By Paul Shipway
What Is Rattan?
Rattan comes from a family of palms, which is common in Africa and Asia. They are actually not trees but vines. Typically, a rattan plant would have one long stem and several leaves or strands growing on both sides.
After being harvested, they are left to dry for several days. Then the strands are removed, the stem being used in furniture making as well. The dried skin of each strand is removed as well, leaving the strong but flexible core behind. The skin does not look much alone, but together, they can be weaved in order to create a pattern durable enough to be fashioned into several things.
It is not surprising to see rattan bags, baskets, and canes. But its main business comes from creating all kinds of furniture imaginable. It is possible even to make a seat out of rattan without a necessary frame, the intricate interlocking pattern supporting a certain amount of weight.
It is common practice, though, to incorporate an internal frame so that the seat will be able to withstand heavier loads without extreme deformation. Even the core of the rattan can also be weaved in order to make furniture. This type is often known as wicker.
Benefits of Rattan
As mentioned above, there will always be alternatives that can be used as an outdoor set, but what makes rattan garden furniture the best?
First of all they are extremely lightweight. Though essentially rattan is wooden, they are actually very light, making transportation and delivery not much of a hassle. This also means that a single person can even arrange or rearrange a set of rattan furniture without stress.
A set made from aluminum may also be just as light, but rattan has always been less expensive. The process by which any metal is turned into chairs and tables makes them necessary to be sold at more expensive prices.
They are also more comfortable. The cushions that usually come with them do make them extra comfortable, but rattan furniture does not give you a rugged feel to your back or arms. It is not uncommon to see rattan lounge chairs in many 5-star resorts around the world. Another reason why they are very comfortable is that the weaves still allow for air to pass through, allowing your legs or back to breathe in the process.
They can also adapt to changes in the temperature, so one can still sit on a rattan chair in relative comfort even if it is very hot or cold outside. Having said that, this particular type of furniture can withstand extreme weather condition, incurring little to zero damage. The paint applied to rattan is not only for aesthetic purposes but also to make them water resistant, which is the main cause of degradation among wooden furniture.
Picking Your Own Set
When you’re ready to acquire rattan garden furniture, it would be best to reassess where it will be placed. Make some quick measurements of your garden, especially the set’s intended location. Of course, it can be assumed that the purpose of the set is for the family to have an area to relax on a cool afternoon while enjoying the scenery of the garden.
You may also use the furniture to receive several guests. As such, you should already have a good estimate of how many people would be sitting comfortably. This will help you determine the size of the set that you need.
The traditional setup would be to have a rattan sofa (preferably with cushions) for two individuals and a centre table. The surface of the table may be rattan, but it is already common to have glass on top so that objects placed will be more stable. Then one can add ottomans for additional people or to help relax the legs. Another setup would include a large L-shaped sofa in order to sit more people. This large sofa is often modular, which means you can separate the parts and still be able to sit comfortably.
Article Source: Enjoying Your Rattan Garden Furniture