Rattan Craftsmanship: Why Is It so Popular?

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Rattan Craftsmanship: Why Is It so Popular?

There is a wide range of choices to choose from regarding indoor and outdoor furniture, which can accommodate various preferences. However, wicker furniture made from rattan has managed to find itself among the most popular trends in the world of interior and exterior design.

What is Rattan?

The word "rattan" is thought to have been derived from the Malay word "rotan," which means "to peel, strip, pare." This material used for wicker weaves comes from a family of climbing palms that grow in warm, humid places such as Asia, Africa, and Australia. With over 600 species, it is put to various uses, including producing handicrafts and furniture, in addition to serving as a component in construction.

Caning is done with the rattan's outer bark, while the reed-like portion found inside the plant is used for weaving wicker furniture. Change table baskets for babies, modern outdoor furniture like hanging chairs and coffee tables, woven mats, baskets, and trays are a few examples of rattan craftsmanship.

Brief History of Rattan
The expansion trade in Asia resulted in the introduction of rattan, a more durable material well-suited for producing wickerwork, to the West. From India to England, this aesthetic style of rattan furniture made its way throughout the British Empire and became affiliated with a safe, cultured exoticism that fascinated the Victorians.

Throughout the Victorian era, rattan remained a popular material for home interior decoration, aiming to convey an air of subtle "exoticism." However, in the 1960s and 1970s, rattan experienced a surge in popularity, becoming an essential component of interiors with a more bohemian aesthetic.

Now, rattan is still a prevalent material; whether it's used to make outdoor furniture, storage, or interior decorations, it lends a laid-back and natural vibe to any design scheme it's incorporated into.

Attributes of Rattan
It is undeniable that this type of material is a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor furniture. Because of its flexibility, rattan can take on various beautiful curved shapes. It also brightens up any space or open patio with a tropical paradise vibe, thanks to its golden hues. Also, it tolerates extreme temperature and relative humidity conditions and is naturally resistant to insects.

Types of Rattan
Before we go any further, you need to be aware of the differences between the various pieces of rattan furniture available. So now, let's get into the different kinds of rattan, which are as follows:

Cane Rattan
Cane pertains to the layer of rattan removed from the cut rattan poles before they are piled, cleaned, left to dry, and smoked. This layer is located underneath the thorny outer skin.

After drying and seasoning, the cane is peeled off and turned into long strands. Given that it is both flexible and long-lasting, it can be woven into chair seats and backs, or it can be used, similar to rope, as a covering material all over various parts of furniture frames.

Reed Rattan
The rattan plant's inner, wood-like section is what it's called the reed layer. It is more porous and fibrous than the cane layer. And unlike cane, the reed is absorbent and susceptible to staining. Moreover, the curls and swirls on certain intricate Victorian-era furniture pieces are often crafted from reed as decorative elements on wicker furniture.

Synthetic Rattan
This rattan is made of an artificial material that resembles the natural rattan. It is predominantly used for outdoor furnishings and decor. That's why it is commonly known as the outdoor rattan or wicker.

Polyethylene is used in the production of synthetic rattan, which gave rise to the term PE rattan. This type of rattan can resist outdoor elements, including the rain and the intense sunlight, whereas either of these factors would damage the natural rattan.

Why is Rattan So Popular?
Rattan is a well-liked option for various reasons, including the fact that it is both long-lasting and fashionable. In this section, you'll know why rattan is so popular.

Because natural rattan is so lightweight, you won't need to put any strain on your arms when you're putting together your hanging chair made from such unique material. It is the most appropriate decoration for your patio, garden, or balcony.

Despite its lightweight, do not let this fool you into considering that rattan furniture is fragile or has a short lifespan. On the contrary, with nothing but an average lifespan of ten to twenty years, you'll get a lot of value for your money.

One more reason for the widespread use of natural rattan is that it is environmentally friendly. In addition, the rapid growth of the rattan vines helps keep the ecological system in check.

When it becomes worn out, a piece of furniture or any item made in rattan, in contrast to a chair made of synthetic rattan, can be recycled. In most cases, synthetic rattan is thrown away in landfills, harming the surrounding environment.

To survive in tropical areas, the vines of rattan have developed a defense mechanism against rain, hot climates, and ultraviolet radiation. As a result, furniture and other items made from rattan will perform the same goal.

Final Thoughts
Rattan offers a variety of perks. For this, it is popular and high in demand. In addition, it features a wide variety of weaving patterns, a rich color palette, and a modern interpretation of popular furniture styles, all of which give it the potential to take home decoration to a new level. Not only that, but it is lightweight and durable, sustainable, and economical. So what are you waiting for? Invest now!

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