Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

April 16, 2014

Linda Hamer Kennett: The timeless beauty of wicker

No matter what the day may bring, I can leave it all behind when I take my evening walk.

Strolling through our historic neighborhood on Indy’s south side is a multifaceted treat. It is good for my heart, it erases the cares of the day and it affords me the opportunity to view more than a century of architecture. Seeing the homes on my street, one cannot help but be impressed by the individuality they express. However, there is one common bond that I have observed. More often than not, you will spot at least one piece of wicker.

Wicker has become the generic term for a number of materials, in some cases even being used to describe twisted paper. By proper definition wicker is “a product made of woven vines or stems.” Traditionally, since the mid-1800s, fine American wicker pieces have been made from rattan vines imported from East Asia and Central America. These vines are filled with lengthwise fibers giving them the strength of multi-strand cable and making them both flexible and sturdy.

The popularity of wicker furniture during the Victorian Era has left today’s collector with an immense selection of pieces. Pliable and durable, its life span can be 150 years or more if properly cared for. Wicker fibers deteriorate when exposed to rain and snow causing the hardwood frames to warp. Make certain to display your wicker on a protected porch, and no matter how quaint it may look, DO NOT place it on an unprotected deck or in a garden setting.

While major repairs should be left to a professional, minor repairs and cleaning can be done at home. General cleaning is best done with the soft bristle attachment on your vacuum. For stubborn little pieces of fuzz or lint between the fibers use an awl or tweezers. At the end of the season, wash your antique wicker with dish soap or a mixture of two tablespoons household ammonia to one gallon of water and rinse with a garden hose. Then set the pieces in the sun, preferably on a breezy day, to dry. This will take a minimum of 48 hours.

Text Only
Columns
  • Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana's Outside Nature’s BountyOur daughters were raised in the country and definitely couldn’t be considered “citified” children. Not with Dad around! From the time I was a little boy, I learned there are a lot of good things coming from the wild, and I set about e

    July 29, 2014

  • Word of advice So, what’s the word?Really, what is the word? With over 250,000 words in the English language, you’d think there would be a word for just about everything. Not so. Therefore, I am on a crusade to find a term for some everyday occurrences for which th

    July 29, 2014

  • 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress for national security failures INDIANAPOLIS – Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Ha

    July 29, 2014

  • Brian Howey: Rising up to meet Putin's thuggery BLOOMINGTON – Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of the Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my pa

    July 29, 2014

  • Pat Smith: A reader's special note Before beginning this week’s column it must be stressed that I love getting emails from readers, love getting telephone calls from readers and love seeing readers when I’m out and about – especially those who very generously tell me that they read th

    July 24, 2014

  • Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana's Outside Early Migratory Bird 2014 Season Dates The 2014 early migratory bird season dates have been submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Indiana DNR as listed below. The dates are not final until the USFWS approves them, which typically hap

    July 24, 2014

  • Why incumbents get reelected Incumbents are masters at posing as outsiders, when in fact they are insiders who produce the Congress they disdain. It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its

    July 24, 2014

  • Lessons from the largely forgotten war As we approach the official date on which the First World War started, July 28, 1914, when the first shots were fired by the Austro-Hungarians who invaded Serbia, it’s appropriate to think about the lessons that catastrophic event has taught us one h

    July 24, 2014

  • Protecting Indiana's agricultural heritage With the 4-H fairs in full swing, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about agriculture. Since Indiana became a state back in 1816, agriculture has played a vital role in our livelihood. For those who are not from Indiana, our state is practica

    July 22, 2014

  • Improving Indiana's infrastructure It is always a happy time when my family visits, especially to celebrate a wedding. I recently played hostess for my niece and her wedding party when she was looking for somewhere to hold her rehearsal dinner. I absolutely enjoy when family comes to

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.