Lloyd Loom is the term for today, and I'm sure you've seen it whether or not the name sounds familiar. Lloyd Loom revolutionized the wicker industry when it was introduced in 1917, because it was the only wicker made by machine. Lloyd Loom wicker was made in large sheets that were wrapped around a structure, with the raw ends turned under or disguised by a braided trim. This and saved a lot of time, bringing down the price of wicker items.
But there's another secret about Lloyd Loom wicker. It's really not wicker at all, it's twisted brown craft paper with a metal wire for support. Because it's always painted, it behaves like wicker and looks like wicker, and I'll continue calling it wicker for lack of a better word.
You will often see Lloyd Loom's distinctive sheets of wicker used for baby strollers, indoor furniture, and patio furniture. I even noticed it depicted in this little tin plate I found recently!
Here's a better example of Lloyd Loom on a set of patio furniture, courtesy of Angela at The Wicker Shop:
Here's a great example of how a sheet of the wicker is just wrapped around a form to make a lampshade, then trimmed with braided wicker trim. I love wicker lamps! This one is offered my eBay seller mllandmel:
Here's a Lloyd Loom desk, circa 1919, painted a popular color during that era. A desk like this would have had a matching chair, and was often referred to as a "postcard desk", because postcard-writing was all the rage at the time:
Image Credit: AllExperts.com
Just for comparison, let's take a look at a set of fancy Victorian wicker furniture. You can imagine how labor intensive this would be compared to the simplicity of Lloyd Loom:
Lloyd Loom was originally made in Menominee, Michigan. The inventor, Marshall B. Lloyd, sold the patent to an English manufacturer in Spalding. In fact, it's still in business, and known as Lloyd Loom of Spalding! Their furniture has a timeless style and is still made with the same methods created back in 1917.
Photo Credit: Lloyd Loom of Spalding
Now when you visit an antique mall or flea market, see if you can spot a Lloyd Loom item. I'll bet you will!