Rattan is a name that covers around 600 species of palm from Africa, Asia and Australasia. It was a material popularised for creating furniture when it was discovered and exported by explorers to London during the Victorian period.
Rattan is ideal for furniture due to the fact it does not splinter or break easily – the extent of rattan’s durability is proven though its use as a martial arts weapon – not only this but it is flexible so it can be used to bring various innovative designs to life.
Rattan is a renewable resource and is therefore a much more environmentally friendly purchase than most plastic outdoor furniture. This is a definite selling feature for many as the environment becomes an ever pressing issue.
Rattan can be stained in the same way as most other woods meaning you can stain it easily with a range of colours, something not available with most plastic furniture.
Rattan is often chosen as patio or garden furniture due to its natural and stylish look. Rattan patio furniture has a generally more up-market look than plastic furniture, you may argue that plastic furniture is more weather proof. But Rattan furniture can also with stand the weather if build with a rust resistant frame and if any material is UV resistant, so the colour will not fade.
Rattan does require a little maintenance and needs to be cleaned regularly with a dry cloth. It should not be keep in a damp place or exposed to too many storms in a short period of time. But given you take care of your rattan furniture it should last for many years and another perk is that rattan furniture ages gracefully.
There is the option to have synthetic rattan garden furniture made from PVC or plastic which requires next to no maintenance and can be a cheaper option. This is a great option for those with little storage space indoors and who want to leave their garden furniture outside all year round.
The way rattan is woven can be somewhat of an art form within itself. For one, you have to get it exactly right, if woven too tightly it will snap, if woven too loosely it will not be stable. But also just the patterns and designs of how is woven can been quite impressive and creative. This kind of detail and complexity is something you will rarely see in plastic outdoor furniture. Rattan patio furniture has a rich history and yet remains a material that can still look modern; it is also environmental and durable.