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Lisa Hallett Taylor

Patio Furniture: Know Your Materials - Quiz To Come

By January 31, 2013

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Right after Christmas, I bought a patio dining set from a seller through Craigslist. I'm a collector and dealer of vintage patio furniture, and this particular set is fantastic: it's the same model that I spied on last season's AMC TV series, Mad Men -- right outside the sliding glass door of Don and Megan Draper's mod New York apartment. I was describing the set to my brother the other day, and he asked if it was made of cast iron.

"Wrought iron," I shot right back, letting him know that cast iron is much heavier than wrought iron. Not that I was trying to be the expert, but I know my garden furniture materials. With types and materials in mind, I prepared a list of materials commonly used in outdoor furniture throughout its history. Yes -- there is a garden furniture history. An interesting one, in fact. At least I think so.

This spring, when you unearth your outdoor furniture from the basement, check it out and see if you can determine the materials used in its construction. Or, when you go shopping in a few weeks or months for new pieces, it might be nice to know what you're looking at and for. Here's the guide:

Enjoy your Super Bowl weekend. The weather's nice in my neck of the woods, so I might be hitting a flea market looking for more vintage garden furniture. Save me some guacamole and chips!



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