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Rattan Lounge Chair

Learn About Rattan Furniture

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Many people are not quite sure what rattan furniture is.  Many of them refer to wicker furniture as rattan furniture.  This article will help you understand what rattan furniture is and the benefits of owning it.

Let’s first define the basics of what rattan furniture is made from.  Rattan furniture is hand-made from a woody plant called the rattan vine.  This vine goes very long and has a very consistent diameter along its length.  The vine is cut into poles, and craftsmen bend and bind it into unique furniture with a tropical style.

Rattan furniture is also called pole furniture because it is made from cut rattan poles.  Many designs and styles use rattan poles ranging from a quarter of an inch in diameter up to an inch and a half in diameter poles.  Rattan is primarily used as the frame material for furniture.  

Crafters use heat to bend the rattan poles into the shape they desire for the furniture and then fasten the poles together using bindings or hardware.

Because of the bulky nature of the rattan, when formed into furniture, the seating pieces can not be made very comfortable without the aid of cushions.  Therefore, nearly all rattan furniture seating requires thick deep seating cushions and strap suspension cushion frames to make it feel more luxurious.

The poles for the frames are cut and styled by hand using heat to bend the rattan.  Depending on the drafter, leather, glue, nails, and screws bind and hold the rattan poles together into furniture frames. The leather or natural rattan skin binding provides a nice primitive look. 

Rattan takes stains very well.  One of the most popular color finishes for rattan furniture is pecan.  Other popular finishes include white and whitewash.

Rattan is a medium-density wood-like material and is amazingly sturdy for its lightweight.  This fact is one of its greatest selling points because it is very easy to move it for cleaning and rearranging.

Most rattan furniture designs are considered tropical and quite elegant. Tables use glass tops, and seating use thick seat and back cushions.

Typical rattan furniture pieces include but are not limited to:

  • 3 Seat Rattan Sofas
  • Settees (Love Seats)
  • Chairs
  • Rattan Swivel Rocker 
  • Rectangular, Round, and Oval Coffee Tables
  • Rectangular and Round End Table
  • Etagere Shelf Units With Glass Shelves and Cabinet Doors
  • Round, Oval, Rectangular Dining Tables with Glass Tops
  • Dining Chairs With and Without Arms
  • Magazine Holders
  • Low Shelf Units

This covers the typical pieces, but manufacturers always come up with more ideas and designs.

Rattan furniture can be used in many different rooms.  People are now using it in sunrooms and four-season rooms with excellent results.

Check back for our next article to learn more about using your wicker all year round.

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