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04

Jun

2020

8 Frequently Asked Questions About Wicker

8 Frequently asked questions about wicker

Below you'll find the answers to questions we get asked the most about Wicker, including sustainability, robustness and food safety. If you have a question that isn't answered, then get in touch!

 

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WICKER AND WILLOW?

We get asked this question quite a lot. Essentially, willow and wicker are the same thing. Willow is the raw material that is harvested and used to weave a wicker hamper basket or wicker gift tray.

 

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT FINISHES OF WICKER?

UNPEELED WILLOW - When the willow has been cut it still has a layer of bark on it, and at this stage, once it has been thoroughly dried, it can be woven with the bark still on. This is what we would refer to as unpeeled or rustic wicker. This finish is often used for baskets for use in the garden due to its rustic look, and the additional protection that the bark offers.  

WHITE WICKER - The second finish of wicker is white wicker; this finish is achieved by simply stripping the bark and then weaving as desired. White wicker is often used to create a fresh, clean looking product, such as shopping baskets for delis and farm shops. Wicker can also be sprayed or painted to create different colour effects, the most popular of these is a white-wash.  

BUFF WICKER - The most popular, and most commonly seen type of wicker, is what is known as buff wicker. This is the traditional, honey or golden colour wicker that is most commonly recognised. The production process for this finish is slightly more complex. The willow is harvested and boiled with the bark on, which causes the dark tannin from within the bark to soak into the white wicker underneath, giving it a rich brown colour. After boiling, the wicker is then dried and can be woven.  

 

HOW LONG DOES WICKER TAKE TO GROW?

Willow is very fast growing taking around 6 months and well suited to growth in many parts of the world. When the willow strands reach a high of around six feet, they are ready to be cut. The base of the willow, which grows in clumps of around 30 stems, is left so that the stems can immediately begin to regrow.

 

IS WICKER SUSTAINABLE?

The good news is that wicker is indeed sustainable. Wicker baskets are a great eco-friendly alternative to plastic and single use gift packaging and retail display.  The fast-growing material has a low environmental impact over its whole lifecycle and is more naturally resilient compared to other alternatives that need to be treated with toxic chemicals.

 

ARE WICKER HAMPER BASKETS RECYCLABLE? 

Yes! As wicker is a natural material, it will eventually biodegrade. It’s worth noting that the straps of our standard hamper basket range are made from faux leather with metal hardware so these will have to be disposed of separately.

One of the great things about wicker hamper baskets is they can be repurposed for years to come by your customers in their home whether it’s storing logs by the fireplace or in the bathroom to keep our toiletries in order. Not only is this great for the environment, it also adds value to your hamper gifts.

 

ARE WICKER HAMPER BASKETS ROBUST?

Wicker hamper baskets are typically tough and durable, our range can happily hold multiple bottles of wine and plenty of heavier items and have sturdy handles that won’t break under strain. A well-made hamper basket should have longevity and last for years.

 

IS WICKER FOOD SAFE?

We don’t like to use toxic chemicals or varnishes on our wicker baskets and wicker trays however we do advise packing hampers with pre-packaged food to prevent direct contact to keep the hampers as hygienic as possible.  Of course, you can always use our large wicker display baskets to merchandise fruit and vegetables in your shop. We recommend rotating stock to unsure older stock is picked first. You can also use hessian to line baskets to prevent softer fruit and veg from bruising and to catch the crumbs!

 

CAN I PUT WICKER DISPLAY BASKETS IN THE FRIDGE?

You can put natural wicker in the fridge for a short period of time, although we don’t generally recommend it. A great alternative to real wicker are plastic wicker baskets. They are ideal for displaying chilled good such are cheeses in refrigerated display cabinets and fridges. Our plastic display baskets are food and dishwasher safe making them popular with our Farm Shop and Deli clients.

 

ARE WICKER DISPLAY BASKETS EASY TO CLEAN?

Even though natural wicker is robust, water and cleaning products can weaken and discolour it. We recommend regularly giving wicker display baskets a quick wipe down with a non-abrasive cloth. A vacuum is also useful for getting all little bits of out the bottom of baskets that have fallen between the weave. If you’ve got more of a stubborn stain you need to remove, then a damp cloth with the smallest amount of washing up liquid should do the job.

 

If you've got a question that we haven't answered then give us a call or pop us a message on live chat and we'll do our best to answer it.

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