Wicker in Europe & The Rest of The World
What Is Wicker? As you are here on our website Prestige Wicker, you can tell we pride ourselves on selling handcrafted products. A good question to ask is why we are called Prestige Wicker. Let this blog post be a small brief history of wicker and its large journey through time.
All our wicker products are crafted and made using a specific species of plant origin material called Willow. During the growing process of the willow branches, the willow requires a lot of maintenance and upkeeping. This maintenance is very important as it is done to ensure that the willow will be easy to weave in the crafting process, and most importantly that it is strong enough to live a long and durable life. (To see how to clean your wicker products effectively, see our tutorial here)
This process and technique of crafting is known as Wicker. The word ‘Wicker’ is generally believed to be of Scandinavian origin i.e. ‘Vikker’ in Swedish means Wicker, and ‘Vika’ means to bend.
Products much like ours date back throughout many years in history. Wicker items are documented as far back as Ancient Egypt, however if you were to go back in those times, you may have a hard time obtaining a wicker product. In those times wicker products were very expensive!
It is believed that middle class families could only afford a small number of items such as a small table and a basket. More large wicker items such as Storage Chests, Large Baskets, Ornaments, and Chairs were believed to only be found amongst the extremely wealthy such as Egyptian Pharaohs (Archaeologists have found all of these wicker items and more whilst extracting the tombs of pharaohs).
Wicker has not only seen luxury home use throughout history, it was also used on the battlefield. In specific, The First Persian Empire (550 – 330 BC) heavily relied on the use of Wicker being as their shields on the battlefield were handcrafted using wicker.
Having a commonplace throughout history, over time the use of wicker and its popularity had spread across the globe. Civilisations such as Ancient Rome were influenced by the popularity of wicker. Before the disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius, wicker items such as baskets and interior furniture were extremely popular amongst Pompeii citizens and their vibrant community.
After the surging popularity of wicker in Italy, it was then seen to spread across into European regions such as Spain, France, and of course England. It was considered in this time that wicker products were more hygienic and sanitary in comparison to upholstered furniture. Not only this, the growing popularity of wicker made products more accessible and affordable for everybody.
The most popular items in these times became carrier baskets for groceries (e.g. Gondola basket), and carrier baskets for domesticated pets such as cats and dogs (e.g. Pet Carrier). It could be argued that these are still some of the most popular wicker items in modern day society, although I think we all know what basket should be used when it is a nice hot summers day, outside is calling, and cheese and wine is on the menu (of course it is our picnic baskets!).
Browse through our online store and see for yourself what we have to offer. You just might find the perfect wicker item waiting just for you!