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Antique Wrought Iron Furniture

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Wrought Iron Bar Stool
Wrought Iron Bar Stool
Antique wrought iron furniture has been there since ages (for thousands of years now.) Earlier wrought iron was used as a decorative and structural building material. In middle ages, bars of wrought iron were used occasionally to tie masonry arches and domes. Gradually wrought iron started to be used for making furniture and other decorative items.

Production of Wrought Iron in Early Ages

Wrought iron is the one that is referred to as the "iron" throughout western history. The other form of iron- the cast iron- was not introduced into Western Europe until the 15th century. After that too, because of its brittleness, cast iron could only be used for a limited purposes. Throughout Middle Ages, iron was produced by direct reduction of ore in manually operated bloomeries and at some places with waterpower. From 15th century onwards, the bloomery and osmond processes were gradually replaced by finery processes.

A number of wrought iron production processes without charcoal were developed as the Industrial Revolution began during the latter half of the 18th century. The most successful of these was puddling that used a puddling furnace (a variety of the reverberatory furnace). In 1925, the Aston process for manufacturing wrought iron quickly and economically was developed in the United States. It involved taking molten steel from a Bessemer converter and pouring it into cooler liquid slag. However, In the 1960s the price of steel production was dropping due to recycling and even using the Aston process wrought iron production was a labor-intensive process. Therefore, wrought iron is no longer manufactured commercially. However, some wrought iron is still being produced for heritage restoration purposes, but only by recycling scrap.

Antique Wrought Iron Furniture History

During the Middle Ages, wrought iron furniture was functional and practical like any other furniture made from other materials. At that time, only a few furniture pieces like table, benches, stools and beds were made. This period covers the Romanesque and Gothic eras. Carved furniture was only limited to some of the pieces made for wealthy people.
In the 16th Century, the furniture manufacturers used to make less heavy, more comfortable and decorated furniture. In 17th Century, the designs of furniture became more elegant and beautiful. In 18th Century, many ornamental furniture pieces like small tables, cabinets and large writing tables were made. Antique wrought tables and chairs of this period are still favorites of the antique collectors. The 19th Century can be called the flourishing age for wrought iron furniture. The antique wrought iron furniture of this period reflect an eclectic mix of design elements from Egypt, Greece, Rome and other European countries. With other metals taking over wrought iron production, the furniture made of this material was less manufactured in the early 20th century. However, its later half witnessed a revived interest in traditional styles leading to antique collecting and also ‘antiquing’ and reproduction pieces of wrought iron furniture.

Popularity of Antique Wrought Iron Furniture

As wrought iron is not manufactured today, the antique wrought iron furniture has gained tremendous popularity. Although reproduction antique furniture manufacturers produce lookalike furniture that resemble antique wrought iron furniture but those who want quality and authenticity are always on a look out for true antique furniture suppliers. From among all types of antique furniture, antique wrought iron outdoor furniture is more popular than any other furniture due to the quality of wrought iron to withstand the harsh climatic conditions present in garden or patio.

Today antique wrought iron tables and chairs as well as antique wrought iron patio furniture and garden furniture can be seen as and integral part of home decor for people who love style, beauty and antiquity for their homes. Antique lovers even put lots of efforts to find antique furniture exporters just to bring home some exquisite pieces of antique wrought iron furniture!

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