper end of the market.
It is lightweight and largely immune to the weather which means it can be easily taken outside on sunny days if desired and can even be left outside. Cushions used to increase the comfort of plastic furniture are not likely to be weather resistant and should be removed and taken indoors, or covered when not in use to prevent damage.
Plastic conservatory furniture requires no maintenance other than periodic cleaning.