The object is a vintage or vintage style beater. The traditional design has been made since Victorian times. The plaited wicker work can be woven from such pliable plant materials, as willow, bamboo and, most frequently, rattan.
Modern carpets are often fitted and not designed to be lifted for cleaning. This is possible due to the invention of carpet sweepers, vacuum cleaners and steam cleaners. Prior to the introduction of such household aids, the only way to rid the carpets of dust was to hang them up and beat them. There were various types of beater, but the wicker beater with a long handle and wide paddle face was and is very effective.
Wicker beaters are still sold with the traditional design, which is light and strong. They are now used more to beat rugs, car mats and pet bedding, but can also be used on curtains and even for fluffing cushions and pillows. Any material not suitable for washing or dry cleaning can benefit from beating. Sofas and chairs can be beaten and the addition of a damp cloth can limit the spread of released dust.
The use of a beater is environmentally friendly in that it does not require electric power and is made from sustainable plant materials. Moreover using one involves good physical exercise, which can also relieve stress.
The attractive woven design has helped to make vintage beaters collectible and even feature in home decor.