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Rattan Swivel Chair

All About Rattan

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This is a repost of an article written many years ago about rattan but was accidentally removed as a result of a website revision. This article will help you learn All About Rattan and rattan furniture products. Provided here is an in depth review of what rattan is, where it is grown and what it is used for.

What is Rattan?

Rattan is a plant found growing mainly on the continent of Indonesia in addition to smaller amounts growing in the Philippines and other smaller countries.

Rattan Vine Growing In Jungle

Rattan is one of many species of palms known in its scientific classification of Tribe as Calameae. Unlike most other palms, rattan grows more like a vine rather than a tree. The vine-like stems require support and thrive on trees and other vegetation to support them. Rattan grows quickly and withstands heavy harvesting. Rattan stems can grow hundreds of feet long retaining a diameter between matchstick size to about 2-1/2 in. (6 cm.) diameter along its length. These long consistent diameter sized branches make rattan a perfect material to be used in the construction of rattan furniture and other home decor products.

Rattan Poles
Rattan Poles Cut From Rattan Vine

Use of Rattan

The long rattan vine-like branches are harvested and cut to length and the outer bark is removed. The remaining woody branch is used in furniture making. Most rattan is a solid and lightweight. It is extremely durable and sufficiently flexible enough for craftsmen to handcraft it into sturdy elegant furniture designs and home décor products. Rattan products can be finished using stain or paint just like wood. Rattan branches are commonly used as the frame for natural wicker furniture. Parts of the rattan branch can be separated and commonly converted into wicker cane for use in making wicker furniture, baskets and other products.

Home Décor Products Made from Rattan

In addition to furniture such as chairs, loves eats, sofas, rocking chairs and swings, rattan is designed into baskets, planters, room dividers, hampers, wall hanging, lamps, trunks, baby cribs, baskets, étagères, and more.

Rattan Quality and Care

The highest quality rattan design, craftsmen’s ship and materials are referred to as solid rattan. When you purchase solid rattan products, you can be sure that you are purchasing the highest quality natural rattan there is. Rattan products can be cleaned with normal furniture care products that you would use to clean and polish your wood furniture.

Natural rattan furniture should not be left outside in inclement weather without expecting damage to occur by degradation of the finish, warping and loosening of joints and glued parts. Outdoor all-weather rattan and wicker products are a better choice when furniture is used and left outdoors in inclement conditions.

Accessorizing Rattan Furniture

Furniture designed to be used without cushions may not be as comfortable as furniture that is designed to be used with cushions. Furniture with a short seat will tend to be out of proportion with the body, in particular, the legs. Generally, furniture that is advertised with cushions provides a good clue that the furniture will fit and be comfortable with cushions.

Decorating With Rattan Furniture

Designing a room with rattan is can be a lot of fun. You can go for the tropical look or for formal elegance. Rattan is exciting to use because of the design choices available. Many people choose a set or one style. On the other hand, many people choose different styles that don’t necessarily match similar to what one would do choosing furniture for a living room. It does not have to be all the same. But, if you like it that way, then you should buy it that way. One caution, if different styles are used to furnish a room, care should be taken to ensure the homeowner likes the individual styles before they are purchased.

About Rattan Finishes

Natural rattan tends to be available in two (2) to five (5) color finishes depending on where it is imported from. Whereas, outdoor resin rattan is available in up to ten (10) designer finishes. Natural rattan can be touched up with stain purchased at the local hardware store if it gets scratched, dented or damaged. All weather rattan is made from a synthetic resin and holds the color throughout the thickness of the cane. Therefore, scratches don’t tend to show on all weather rattan products and typically don’t need to be touched up. 


Most Rattan furniture requires thick deep seating 4in., 5in., or 6in. thick seat and back cushions depending on the design. Cushions add comfort and style to rattan furniture. Ensure that high quality deluxe cushions are used for total comfort, fit and long lasting durability.

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