Rattan is swiftly becoming one of the most popular choices for garden furniture, but what is it about this material that makes it so perfect for the purpose?
If you ask the majority of people, including a surprising number of experts on the subject, you will be told that wicker and rattan are essentially the same product. Although the two fall into the same category, there is a definite difference between the two
Wicker is, contrary to popular belief, not a material, but in fact a technique used to weave material and create items out of the material. Although this technique is often used to create rattan furniture, rattan is a material, and one of the most popular for garden furniture
Rattan has been utilised for many, many years in a variety of different ways. For example, the tree exudes a red resin that was once thought to have medicinal properties and was known as Dragon’s Blood. This resin was used to dye violins amongst many other items
What is rattan?
The closest relative to rattan is the palm tree. It is a vine found predominantly in Africa, Asia and Australasia. There are over 600 species of rattan and the species used for commercial furniture making grow in hilly tropical areas.
With a diameter of between one and three inches on average, it is one of the strongest woods in the world and has the ability to grow up to one hundred feet tall
Rattan differs from other woods such as bamboo due to its tough core that makes it a very durable and strong material for the creation of garden furniture and other products
Benefits of rattan Furniture
There are many reasons that rattan enjoys such popularity when it comes to garden furniture. One of these reasons is the aforementioned toughness. You need your garden furniture to be durable, you need to be able to forget its outside when it rains on occasion, it needs to handle your children standing on it, and withstand being moved inside and outside to match the sporadic British weather that we all know and love, but the perks do not stop there
Another reason that rattan is such a good material for garden furniture, is because it is available in an array of colours and a range of styles, meaning that you can match your furniture with the rest of your garden, your house, or both
Rattan furniture is pretty much maintenance free – you don rsquo;t have to treat it or stain it, in fact, a hose down in the spring before you start using it again, and it will look the same as it did the first day you bought it
Perhaps the biggest selling point of rattan furniture, especially when you think of it in combination with the previously mentioned benefits, is its affordability Cheap rattan garden furniture is available from a range of suppliers, just a quick Google search will show you not only the range of designs, weaves, patterns and colours that are available, but the price may also surprise you There are also several Pinterest boards dedicated to rattan.
There are many choices of material for your garden furniture, but when you consider everything you need, aesthetically pleasing furniture, durability, price, then there is no material better than rattan, and that explains why it is in such high demand
If you want to learn more about rattan, head over to the WWF Global website for more rattan facts.
Chloe Cotton is editor-in-chief at The Happiest Homes, a leading UK digital home and garden magazine.