What It Is
Traditional wicker is created by weaving stick or pole rattan, materials that are not resistant to weather. All-weather wicker uses these same techniques, but uses polyethylene resin fiber, which is water-resistant.
Natural Vs. Synthetic
All-weather wicker is by definition synthetic and is not made of natural materials. Because all-weather wicker is created using nontraditional, synthetic fibers, it can be exposed to the elements without lasting damage as outdoor-use furniture, while achieving a natural look and feel.
Dyes are mixed into the woven material of all-weather wicker, making it less likely to peel or flake than painted wicker after weather exposure. The process of mixing the dyes also allows the color to maintain its vibrancy after sun exposure.
Less expensive all-weather wicker products use polyethylene resin fiber that is woven over a rattan frame, leaving the chair open to water or exposure damage. Frames made of steel, aluminum or teak, while less traditional, hold up longer.
All-weather wicker is designed to withstand exposure and be weatherproof wicker, as its name suggests. To extend its lifetime, however, it is recommended that the furniture be brought inside during long periods of rain or snow.