Think back to those heady days at grandma’s, and you’d surely remember a sturdy, maybe peeling, maybe worn, rattan wicker chairs. She may have a one that rocks that she always prefers to sit in, and there may be one in the living room with lumpy foam, flower-patterned cushions facing the old box TV.
If you’re really lucky, there may even be a rattan rocking horse all the little cousins fought to have a go at. Wicker – made by weaving fibers like raffia, bamboo, and rattan together – is an ancient and versatile craft used in making various essential household items. Think baskets, containers, and all sorts of furniture like bed-frames, tables, and chairs. Rattan is among the most common material for wicker furniture.
They’re the perfect material for beautiful, comfortable furniture because they are:
Rattan, when treated and cared for properly, is very durable. When preserved properly, rattan furniture can also be weatherproof, although they should be protected from excessive moisture or dryness. Cleaning, polishing, and treating your rattan furniture with lacquer will also make them last longer.
Unlike wooden furniture, rattan is lighter and airier. This not only makes it more comfortable, but also relatively safer and more convenient to move around. The durability and lightness of rattan makes it a good option for children’s or infant’s furniture.
Rattan is flexible, and can be woven in many styles and designs. They can also be made into almost any sort of furniture, from chairs, settees, tables, to even cribs and bassinets.
Teak and rosewood look regal, but are not the most comfortable to sit on without a cushion. Rattan, on the other hand, is naturally soft, pliable, and comfortable. Their versatility also means they can be formed into various shapes and designs to suit your needs. Rattan’s airiness also means they tend to stay cooler and more comfortable.
Rattan can be easily cultivated, although most rattan is harvested wild from the jungle. They grow very quickly and abundantly, and harvesting does not cause a lot of damage or disruption to the natural ecosystem. This makes natural rattan a relatively eco-friendly and sustainable material.
Casual, rustic, yet stylish, rattan has a very unique look that works in almost any space and design – from the modern rustic look that favours natural materials and textures, to the minimalist, light style for comfort and utility.