What to check before buying synthetic wicker outdoor furniture in Malaysia
In the world of outdoor furniture, this is the age of synthetic wicker outdoor furniture. This type of furniture is becoming so popular that your bottom has no doubt encountered it at some point!
We interviewed Kevin Boland, CEO of OHMM, to get his insights. Here are Kevin's tips on some of the essential elements to check before you buy. We cannot stress how important it is to thoroughly check before buying given your outdoor synthetic rattan furniture will be subjected to some extreme Malaysian tropical weather.
1. Turn it upside down
Check the finish underneath - this will give you an idea of the level of workmanship. Untidy weave or bare metal beams indicate that the manufacturer has cut corners. Also check to see if the welding joints are clean or messy and that the aluminium is shining and not easily scratched.
2. Not all fibres are created equal
The fiber is produced from polyethylene, a by-product of oil. Additives such as UV stabilizer, impact modifiers and anti oxidants are all key ingredients. Slight variations in all these additives will have a detrimental effect on how the material performs.
Without the correct recipe, the fibre is likely to become brittle, split, crack or fade. While it may look alright when you buy it, it will develop problems later on. International polymer specialists such as Rehau have teams of chemists constantly testing and developing high quality products.
3. Weave and finish
The standard of weaving differs from country to country, but the best quality is found in the Philippines. Their weaving culture has developed over many generations, and in the past decade the weaving standard and techniques have been enhanced by the fact that top international brands have been manufacturing their products there.
To do your own quality check, ask yourself:
- How tight is the weave? Can you spilt it with your fingers? The tighter the weave, the better the quality. Slack, loose weave reveals poor workmanship, looks terrible and generally leads to problems later on.
- Is the general finishing neat and tidy, especially around edges and corners? If you can see the frame underneath, the quality is poor.
- Can you see any staples? Good weaving means you won't be able to see the staples used to secure the fibre to the frame.
- If the product has any fittings, such as feet-gliders, check that the weave is tidy and secure around them. Legs are one of the hardest areas to finish cleanly and securely.
If the product doesn't come with a warranty, don't buy it. It may look good now, but problems may arise later. A one-year warranty is worthless - it indicates that the retailer isn't confident that the product will last beyond a year.
Reputable retailers should offer at least a three year warranty for residential usage, and someone who offers a five year warranty demonstrates real confidence in the quality of the merchandise. Consider the reputation of the retailer and the after-sales service offered. Your hard-earned money should buy you something that will give you many years of enjoyment.
To learn more and view the OHMM products, please with our OHMM section.
Tabula Rasa is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We are specialists in designer furniture and are the sole distributor for OHMM in Malaysia. We are very passionate about the furniture we sell and love to talk about furniture! Contact us to discuss your requirements.