For Centuries, wrought iron has been used in applications requiring strength and permanence—It is a fact that very few materials can be made into furniture that is as attractive as it is long wearing. Many materials require sacrificing endurance for good looks, or compromising style for durability. Wrought iron furniture gives you both in a unique combination of elegance and ruggedness.
Furniture That Stands The Test Of Time.
Today, wrought iron is used in appealing patio furniture. Available in classic, transitional and contemporary styling, this is a smart choice, not just for the patio, but for the porch, deck and lawn. Not all furniture is created the same, though. When it is made well, wrought iron furniture can last a lifetime. It will withstand rigorous daily use and exposure to the harshest weather. When it’s not made well, it will likely not make it into the next season without corroding.
Armed with a little knowledge, selecting the perfect set can be easy. Here are a few pointers that will help you identify quality wrought iron furniture:
Coating is crucial.
It is imperative that wrought iron be adequately protected during the manufacturing process. If not properly coated, iron will oxidize and rust when exposed to water and air. Quality wrought iron furniture follows a laborious, multi-step process to prevent oxidation, beginning with a wash and chemical treatment, followed by an epoxy primer protective undercoat, and finished with a thick polyurethane powder coating. Inferior wrought iron offers very little protection, and often is merely treated with a coat of spray paint.
Manufacturers of quality wrought iron furniture take important additional steps to prevent moisture from causing rust by applying full-circumference welds wherever iron components intersect. Craftspersons then grind and sand the welds for a seamless transition. Rough, shoddy welding is never seen in quality wrought iron furniture.
It’s no lightweight.
Go ahead, heft it. Good wrought iron furniture is solid and heavy. Quality wrought iron furniture can often be immediately distinguished from lightweight, price-focused imports by its substantial weight alone.
Comfort is key.
While it’s substantial, it is also comfortable. In fact, quality wrought iron furniture is designed with relaxation in mind. Each piece is hand-formed to provide the utmost in comfort, something mass-produced imports cannot come close to matching.
Promises made, promises kept.
The talented artisans who make quality wrought iron furniture take pride in their work, and they stand behind it. It’s typical to find a five or seven-year warranty on these well-made pieces, but do not be surprised to find some warranties that extend to 20 years.
Now that you know what to look for, there are three manufacturers of premium quality wrought iron furniture whose names you should know. Each has been in business for generations and is known for outstanding, uncompromising quality. They are:
- Woodard, in business for over 140 years, which today uses generations-old techniques in harmony with high-tech manufacturing processes; and
- OW Lee, an Ontario, California-based company that began in 1947 making custom wrought iron gates for Hollywood mansions.
To keep reading and learn how to properly care and maintain your wrought iron furniture, visit our maintenance and care information center.