A world of distinctive furniture
Since Pier 1 began selling furniture over 40 years ago, our passion has been to offer unique, handcrafted furniture and accents from around the world. Our furniture features exclusive designs, sturdy construction, unusual finishes and exceptional material choices from exotic places like Brazil, Indonesia, The Philippines, India and Vietnam. Like you, we appreciate quality furniture at affordable prices.
Your wicker authority
Pier 1 buyers know their wicker—and that includes rattan and cane too. With its distinctive, natural look, wicker adds a touch of sophistication to any space. Lightweight and easy to maneuver, it can be a smart furniture choice for use indoors or out. From rattan living room furniture to all-weather wicker to the iconic Pier 1 Papasan Chair, we have plenty of options for every room of the house.
What is wicker anyway?
Wicker is a broad term for any product woven of vines, stems or branches. The rattan vine is the largest source used to create wicker. It can grow to be as long as 600 feet and can grow up to 36” in a single day, making it a readily available, sustainable fiber for all kinds of purposes—from baskets to beds.
The second layer or cane of the rattan vine is created after the outer thorns have been removed from the skin or bark. Cane is a popular weaving material used primarily in chair seats, and in wrapping joints of wicker furniture. It is produced in many different gauges, ranging from carriage fine to the largest slab rattan. Cane has a natural glossy finish and does not accept stain or paint well; however, it is most beautiful in its natural state.
The primary material used in the production of wicker furniture includes the entire pole, skin and all. It has an outer thorny covering that must first be removed to expose the skin or bark (cane). Rattan has been used in wicker furniture and basketry since ancient times, and pieces have been documented back as far as 2500 B.C.
Bamboo resembles rattan and is often mistaken for it; however, one of the biggest differences between the two materials is that bamboo has a hollow core and rattan is solid. Also, bamboo has distinctive ridges where the leaves were attached, whereas rattan’s leaf nodes are not so pronounced.
Go Green: Rattan is an excellent abundant, renewable resource. It is one of the very few natural materials used to make furniture that grows extremely quickly. It’s also easy to maintain, beautiful in design and can be enjoyed for years.
Production of wicker furniture
There are three stages in wicker furniture production:
Rattan cane is steamed and bent into the desired shape using a jig or mold. The cane is left on the jig to dry. Once dry, the individual pieces are assembled to form the frame. All wicker frames from Pier 1 are first nailed or screwed together and then may be wrapped with rattan peel, which adds both strength and a decorative element.
The weave refers to the pattern of the rattan strands. Done completely by hand, weaving takes from one to four days, depending on the type and complexity. The tighter the weave, the more time it takes to make the piece (and the higher the price). There are two types of weaves: Open, a weave you can see through, and Closed, a tight weave you can’t see through. There are numerous decorative weaving designs utilized.
Every piece of wicker furniture crafted for Pier 1 features a minimum of seven finishing steps:
- Deburring (rattan ends are burned off for a smooth feel)
- First color coat applied
- Second color coat applied
Fun facts about wicker
- It takes approximately 10,000 weavers to produce enough wicker merchandise to supply 1,000 Pier 1 stores. An experienced weaver can only complete two chairs a day.
- When planning his first transatlantic flight in 1927, Charles Lindbergh had a wicker pilot’s seat installed in his plane, The Spirit of St. Louis. Wicker was an obvious choice due to its light weight, durability and comfort.
- Rattan is so strong that it’s used to construct hot air balloon gondolas. And the Malaysians use it to build suspension bridges.
- The tomb of King Tutankhamen (Tut) included some finely woven wicker stools and chests – along with baskets, matting and even a pair of wicker sandals.
- During the Victorian era in the mid-1800s, wicker furniture came back into vogue because the Victorians believed that its smooth surface was more hygienic than upholstered furniture.
- Wicker is durable—there are plenty of vintage wicker pieces still in use today. The oldest wicker pieces still in existence —storage boxes and hassocks —date back to the time of Cleopatra.
- Use of large, sturdy rattan strands
- Rattan is bleached prior to construction to ensure even color
- Paint is evenly applied, sanded and lacquered for a consistent finish
- Each piece is painted or stained completely, including backs and bottoms
- Sanded, smooth finish
- Cross-bracing added for stability
- Foot glides on each Pier 1 piece protect floors
- Small-sized rattan strands used
- Inconsistent color
- Thick layers of paint accumulate in weave
- Painted or stained only in visible areas
- Rough finish
- Frame is not reinforced
- No foot glides
Care of your Pier 1 wicker furniture
- Most wicker pieces can be used indoors or in a covered outdoor environment.
- Because wicker is a
exposure to the
elements is not
sunlight are rattan’s
- Vacuum regularly
to remove dust.
Occasionally clean with
mild soap to remove
grime from crevices
and to retain natural
- On dark wicker, use a
furniture polish containing a stain, such as Old English®.
- If furniture has been exposed to moisture and develops mildew, it can be removed with 1⁄4 cup bleach added to 1 quart of water. Test this
solution on an inconspicuous
area first as it may
lighten the rattan’s
color slightly. Rinse
with a wet cloth and
allow the wicker to dry
completely. When using
this method, be certain
to take the item outdoors
and wear protective
goggles, gloves with
cuffs and old clothing.
- Every few years, you
may want to apply a
fresh coat of lacquer
in a semi-gloss or
Wild about woods
The wooden furniture from Pier 1 Imports is uniquely crafted and finished for durablility and style. Certain of the finishes used on our furniture are multistep processes and are hand applied. These may include intricate hand-painting, hand-carvings and hand-distressing. The exotic beauty of Pier 1 furniture adds character and depth to any home and will provide years of useful beauty.
Wood’s natural beauty, strength and versatility have made it the furniture material of choice for thousands of years. Pier 1 offers quality wood choices from select locations around the globe. All of our wood is kiln-dried, which enhances its quality and durability.
Go Green! Pier 1 recognizes the importance of purchasing plantation-grown and sustainable woods. We strive to use wood and wood products from eco-friendly sources to create our unique furniture and home décor. It is Pier 1 policy to not use wood from endangered forests.
What is kiln-dried wood?
Drying wood in an insulated chamber and circulating air over it is called kiln drying. Quality furniture manufacturers dry wood for several reasons:
- Better usability: Wood shrinks
as it loses moisture and
swells as it gains moisture.
- Increased strength &
durability: As wood
dries, most strength
- Better production
screws and glue hold
better in seasoned
wood, and paints
and finishes adhere better.
Types of wood used in Pier 1
A durable hardwood from fast-growing trees from the Far East and South America. The thin grain, flame design and varied color shades give acacia furniture a warm appearance.
Albasia is a softwood with characteristics similar to pine. White or pale yellow, this lightweight, straight-grained wood resists shrinking and swelling caused by changes in humidity and features a distinct contrasting grain with heavy knots. Albasia accepts stains very well.
Birch wood is fine-grained and pale in color, often with an attractive satin-like sheen. Birch wood is suitable for veneer, and birch ply is among the strongest and most dimensionally stable plywoods.
Eucalyptus is a native of Australia and is prized for its resistance to rot and its handsome look. It also will last for decades. Most tropical hardwoods, like eucalyptus, will weather to a silvery finish over time, unless treated with teak or other furniture oil.
Usually found on the Malabar Coast, this wood from the Jackwood tree is yellow when first cut but ages to a rich mahogany color. Used primarily for cabinets and furniture making.
A beautiful reddish-brown hardwood with a distinct grain that features pinholes.
The mango tree is well-known for its tasty fruit, however the wood makes lovely furniture as well. Mango wood is yellow, sometimes with orange or green streaks. It is easy to work and maintains its shape well. Most wooden vases and salad sets are crafted of mango wood.
Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) is an engineered material composed of wood fiber and adhesives. Used to produce many quality items, it makes a superior foundation for veneers because it has the advantage of being moisture- resistant. It will rarely shrink or swell and is dimensionally stable.
Meranti is a blonde-to-red softwood with virtually no visible grain. Pier 1 does not use meranti wood from endangered forests.
Nyatoh (nee ah’ toe) is a plantation hardwood similar to teak with a unique, attractive grain. It is extremely durable and is used in quality furniture production. Dark red in color, nyatoh has a long, straight grain.
A white or pale yellow softwood, this lightweight, straight-grained wood resists shrinking and swelling caused by changes in humidity. It is characterized by a distinct contrasting grain and heavy knots. Pine accepts all colored stains well.
Rubberwood is a by-product of natural rubber production. Trees are grown on commercial timber plantations for their latex. After the latex supply has been depleted, the trees are cut and the wood is used for other purposes. Rubberwood is a semi-hardwood that is well- suited to furniture production. It is characterized by a light yellow color and a speckled grain with small knots.
Sheesham (Indian Rosewood)
Sheesham is a heavy and hard wood with a rich chestnut color, well-suited for furniture making.
Veneer is a thin layer of fine wood or other material attached to underlying composite material. It is a common misconception that veneers are of a lesser quality than solid wood. Well-made veneers are as sturdy and strong as solid woods and provide the look of exotic and expensive woods at a lower cost.
Make it metal
Our metal furniture selections offer durable construction with long-wearing beauty. Metal furniture may be wrought by bending solid or tubular steel, by welding pieces together to form the frame or by casting furniture parts using molten metal poured into a mold.
The term “wrought” is defined as “made or fashioned; hammered into shape, as metal.” Wrought iron furniture is strong, durable and well-suited to withstand the rigors of frequent use.
Steel is a metal alloy comprising iron and carbon. It has tremendous strength and weight. It is widely used in household products and makes for a durable piece with little maintenance and long-lasting beauty.
Provides a slightly formal look without sacrificing strength and durability. Hollow tubular steel is more refined and consistent in shape and texture than solid metal rods. It gives the appearance of more mass without the excess weight.
Solid Metal Rods
Solid metal rods offer a casual elegance and durability. Solid rods are smaller in diameter than tubular steel and have a coarser, more hand-wrought look. They have significant strength and weight.
The finishes on our metal furniture are highly rust-resistant and make the pieces almost maintenance- free. Several collections feature unique, multicolor finishes (as many as six layers) found exclusively at
What is powder coating?
Powder coating is a finishing process used on much of our wrought iron furniture to make it attractive, strong and scratch-resistant. Magnetic charges make the coating cling to the surface of the furniture, resulting in better coverage and a more durable finish than conventional painting methods. Powder coating is also environmentally friendly because it releases virtually no volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere.
Caring for your metal furniture