When you are choosing garden furniture, it’s often difficult to decide whether good looks or serviceability should be your priority. In most cases, you have to sacrifice style for sturdiness, or vice versa. With wrought iron patio furniture, you don’t have to make that decision, as it’s the only type of garden furniture that completely combines classic beauty with rugged strength and durability.
Why Choose Wrought Iron?
In fact, there are many reasons why wrought iron patio furniture might be your first choice for your garden. Of course, wood garden furniture is very beautiful, but it’s also very expensive, and a lot of work is needed to protect it from the elements, and from pests. Wrought iron garden furniture is termite proof, and won’t rust or splinter in either hot sun or drenching rain.
Although quite heavy, wrought iron garden furniture is lighter than wood or cast iron, which both have much greater density. Wrought iron furniture is actually the perfect weight. It’s light enough to enable you to move it around fairly easily, but not so light that the wind can blow it around. In fact, it can resist just about any kind of weather.
What Is Wrought Iron Furniture?
Nowadays, much of what is sold as wrought iron furniture is not true wrought iron, but a form of mild steel. The manufacturing process for true wrought iron is highly labor-intensive, and hence extremely expensive, which puts true wrought iron furniture beyond the means of the average homeowner. It is still considered acceptable to refer to the steel-based furniture as wrought iron, because the intricate and beautiful decoration is inspired by wrought iron artisans. You can tell a true wrought iron piece because it is very heavy, and it will have no mechanical weld marks.
Even if it isn’t true wrought iron, the strength of the steel, combined with its lightness, makes it an ideal material for attractive garden furniture, as it can be molded into beautiful shapes by hand. Paint finishes are usually applied as a powder coat — that is, a spray of resin and ground pigment that is baked on, to protect it from rust. Sometimes the pieces may be hand-finished with a rust-like wash, to provide it with a patina, or the effect of aging, making them look antique.
The true wrought iron pieces will be at the top end of the price range. Also on the more expensive side will be vintage wrought iron patio furniture, much of which was created in the early decades of the 20th century, by craftsmen such as Salterini and Molla. These pieces are very ornate, embellished with patterns such as grapevines, sea-horses, and designs with flowers and leaves and all are well over $1,000. Another great name is Woodard, whose wrought iron furniture is handcrafted using solid iron. They are still manufacturing today, but the techniques they use have been handed down the generations over 150 years. They have several beautiful collections, such as the Bradford collection, with a patio set featuring classic designs and scrolled arms.
Sets Can Be a Good Buy
When shopping for your garden furniture, you have to decide whether to look for wrought iron patio furniture sets, or stick with individual pieces. Buying individual pieces allows you to customize your patio or other outdoor area, and build up a collection of furniture that’s unique to you. However, the fact is that wrought iron patio furniture is not cheap, and individual pieces, especially those by well-known manufacturers like Kettler and Woodard, are stunningly beautiful, but can run into hundreds of dollars for one piece. Alternatively, you can save a lot of money by shopping for wrought iron patio furniture sets rather than individual pieces, and if you look in the right place you can get excellent quality for surprisingly low prices.
Just as popular nowadays, if not even more so, is the wrought iron bistro set. There’s nothing like a bistro set, with its French cafe style look, to bring a touch of chic and sophistication to your patio, and wrought iron is the ideal material to reinforce this air of traditional charm.
Black or White?
Black wrought iron patio furniture is usually the easiest to find. It’s very handsome, and fits in with any decor, so will suit most people. However, there are plenty of colors you can choose from, including green, red and gold. White wrought iron patio furniture looks especially beautiful, particularly against a background of foliage, a rockery or flowering shrubs, but is not quite so easy to find. Alternatively, you can of course paint your furniture white.
Attractive Garden Benches
Wrought iron is also a favorite material for a garden bench, which can look very attractive with its distinctive designs, especially against a wall of stone or mellowed brick. For more seating comfort, and to prevent getting burned, some benches have wooden seats with wrought iron backs, arms and legs.
Charm of the Gazebo
If you have space, of course, there’s probably nothing that will add more elegance, distinction and old-fashioned charm to your garden than a wrought iron gazebo. Many of the most decorative ones are in fact purely for decoration — they look simply stunning, but provide no shelter.
Wrought iron patio furniture is easy to keep looking good, but just remember when you buy it to buy a bottle of touch-up paint in the same color, in case it gets scratched. You will need to touch it up immediately, to prevent rust. Otherwise, all it needs is a gentle wash now and again, and applying a coat of automotive wax can be very beneficial.
The wonderful thing about wrought iron patio furniture is that it can give you so much pleasure just to look at it. The intricate and exquisite designs created by the craftsmen will not only beautify your garden, but will always be a source of comment and admiration at any gathering of friends and neighbors. It brings you timeless elegance, which never goes out of style, and of which you can always be proud.
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