What is rattan?
Rattan is a strong, durable climbing vine native to Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. It can be mistaken for cane and wicker. Rattan is actually a weaving technique, not the actual material itself. The name "rattan" comes from the Tagaytay tribe of the Philippines, where the rattan vine was first used. It can be woven into furniture items as elaborate and stylish as a fine dining room table, or it can be incorporated more into the home design as a decorative feature rather than a functional one.
Rattan is 'all-weather' and durable
It resists moisture, stains, dirt, wind, hail, snow, and extreme temperatures. Even the biggest rattan fan will notice that rattan outdoor furniture needs infrequent cleaning or replacement. It requires very little maintenance or cleaning when it is in good shape. If you live in an area with dry winds or a lot of sun, you might want to look into rattan window coverings. They're great at keeping the elements out.
Rattan provides a soft, medium-to-dense texture for your garden furniture. Some rattan has a rough texture, which makes it suitable for use outdoors, but it lacks the warmth of other rattan varieties and is also less dense, making it feel stiff and uncomfortable for the average person to sit on.
Most people prefer medium- to dense-textured rattan. This kind of rattan feels much more substantial and offers better support. Its feel can be altered by treating it periodically with treatments such as polyurethane oil. It also benefits from regular cleaning, but some manufacturers coat rattan with polyurethane, so it doesn't need any treatments of its own.
The main differences between rattan and wicker
One of the main differences between rattan and wicker is their processing techniques. Wicker rattan is woven by a series of processes. The most common of these is known as criss-cross weaving, and it allows rattan to be more durable and withstand heavy amounts of wear and tear. Cuts are generally made in three dimensions to make each piece stronger and more compact.
The construction of rattan furniture is a lot different than that of regular wicker. Each piece is individually woven, allowing for greater control in terms of density and weight. Rattan is also cut into smaller pieces to reduce waste, allowing manufacturers to make more pieces at once. This helps to keep rattan furniture much more affordable over time.
Rattan is not a wicker substitute. While wicker rattan can be woven and used in construction, the primary materials it is typically made from are hardwood fibers.
However, rattan can be woven with almost any light material, including plastics, resins, or even light-emitting dyes. Because it is so versatile, rattan has begun to find its way into other areas of manufacturing and design. Pendant lights, for example, have been made from rattan for years, and rattan pendant lights with rattan can even be found in many gyms today.
Aside from its unique weave and its ability to withstand wear and tear, rattan can also offer a touch of texture to a room. Since rattan is often cut into thinner strips, the texture can easily be applied to rattan furniture without much trouble. If you would prefer a slightly more elaborate texture on your rattan pendant lights, some companies also offer a resin spray which you can use to coat the entire piece. Once you've coated the entire piece, you can then paint the light with a medium color and allow it to dry overnight.
Rattan is one of the most durable materials for furniture
When it comes to durability, rattan furniture is one of the best around. Since it is strong and durable, pieces made from rattan are able to stand up to the heaviest of weights and weather without becoming damaged or weak. This kind of resilience makes rattan furniture a very good buy because it means you won't need to replace your furniture too often.
The fact that it is made of natural materials means that the light will fade over time, but at least you'll always be able to keep your pieces looking great! In fact, the way the pieces bend and the way they sit on the frame make them very stable and can last long without the need to add cushions, drapes, or other forms of protective coverings.