Patio furniture used to always pale in comparison to indoor furniture when it came to quality, style, and functionality. The latter hogged most of the appreciation, however, this isn’t the case anymore.
Over recent years, outdoor furniture started to attract a lot of attention as more and more people wanted to make the most out of their outdoor space. Nowadays, many of us are trying to transform our outdoor space into a centerpiece.
One of the most sought-after manufacturers in this industry is Woodard, known for providing exceptional durability and craftsmanship. This company has been around long enough for its older pieces of patio furniture to become the target of vintage-loving buyers.
As the crème de la crème of outdoor furniture, you want to make sure you’re paying for the real thing. This is where today’s guide comes in, so keep reading to learn how to identify vintage Woodard patio furniture.
Who Is Woodard?
Woodard Furniture is a highly regarded company that manufactures and sells patio furniture. It was founded by Lyman Woodard, and has been in the business for more than 150 years. So yes, you can bet they know what they’re doing!
Today, Woodard furniture is sold under several different brands. But, back in their vintage glory days they operated as Lee L. Woodard and Sons, Inc.
With premium quality and excellent craftsmanship, Woodard provides superb patio furniture that delivers both great comfort and unrivaled durability.
It’s not just that Woodard patio furniture is built to last, it’s also made to look really good in your outdoor space no matter the style you’re going with. The company offers a wide range of designs from classic modern outlines to traditional scroll patterns.
Wrought iron and aluminum are the main materials used in making Woodard patio furniture. But you can also find selections made out of woven materials such as HDPE (high-density polyethylene) fibers.
So, where did Woodard make its renowned vintage patio furniture? Well, that’s another factor that contributes to the grade-A status of the company’s luxurious products.
Woodard vintage furniture has been crafted, assembled, and finished in the United States. Owosso, Michigan has been an active home to Woodard Furniture for over 150 years.
How to Identify Vintage Woodard Patio Furniture
With all the glory of Woodard’s quality and longevity, it’s no wonder that many people are in the market for its vintage pieces to include in their outdoor furniture layout.
However, due to the hefty price tag on such pieces, buyers must verify the authenticity of the furniture. After all, you don’t want to spend your hard-earned cash on a Woodard knockoff!
As such, here’s a list of the ways you can identify vintage Woodard patio furniture:
1. Production Marks
The first thing you can look for in a piece of patio furniture to prove that it’s indeed a product by Woodard is to look for manufacturing marks.
These marks are created and added in Woodward factories before they’re shipped for sale. They’re sort of like tags to ensure that the patio furniture you’re getting is genuinely from Woodard.
Here are the main production markings you should check for:
Authentic vintage Woodard patio furniture may carry metal labels. These are tags that are made out of metal and are welded onto the metal frames of the furniture.
What you’ll see on these metal labels is the name of Woodard as the manufacturer, as well as a serial number that serves to identify the piece of furniture within the Woodard database.
If you provide this number to a representative of the company and it turns out to be genuine, they’ll be able to tell you the exact year the corresponding product was made.
You can also look for paper labels to verify the authenticity of the vintage Woodard patio furniture. These tags are sometimes present in the form of stickers or even hand-written labels.
What you’ll see on paper labels is the printed name of Woodard. They’re usually placed on the frame underneath the cushion.
Lastly in the department of production markings, you can also check for embossed branding. This comes in especially handy when you can’t find a metal label or a paper tag on a piece of wrought iron patio furniture.
Look the furniture’s frames over carefully, particularly the part of the frame that supports the cushions. An embossed branding could be present if it’s made by Woodard.
The embossing may or may not be easily visible, depending on whether additional coats of paint have been applied over the years. However, even if covered, the embossing is designed to remain present for the lifespan of the furniture –so, look carefully!
2. Build Quality
In addition to production markings, another way to identify vintage Woodard patio furniture is to inspect its quality.
This company is held in such high regard thanks to its superior craftsmanship, which means that the quality of its furniture is the most prominent feature it offers.
While quality may be hard to visually identify –and is often subjective– Woodard typically stands a notch above the rest.
For one, the artisans at Woodard Furniture pay extremely close attention to detail to put out pieces in order to achieve the pinnacle of perfection.
Woodard utilizes both hand-crafting and high-tech processes in order to achieve their superior results in woven, iron and aluminum furniture.
Some other quality aspects associated with Woodard furniture that you’ll want to be on the lookout for:
- Full circumference welding
- Robust swivel mechanisms
- Authentic top-grade wrough iron
- Powder coating finish
- Hardy durable frames
3. Design Features
Keeping an eye out for the design features of Woodard patio furniture is another way you can make sure you have the real deal on your hands.
Woodard patio furniture is characterized by possessing a low-maintenance and long-lasting construction. It has a vintage aesthetic thanks to its handcrafted elements and amazing precision.
Beautiful and functional, antique Woodard patio furniture is easily distinguishable from other patio furniture with how much attention is invested in building it.
Ornate scrolls and other handcrafted details are often tell-tale signs of Woodard furniture, along with fanciful upholstery.
However, to the untrained eye, using quality and style characteristics to recognize vintage Woodard patio furniture can be a huge challenge.
4. Contact Woodard Company and Ask
Last but not least, you may need to contact Woodard directly and ask them to verify the piece of furniture in question.
You can reach the company by phone on the number (800.877.2290), or via email at [email protected].
Once you get a hold of a customer service representative, ask them to clear up what you should look for. Providing photos of the prospective furniture may help them give you a definitive answer.
Alternatively, inquire about the possibility of them sending someone to identify the furniture or you bringing it into one of their branches.
Vintage Woodard Patio Furniture FAQs
Is Vintage Woodard Furniture Expensive?
Price appraisals for vintage Woodard furniture can vary greatly. Much of the pricing depends on what’s included in the patio furniture set along with their condition.
Well-maintained vintage Woodard patio sets can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. Some of the pricier sets have been around for 60+ years, which is a testament to the quality of Woodard furniture.
An appraiser that is specialized in furniture would be a great resource in helping you determine the cost of vintage Woodard furniture.
Alternatively, some online searches may allow you to find what other similar sets are going for on any internet marketplaces.
Is All Woodard Furniture Made of Wrought Iron?
No, not all Woodard patio furniture is made of wrought iron. The company also uses powder coated aluminum and has ranges made out of woven materials to give buyers the versatility they need with the same signature quality.
That said, the start of the show at Woodard is definitely wrought iron.
How Can I Tell If My Patio Furniture Is Wrought Iron?
Sometimes cast iron and wrought iron materials may get confused with each other, which may make it difficult to identify Woodard furniture.
If you have vintage patio furniture, but are unsure whether it’s wrought iron or cast iron, here’s a tip: Look for manufacturing mold lines.
Cast iron is fabricated from molds, so there will be lines presents on the sides. Wrought iron will not have these.
Additionally, signs of rust may indicate wrought iron along with texture. A hammered texture may signal wrought iron.
When Is Woodard Patio Furniture Considered Vintage?
Woodard patio furniture is considered vintage after the same duration that any other type or brand of furniture is considered vintage. For most antique dealers, furniture is vintage if it’s at least 40 years old.
How Do I Clean Woodard Wrought Iron Furniture?
Use warm, soapy water and finish with a high-quality automotive wax.
There you have it, a complete guide on how to identify vintage Woodard patio furniture.
It’s all about looking for manufacturer markings and recognizing the build quality and design features of the products. If all else fails, simply reach out to the Woodard company (still running strong!) and see if they can provide assistance.
Husband and father of three (actually, four if you include the pool). I’m an avid DIY-er and weekend warrior that enjoys taking up new projects around the house to help us maximize leisure right at home. I enjoy researching and sharing various tips, tricks and knowledge to help others make their home an oasis.