Learn About Rattan Furniture

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Rattan TV Cart

Wicker and Rattan Cart

Many people are not quite sure what rattan furniture is.  In fact, 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.

Lets 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 referred to as pole furniture because it is made from cut rattan poles.  There are many designs and styles using 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 the 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 are used to bind and hold the rattan poles together into furniture frames. The leather or natural rattan skin binding provides a really nice primitive look. 

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

Rattan is a medium density wood-like material and is amazingly sturdy for how light weight it is.  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 in nature. Tables use glass tops and seating use thick seat and back cushions.

Rattan Swivel Rocker

Rattan Swivel Rocker

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 are always coming 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 how to use your wicker all-year round.

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