There have never been as many different types of affordable modern outdoor furniture than today. Technological advancements have made possible the mass production of many new materials that make it possible to build good quality furniture. Among these modern materials are plywood, aluminium, stainless steel and many different types of plastic and resin. These new materials hold some strong advantages over traditional materials used to make furniture like wood and iron or steel. They are better at resisting the adverse effects of weather and attacks from termites and other insects.

Aluminium And Stainless Steel Metal Garden Furniture

Nowadays, you often find modern outdoor furniture with at least their frames made from steel, stainless steel or aluminium. Modern so-called wrought iron furniture is actually made from mild steel. Mass production of steel only began with the invention of the Bessemer furnace in 1857. Stainless steel was not invented until the 1900s and was not mass produced until after World War One. Aluminium, while known as early as 1827, was so difficult to produce that it was as expensive as gold and silver. The price of aluminium did not drop until 1888, when mass production by Alcoa began in Pittsburgh.

Most steel, stainless steel and aluminium used in modern outdoor furniture is usually in the form of tubes for the frame. This gives them a good deal of strength while keeping their weight down. So metal garden furniture of this kind can be quite easy to move around to wherever you need them the most. Better yet, many chairs made from metal are either foldable or stackable - they do not take up much room in your store room or closet.

Plywood Furniture

A great many pieces of modern furniture use plywood because it is cheaper and more resilient than normal wood. This comes from the fact that plywood is made by gluing many layers of thin and cheap wood together with their grains crossing one another. Plywood has been known for over a thousand years. Archaeologists have discovered plywood in ancient Egyptian tombs and Chinese structures as well as ancient Chinese furniture. However, despite being known for such a long time, plywood was not mass produced until 1905 in Portland. Since then, many different types of plywood have been invented, especially after World War One. Among these are extra high strength aircraft plywood and marine plywood which resists rotting.

Plywood is often used in folding tables and chairs. These types of modern outdoor furniture can be easily put away in storage when you do not need them, or whenever bad weather strikes. They are particularly good when you only have a small garden and need to maximize the usefulness of the available area.

Plastic Outdoor Furniture

Plastic was first invented in 1855. This plastic was called Parkesine and it was used as artificial ivory. The first plastic to be mass produced was Bakelite, in the 1920s. After that more and more types of plastic were invented for different purposes. Plastic is so useful that nowadays it is common to find modern outdoor furniture with parts made from plastic. You can even find 100% plastic outdoor furniture.

However, despite the many advantages of plastic, among them resistance to rot and insect attacks, there is also a serious weakness. Many plastics become brittle in cold weather. So if you have cold winters in your area, plastic outdoor furniture is generally not a good choice unless you intend to put it in storage during the winter months.

Resin Wicker Furniture

Resin wicker furniture is actually made from plastic wicker. Furniture of this type used to be cheap and tacky, but now higher grade resins have been developed that look and feel better. Some types of modern outdoor furniture are now made from plastic wicker that is actually indistinguishable from natural plant fiber like rattan or bamboo.

These types of wicker garden furniture are often very easy to maintain - just hose them off or wipe them down with a damp cloth and detergent whenever they get dirty. Wicker is quite light and strong, so modern outdoor furniture made from plastic wicker can be easily moved into storage whenever not needed.

Resin/Plastic Coated Outdoor Furniture

Wicker garden furniture made from natural rattan and wood is still common. However, materials like these do not last long outdoors. Some modern methods of making these natural materials weather-proof is by dipping them in a resin or plastic solution which keeps moisture away from them. Some of these resins are actually modern replacements for the traditional lacquers, while others were invented to replace paint. These resins often have additional properties which make them even more effective at staving off the effects of wear and tear as well as weather. So you can now find low-cost modern outdoor furniture made from cheap steel and plywood but covered with a layer of plastic to protect them from the weather. You can also find outdoor wicker furniture where the wicker has been dipped in resin to protect it.

In the end, you have many choices of modern outdoor furniture. You need to tailor your selection to your real needs and to your environment. What you want to use the furniture for? Is it for dining on your sheltered patio? Is it just to provide you with a place to lounge around while enjoying your garden? What type of furniture best fits your garden? What type of furniture best suits your weather?