Rattan is a tropical palm that produces slender, fibrous shoots. Skilled artisans carefully select and treat the raw material before weaving it into furniture pieces that are strong, lightweight, and sometimes breathtakingly beautiful. Learn more about how rattan furniture is made.
What is Rattan and How Is It Used?
Rattan is a type of palm that can grow up to 240 feet long. It’s commonly used to produce furniture because it is lightweight, yet extremely strong and durable. Rattan is dried and then treated with a special coating to make it more resilient against weather changes. The material is then woven into intricate patterns for an impressive visual appeal.
Harvesting and Treating Raw Materials for Rattan Furniture
Harvesting rattan and turning it into furniture can be a long process. The first step is to harvest the raw materials from living rattan trees. These materials undergo a drying process facilitated by airflow and natural heat. Once dry, an ultraviolet organic coating is applied to the material, which helps protect it against temperature changes and increases its resilience against external damage.
Crafting Complex Patterns with Wicker Weaving
The next step in creating a piece of rattan furniture is wicker weaving. A weaver chooses the best reed or rattan canes to begin constructing loops, lines, and patterns, crafting a one-of-a-kind design that is eye-catching and durable. As weavers work their magic, the material is picked up, twisted, and released multiple times until the desired pattern or shape appears. A finished product often combines both natural materials with synthetic strands for an improved look and feel.
Are There Different Types of Rattan Furniture?
Yes, there are many different types of rattan furniture you can choose from. Different weaving techniques and designs can produce a range of looks from classic to contemporary, while the addition of synthetic wicker fibers gives some pieces an extra touch of style and durability. Hand-made pieces may use standard fibers such as pre-treated reeds or willow strands, along with powdered resin and color additives that enhance the look and feel of the finished product.
DIY Care Tips to Maintain Your Rattan Furniture’s Durability
Rattan furniture is extremely durable, and with proper care, it can last many years. To keep your rattan furniture looking beautiful, here are some easy tips you should follow. After each use, make sure to wipe away any spills soon after with a dry cloth. On a regular basis, use a vacuum cleaner attachment or soft brush to remove any debris that may have accumulated over time. Finally, for small scratches or stubborn dirt, mix equal parts of liquid dish soap and warm water and gently scrub the affected area before wiping it off with a damp cloth.