What is Rattan and Wicker?
Rattan is a vine that grows mainly
in Southeast Asia. Known for its incredible strength, Rattan is still used in
the construction of many suspension bridges throughout the world. Rattan’s
natural beauty and strength has inspired craftsmen for centuries to make
intricately designed furniture from it.
Wicker means "to
weave", or "woven." The main wood used to weave wicker comes from the center of
the Rattan pole, which is known as "Rattan Core." There are other types of
material used in the wicker process, however Rattan Core is the most common.
Pieces that have an overall appearance of woven Rattan Core are referred to as
The name “Rattan Furniture” is used to describe furniture with that is
predominantly constructed with larger rattan poles up to 1.5” in diameter.
Unlike common hardwoods such as Oak, Maple, or Cherry - Human hands cannot break
a 1 inch thick x 3 foot long piece of rattan. The fibers within the rattan pole
make it one the strongest woods in the world. Rattan is also one of the
lightest woods in the world.
What Do I look for in Quality?
Pole thickness and
clarity are 2 key characteristics when searching for Quality Rattan. For
example: Many Sofas, Loveseats and Chairs can have 3 poles of rattan on the
armrests. Over 95% of these triple armrests sold in Canada are only 3.7” wide.
We’ve innovated our designs to incorporate larger, higher quality poles that
measure 4.35” across. The result is a drastic transformation said to compare to
the Volkswagen – Cadillac effect.
Next there is the
clarity of the rattan pole itself. A good comparison is one looks like dirty
glass while the other looks like clean glass. Better poles have fewer blemishes
and look richer. We have a few samples of inferior rattan in our stores, so you
can see the difference up close.
The latest techniques include computer
assisted frame design, ensuring maximum frame strength. It is these improved
construction methods that have made rattan furniture a superior product
for everyday use throughout the home. Everything from the new improved
"leather binding" which is used to conceal the wood joints on the rattan
frames, to the beautiful high quality finishes now available, rattan furniture
will give you years of pleasure and durability. All rattan poles are screwed
together, any binding used is purely for cosmetic purposes only. Unlike
traditional woods, rattan is fibrous. It is these fibers themselves that
make rattan one of the strongest wood types in the world. Harvested and
manufactured predominantly in Indonesia, rattan is steamed, allowing it
to be bent into various shapes that make up the beautiful designs we associate
with rattan furniture.