|Many people might think of iron as something heavy, and utilitarian, as opposed to decorative. But the difference is in the metal itself, with wrought iron being the finer form.
As primitive as we might think early Man was, by 1,000B.C. he was smart enough to have discovered the process whereby iron ore was smelted by firing it to melting point along with carbon which acted as a flux, an agent that attracted the impurities and was beaten out as slag when the metal was worked into shape on the forge.
Wrought iron has less than 1/10 of one percent carbon, and less than 2 percent slag remains after it is formed. This produces a soft, and malleable metal, as opposed to cast iron, which tends to be hard and rigid, due to the high carbon content.
Being a more available and workable material than bronze, by 300B.C. it was in wide use through Asia Minor, India, China and the Mediterranean for weaponry, and eventually as a construction material throughout Europe. But with development in the late 1800s of new processes for rendering steel from pig iron, wrought ironís very workability spelled its end as a structural material, and for more than a century now, it has served primarily as a decorative substance.