19th Century Production Innovations Utilized New Materials
Beginning in the 19th century refined production techniques from the Industrial Revolution allowed furniture designers to utilize more exotic materials in their furniture. These patents and innovations revolved around new machines and new materials, incorporated into everything from tables and chairs to outdoor settees and wicker rocking chairs.
Before the 1830s an increasing number of patents were filed for new furniture designs; these include patents for furniture that folded, rotated, reclined and swiveled for increased function. The platform rocking chair is a great example of this innovation, the first rocking chair that could rock in place.
Cast iron, the predecessor to contemporary Cast Aluminum Patio Furniture, was now used for garden furniture (the St. Mortiz Dining Chair, made from cast aluminum is pictured right). Iron foundries throughout Europe and America noticed demand for this type of furniture explode in the 19th century, as well as iron components, such as springs for chair cushions.
Wicker Furniture also burst onto the furniture scene in the 19th century, which is weaved or woven rattan, willow, bamboo, hyacinth or other wispy, thin organic materials. Sailors and traders returned from the Orient with furniture built in this fashion, which was reproduced by European and American furniture makers. The Classic Wicker Dining Chair by Summer Classics is pictured left as an example.
The comfortable nature and ability to last outdoors of traditional wicker furniture increased its popularity. By the end of the 19th century furniture makers were offering beautiful and intricate wicker weaves. New machines allowed an increase in the complexity of the weaves found in wicker furniture; bentwood chairs also noted an increase in refined, detailed and sophisticated designs due to these machines.
These innovations, trends and new materials trickled down throughout history to influence the patio furniture of today. Our cast aluminum and wicker collections and sets can trace their ancestry directly back to these 19th century developments in furniture design.
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