Is Woven Outdoor Furniture Really Durable?

28 March 2024
Woven wicker or rattan outdoor furniture is more popular than ever. But does it really last outside?

Woven furniture, often called wicker or rattan, has a timeless style with a hint of vintage aesthetic. And despite now seldom being made of natural materials such as cane or willow, woven outdoor furniture is more popular than ever.

Coral dining suite on Waiheke island

The intricate weaving, whether used in chunky or finely designed pieces, offers elegance alongside cozy warmth and hand-made durability. Warp and weft, many strands bound together by plaiting and weaving, will be many times stronger than a single strand, and the touch of human hands in the weaving adds to the charm and value. Modern synthetic wicker offers a vast array of colours, from natural hues such as cane lookalikes to black, bronze, and white with pearlescent sheens and more. There is a colour scheme for any outdoor palette.

But is it really durable? Is it even luxurious?

The answer is – it depends.

With many manufacturers seeking to meet the high demand for outdoor furniture, it can be no surprise that not all offerings will be equal. Cost-saving shortcuts can reduce the dense warp-to-weft ratio required for strong, durable seating, and can produce materials that are not suited to the harsh New Zealand environment.

Barbados furniture on Zane Grey's Pier

However, with incredible advances in technology and skilled weavers using both traditional and innovative techniques, there are some truly exquisite furniture suites and standalone pieces available in the outdoor furnishing arena. Shade7 are proud to offer their own premium woven furniture range constructed of Raucord wicker, a premium synthetic rattan produced by German company Rehau.

Raucord rattan is among the most durable wicker products available. Waterproof and virtually maintenance-free, UV resistant and stress tested to temperatures of -10° to +50° Celsius, Shade7’s Raucord outdoor furniture is hand-woven with the strongest warp to weft ratio of one to one.


Shade7’s outdoor furniture is designed with the most discerning customers in mind, from high-end Resorts and Hotels around the world to luxury homes across New Zealand and the Pacific. Simple elegance and sophisticated weaving combine to create timeless, beautiful furniture including sofas, lounge chairs, sun loungers, daybeds and dining suites. Each item is constructed as a single piece (not kitset). The commercial grade aluminium powder-coated frame ensures maximum strength and stability. Where seat cushions complete a furniture item, premium outdoor fabrics Sunbrella and Batyline Textilene cover marine-reticulated foam seat inners, providing additional longevity of function and appearance.

Madrid on deck at Point View Drive

The combination of beautiful design, premium materials, and the densest ratio weaving by skilled weavers make Shade7’s premium woven furniture a prized outdoor feature at homes, restaurants, and hotels across New Zealand, as well as many Pacific and Asian luxury resorts such as Radisson Blu, St Regis, Plantation Island and the Sheraton.

New Zealand’s high UV factor is extremely damaging over time to anything exposed to the sun for extended periods. By choosing beautifully designed wicker furniture made from the highest quality rattan, such as Raucord, and outdoor fabrics such as Sunbrella and Batyline Textilene, you will ensure many years enjoyment of your beautiful woven outdoor furniture.

Shade7’s furniture range also includes a beautiful selection of durable non-woven furniture with clean lines and a Scandinavian ambience.

You can view Shade7’s collection in their showroom, website, or download their commercial catalogue for any commercial projects here in New Zealand or further afield.

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