Wicked range of wicker: Woven Veranda

Indonesia has some of the finest textile weavers in the world and the villages of West Java are renowned for their centuries-old artisanal traditions.

It was during a backpacking trip around Indonesia in the 1980s that a young New Zealand designer, Neil Briden, first came across hand-woven rattan furniture.

This is where the WovenVeranda story begins.

Sales manager Lisa Lloyd-Thwaites, says Neil was impressed by the 150 year-old weaving traditions he witnessed and wanted to incorporate them into his own designs.

“He was living in Sweden and his designs were Scandinavian-inspired. So he needed a manufacturer who could bring those to life.”

Lisa says he found the right manufacturer and the business relationship and friendship has been strong ever since. The furniture frames are manufactured at the factory in the city of Cirebon, then delivered to surrounding villages where the weaving is done.

“The fact that the weaving was a community enterprise really left an impression on Neil. He liked that the whole village would have a sense of ownership of the product,” says Lisa. “He saw that bonds are created and strengthened when family members work together, taking turns learning and using the various techniques in the process. And have great social interactions at the same time.”

As they say, you can’t stop progress. The wicker furniture range has expanded to include indoor and outdoor ranges, which are made from different materials for different purposes, and to handle different environmental conditions.

The outdoor range is designed for the varied, harsh European environment and copes with the extreme cold and high UV rays. Perfect for New Zealand’s changeable weather. Synthetic (polycarbonate) UV stabilised wicker is woven over commercial grade aluminium framing, which means no rusting.

For indoors, the furniture is made from plant-sourced, natural wicker cane, woven on natural rattan tube framing. The chair cushion covers are 100 percent natural cotton.

Clever, attention to detail sets the furniture above your run-of-the-mill wicker.

“One great example of this is the design of the dining chairs,” says Lisa. “They have a concave area around the lower legs or feet. This accommodates natural body movement while sitting at a table. Very comfy.”

Teak is highly featured in the dining and coffee tables and Lisa says it is all certified sustainable plantation teak, which has a lovely rustic look.

For the latest chapter in the WovenVeranda story see them at The Old School Collective, 1429 Main North Road, Waikuku.

Phone 03 423 3133, email info@wovenveranda.co.nz. www.wovenveranda.co.nz

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