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India outdoor furniture highlights handiwork, better materials

Outdoor furniture makers leverage local designs and craftsmanship to compete with lower-priced counterparts.

Outdoor furniture from India boasts intricate carvings and durable materials, reflecting local artisans' craftsmanship and creativity in utilizing diverse materials. Companies also highlight traditional themes in their releases, all under efforts to strengthen competitiveness against international rivals. One example is the incorporation of ornate patterns in wooden and metal benches, chairs and tables.

Outdoor furniture set
Shiva Garden’s outdoor furniture set consists of tables and benches with carvings and crisscross design.

In addition to enhancing visual appeal, suppliers offer strong and water-resistant designs that are easy to maintain and have a smooth finish. Many are rolling out products that endure changing weather conditions yet remain comfortable to use.

Wood, bamboo, metal, cane, resin and plastic are among the popular materials used. Natural fibers such as jute and coir are the other alternatives.

For weaving, several manufacturers utilize Germany synthetic fibers, which are long-lasting, and have an appearance, texture, size and color similar to wicker and rattan. They are UV-protected, washable, breathable and colorfast, and are typically matched with powder-coated mild steel and aluminum frames.

Suppliers such as Metro Plus Lifestyle and Shiva Garden Shop mostly use PE rattan. The material contains UV stabilizers that provide colorfastness and heat resistance, which lengthen the life span of the furniture. It has the same warm look as the genuine variant or seagrass, but is water-repellent, easy to maintain, environment-friendly and recyclable.

In promoting strong yet comfortable models, Metro Plus Lifestyle offers a collection of tables and chairs with aluminum frames, and PVC-coated woven polyester seats and backrests. The pieces are in contemporary designs, and come with cushions and intricate carvings.

The company's line constitutes poolside and dining furniture, rocking chairs, lounges, sofas and bar stools for homes, farmhouses, banquets and multiplexes. The supplier also carries aluminum and cast-iron benches with armrests and wooden strips.

Ferrous Craft likewise manufactures cast- and wrought-iron benches, chairs, lounges and tables. It applies powder coating in a green patina because it is soothing to the eyes.

Some models from India are upholstered with imported acrylic fabrics that are solution-dyed and breathable. These materials have anti-microbial properties and UV protection, and are not susceptible to fading and staining.

The industry is forecast to continue on an upward trend. Heightened global support for health and relaxation has raised demand for comfortable and leisure furniture. Further, with the increasing worldwide interest in nature and the outdoors, manufacturers predict sales will climb between 5 and 10 percent in coming year. They also expect economic recovery to sustain the revenue upturn.

Rising raw material costs, however, may dampen growth. Some companies anticipate a 5 to 10 percent markup intheir providers' rates.

Outdoor furniture selection
Product gallery

Outdoor furniture set
This outdoor furniture set from Metro Plus Lifestyle is made of woven PE rattan.
Outdoor furniture selection

Regular and rocking chairs, garden and school benches, and lounges are among the typical outdoor furniture available from India. Suppliers also offer sets comprising matching chairs, sofas and coffee tables. These pieces may come in wrought and cast iron, mild steel, PVC, aluminum or rattan.

Materials and surface treatment affect prices. Thickness also influences prices, especially in metal and woven furniture, and glass tables.

Low-end sets go for $100 to $200, and include four woven chairs and a 5mm-thick glass center table. The products are made of PVC and wrought iron or 9mm-gauge mild steel pipes.

Meanwhile, a single cast-iron bench priced at about $100 comes with armrests, rubberwood strips on the seat and carvings on the sides.

India companies also offer cane and rocking chairs, and swings in the same price scale. They use powder-coated metal frames that last up to four or five years, and have anti-rust properties and a reflective coating.

Midrange sets range from $210 to $350. Typical combinations include dining chairs or a woven PE rattan couch, a 9 to 12mm-gauge mild steel table, and two benches and a cast-iron table. Others constitute a woven PE sofa ensemble, a table in aluminum or mild steel, cast-iron garden swings and metal or wooden lounges.

Pieces have a reflective coating and a life span of five to 10 years. The models also withstand rust, dust and UV rays. The matching tables are 24 to 30in wide.

Priced between $375 and $600, outdoor furniture sets in the high end are flame-, rust- and UV-resistant. These may include a table and four chairs or a 3-seater sofa in thick woven PE rattan. The frames are made of wood or 10 to 12mm-gauge mild steel. A combination of dining chairs in ornate wrought iron and a marble-top table is available as well.

Upscale sets can also consist of couches, lounges and dining models in woven rattan or cane. Many suppliers offer cast-iron benches and chairs with carvings on the backrests and sides.

Outdoor furniture pieces from India are generally 20 to 50 percent more expensive than versions from other locations in Asia. Nevertheless, makers are positive they have a comparative advantage in terms of product durability and designs. To widen market reach further, local manufacturers maintain relationships with foreign companies. Some of them, including Godrej & Boyce, Zuari, Furniturewala and Durian, have even collaborated with international counterparts.

Related articles:
Outdoor wicker furniture: Makers underscore cost-saving measures
Antique furniture: Console and coffee tables reflect edge in craftsmanship

Set of four chairs and 24in table in mild steel frame and thick woven PE rattan
Product gallery

Metro Plus Lifestyle

Model: D9
Price: $400
Description: Set of four chairs and 24in table in mild steel frame and thick woven PE rattan; fully covered back; in brown; fire-, UV-resistant

Heavy-duty cast-iron garden bench with red seat made of rubberwood

Raj Equipment

Model: RC-546 IN
Price: $125
Description: Heavy-duty cast-iron garden bench with red seat made of rubberwood; black powder coating; ornate carved design; 152.4x60.96cm

Set of four 2-seater garden benches and solid cast-iron table

Shiva Garden Shop

Model: PB 54
Price: $270
Description: Set of four 2-seater garden benches and solid cast-iron table; carving and crisscross design on the sides and back; black powder coating; natural color rubberwood

Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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