Wrought iron, most popular in the 19th and earlier part of the 20th centuries, is making a comeback! People are starting to miss the true uniqueness and quality of the traditional wrought iron furniture and decor.
True Wrought Iron is hammered and forged into shape by artisans, rather than cast and machined like many of the overseas brands found at major retail stores.
What's the difference between true iron furniture and accessories and mass-produced pieces?
- Exquisite attention to detail.
- No two pieces are ever exactly alike.
- Solid and Sturdy Construction
- Highest grade raw materials.
- It lasts forever.
- Passion, poured into every item.
When you buy wrought iron furniture or Iron Decor it isn't just another purchase you make, it's an investment in a better quality of life and a piece of art that can be passed down from generation to generation as a heirloom.
How To Know If It's Authentic Wrought Iron
Look for pieces that are truly forged or wrought and not cast. You can tell if the iron decor you are purchasing is authentic by examining the scrolls, finials, welded joints and other decorative parts for the tell-tale signs of cast and machined iron.
On cheap items you will find seams from the case and half welded joints, prone to fatigue and moisture damage. If you look closely, the texture will be faint like the way cheaper pressed window molding looks vs. the elegant and much more durable carved trim.
Finials or decorative pieces on cast items will have a light, mass-produced look and feel to them, many will have noticeable seams. Trace over sections of the wrought iron to check for rough spots, splits, breaks or flaws that compromise the tensile strength and invite rust.
Artist Reputation and References
Check the references of an artisan hired to create custom railings, fencing or gates. Ask to contact previous clients and to see photos of the work. Visit the artisan's forge, if possible.
If you are conscious of the environment and enjoy shopping on-line, make sure you buy from a reputable dealer who carries quality products. Take a look at the videos and pictures the site has.
Reputable websites have extremely detailed images highlighting the unique design characteristics, finishes, and the attention to detail of each item. This allows you to see and feel the texture and quality. If it looks good close up in a picture, it will take your breath away in person!
Where to Buy
Specialty shops, ones that carry iron and only metal home furniture and decor are going to be your safest bet!
Some of the most popular wrought iron is imported Spanish and medieval-influenced pieces; however, a lot of wrought iron is once again being made in the US. Many blacksmith shops and wrought iron specialty stores now offer a variety of design styles from the most rustic to the more modern.
Whatever your style or preference, make sure to seek a reputable online merchant who can prove the quality and workmanship of their furniture and home decor. If the store has clearly marked items with detailed pictures, easy access to contact information and a satisfaction guarantee you can't go wrong.
How to Evaluate a Wrought Iron Seller
- The merchant should stand behind the product with guaranties against manufacture defects and other such unforeseen circumstances.
- Deal with an established retailer.
- Check their site for helpful information.
- Don't be afraid to give them a call. Since most shops are small and dedicated to customer service you may have to leave a message or send them an email, an educated and helpful person should be in touch with you shortly after that to help you get exactly what you need.
Fit and Finish.
Evaluating the quality of wrought iron products is easier if you know what to look for.
- Purchase wrought iron that has a durable finish - One that can resist moisture accumulation and prevent rust.
- Rely on the quality reputation of the artisan, manufacturer, or the store.
- Ask about the array of finishes available on stock and custom pieces. Some very elegant wrought iron pieces will have the option of hand applied overcoats to the powder coat base. These are as stated, hand applied and extremely beautiful, again make sure to look closely at the detailed images and read the descriptions.
Ask about custom work to create a piece for a specific location in the home that fits your taste and style. Altering existing furniture collections is the most popular custom request and since most wrought iron furniture is hand forged and built to order, custom alterations should not be a problem.
If a completely custom design or item is needed, find a store that has pictures and proof of quality custom iron projects with testimonials and references. Shop around for a retailer that offers a selection of styles in conjunction with a variety of decorative finishes.
Shipping and Delivery Considerations
Shipping on most small wrought iron accessories will be handled by small carriers like UPS, FedEx, USPS. Larger items like table's beds and dining sets will have to be shipped by truck or common carrier. Make sure you have the means to unload such items when the truck arrives, if you don't, call the merchant and ask them to arrange a delivery from a shipping company that provides a lift gate service. Some may even have the option and convenience of in home delivery, but it will cost more.
On large orders, you have the leverage to negotiate shipping fees. Don't be afraid to bargain with the seller to save some money.
Most important, when the product arrives, check for any signs of damage to the package before you sign for it. Refuse the delivery if you suspect your item may be damaged.
If you accept your item and it does have shipping damage, document it, take pictures and contact the store immediately. Since wrought iron is created by hand with pride and attention to detail you can expect the same care to be taken during packaging. The artisan doesn't want any of his/her creations to have gone to waste.
Now you have the knowledge and confidence to purchase true wrought iron furniture and decor that will be sure to satisfy. Go ahead; shop, buy, and enjoy hand crafted iron decor for life.