Wrought Iron vs. Cast Iron: What’s the Difference?
Mar 15th 2024

Wrought Iron vs. Cast Iron: What’s the Difference?

In the world of metal furniture and ornamental design, the two techniques that are often compared – wrought vs cast iron. So, what Is the difference between wrought iron and cast iron? These two iron-based alloys, though similar in some ways, possess unique characteristics that set them apart. If you are interested in iron furniture and need more information on the difference between wrought Iron and cast Iron, we can help. Urban Forge is a family owned business whose flagship location is in the heart of historic downtown Mountain View, Arkansas. We have spent the last forty-five years crafting hand-forged luxury iron furniturelighting, and accents. Built on a foundation of deep care, quality, and unique craftsmanship, it is our intention to bring new life to old iron.

Wrought Iron: A Timeless Classic, Forged In Fire

You may be wondering how these two materials stack up. When considering wrought iron vs cast iron, the main difference is in how the metals are fashioned. Wrought iron is a malleable and more corrosion-resistant material that has been used in furniture making for centuries. It has a very low carbon content. The term "wrought" means "worked" in Middle English, referring to the process of heating and hammering the iron into shape. This labor-intensive process results in a material that is both strong and flexible, making it ideal for intricate designs and ornate details. Furniture made from wrought iron is often characterized by its delicate, hand-forged appearance. Its strength and durability make it a popular choice for heirloom quality furniture that will last a lifetime. Our Elm Springs Wrought Iron Canopy Bed is a flawless example of the strength yet softness that can be achieved with hand-forged iron. The curve and texture of its iron branches sprout into hand forged leaves that mimic the softness of nature while offering the strong lifetime support for which Urban Forge is known. Wrought iron bed frames can withstand a large amount of weight without suffering structurally.

Cast Iron: Sturdy Resilience, Melted and Molded

When looking at cast iron vs wrought iron, we see that cast has a higher carbon content than wrought iron. It is a mixture of metals that is formed by melting the raw materials and pouring the molten metal into a mold. This casting process allows for the creation of intricate shapes and designs. The most famous example of using cast iron to create complex shapes in architecture is the United States Capitol Dome. Cast iron furniture is known for its heavy, solid appearance. One of the main advantages of cast iron is its strength and durability; however, it must be regularly maintained to preserve its appearance and structural integrity. Furniture made in cast vs wrought iron is consistent and predictable in that the mold will ensure an exact replica every time.

The Great Debate: Which Is Better For Furniture?

When it comes to choosing between wrought iron and cast iron for furniture, there is no definitive answer. The decision ultimately depends on the desired aesthetic, the intended use, and the level of maintenance you are willing to undertake. Cast Iron, unlike wrought iron, is brittle and cannot be worked either hot or cold and it can break if struck with a hammer. Cast iron is a good choice for those seeking a more substantial, heavier piece of furniture. However, its greater susceptibility to rust and brittleness should be considered when making a decision. Genuine wrought iron will produce long, red sparks. Urban Forge holds special events at our flagship storefront where patrons can see firsthand the firefly of red sparks as one of our blacksmiths work their craft. If you are curious about the artistry and process of wrought iron creations, you can find a video of this process here.

Urban Forge: Custom Heirloom Furniture

Wrought iron is generally more expensive than cast iron because each piece is custom made and requires a high level of attention and skill from a trained blacksmith. Urban Forge artisans enjoy collaborating with the creativity of our clients. Shop our statement pieces such as iron bedsstoolschairsswingsbenchestables, and more at Each hand-forged wrought iron product is easy to maintain and will last a lifetime. We also have many smaller wrought iron pieces such as candle holdersmugslight fixturesgifts and much, much more. If you love one of our designs but want to add your own touch, reach out and one of our skilled craftsmen can help. We are artisan made, guaranteed forever.