A Guide To Outdoor Furniture Materials 


Garden and patio furniture needs to be able to withstand the elements. Wind, rain, snow, and fluctuating temperatures would all degrade regular indoor furniture very swiftly indeed. Although there are examples of truly ancient one-off pieces, garden furniture was not mass-produced until the advent of the garden in middle-class homes at the tail end of the industrial revolution. In the 1840s, Janes Beeb and Co started producing iron garden furniture and began a long tradition of creating chairs and tables designed to be used domestically in external settings. 

These days there are many materials used to create garden furniture – each with distinct properties. Here is a very brief guide to the most commonly used outdoor furniture materials. 

Cast Iron

Some of the most elegant (and heavy) garden furniture is made of cast iron. Cast iron is created by melting pig iron alongside scrap metals in order to create a strong alloy. This is far less brittle than pig iron on its own. This melted alloy is then poured or vacuumed onto a mold in order to give it shape before being cooled off. Cast iron garden furniture is capable of withstanding the elements for many years and is often molded in a distinctly ornate Victorian style. It is usually quite expensive and a bit too heavy to be regularly moved. The first mass-produced garden furniture was created using cast iron. 


Wood has long been one of the most popular materials for the construction of furniture. Unfortunately, many traditional furniture-making wood types are completely unsuitable for outdoor use. Pine and oak, for instance, quickly become blemished and can rot when exposed to water for long periods of time. 

Some hardwoods do not suffer from rotting when exposed to the elements. Teak is an extremely fine-grained wood that is highly resistant to the elements. It has a naturally high oil content, which helps to repel water and prevent damage. For great examples of teak garden furniture, check out Vida XL – a leading modern producer and seller. Teak furniture is often beautiful and can be preserved without much expertise or expense. The price of teak has risen sharply because of it being used in the creation of high-quality furniture. Is teak the best water resistant wood?


Bamboo – a hardy and fast-growing grass – is perfect for the production of outdoor chairs. VidaXL also sells a large range of bamboo chairs, which are usually created with a mixture of the hardy Asian grass and canvas. Bamboo is very resistant to warping and cracking. It has a high level of elasticity


Some plastic polymers are highly water resistant, very flexible, and can last a long time. Garden furniture made of polyethylene is extremely common and very affordable. Although this furniture is rarely stylish, it is extremely practical. Polyethylene furniture is commonly available in bulk for use by event organizers. PVC can also be used as a polyethylene alternative. It has a slightly shinier surface, which some people think looks rather cheap in their garden. 

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