Rattan furniture has been a popular choice for outdoor spaces for many years, and it's not hard to see why. Rattan is a stylish and durable material that can add personality and charm to any outdoor space, so if you're looking for a way to update your garden or terrace, rattan furniture is definitely worth considering.
In this guide, we'll discuss the different types of rattan garden furniture, the advantages and disadvantages of each, how to care for your Rattan furniture so it looks as good as the day you bought it, and the best ways to accessorise and style it, so your terrace is the envy of all your friends. So, whether you're buying rattan furniture to replace an existing set or a newbie to this versatile material, keep reading to see if it's right for you.
From where does Rattan take it's name?
Rattan furniture was originally made from a natural, sustainable material that comes from the vine of the rattan palm. This palm is found in tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and Australia and dates back to ancient times when it was used for various purposes, including construction, furniture and accessories, eg woven baskets.
Rattan furniture is made by weaving the thin, flexible stems of the rattan palm into a variety of shapes and designs. Unlike Bamboo, the Rattan stem is not hollow, which gives it it's superior strength . Rattan furniture can come in many styles, from classic to contemporary, and has become a household favourite for our gardens and patios due to its durability and resistance to the elements, in the heat and in cold weather.
Types of Rattan Materials and Their Advantages and Disadvantages
Nowadays rattan furniture is not just made from real rattan and there are several materials to choose from. The most common materials used in rattan furniture include natural rattan, synthetic rattan, and resin wicker. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, so it's essential to consider factors such as location, storage, exposure to weather and maintenance before making your decision:
Synthetic Rattan: Synthetic rattan is made from a variety of materials, including polyethylene, polypropylene, and PVC. It's a weather-resistant material that's easy to clean and maintain, making it a popular choice for outdoor furniture. We particularly love Cane-Line Weave, a durable, solution-dyed polyethylene, which withstands moisture and wide variations in temperature. Cane-Line offer a number of sofas, chairs and stools in Cane-Line weave, including the Nest outdoor range, shown above.
Natural Rattan: As described above, natural rattan is made from the vines of the rattan palm and is known for its unique, organic look. It's a long-lasting material, and can withstand the sun, and large temperature variations, but is not good when it comes to moisture, and therefore unless regularly treated with a lacquer sealant, it is better suited to under a shelter, a conservatory or orangery. Even under cover it still requires regular maintenance, such as oiling and conditioning, to prevent it from cracking or fading over time. Typically you would also pay a premium for natural rattan versus man-made, but it is truly stunning and eco-friendly as it is merely the vine that is harvested, rather than the whole tree, so it is still a popular choice for many. We love the natural, modern look of the Covelo Outdoor Lounge Set, shown above.
Resin Wicker: People often wonder what the difference between rattan and wicker is. Wicker is the pattern and refers to the tightly woven braided pattern as shown in Cane-Line's Breeze range below.. The word 'Wicker' is said to be derived from the Scandinavian word "vika" which means "to bend." Wicker can be made out of rattan or bamboo, or what has become popular over the last few years is resin wicker. Resin wicker is a type of synthetic rattan that's made from PVC or other synthetic materials. It's known for its durability and resistance to the elements, and it's also easy to clean and maintain. Resin wicker is available in a variety of styles and colors, making it a versatile choice for any outdoor space.
What are our tips for accessorising Rattan Garden Furniture?
Accessorising your rattan garden furniture is an easy way to add a touch of personal style to your outdoor space. Here are some tips on how to do it:
1. Add cushions: Cushions are an excellent way to add comfort and style to your outdoor furniture. Whether you choose bright colours, patterns for that entertainment space, or neutrals tones for that ultimate chilling spot, cushions can instantly transform your rattan furniture and make it more comfortable for lounging. Look for cushions that have a weather resistant cover (e.g. olefin fabric), in case they are accidentally caught in a downpour.
2. Incorporate textiles: Adding outdoor rugs, throws, and tablecloths can enhance the look and feel of your outdoor space. Textiles can add warmth, texture, and colour to your rattan furniture, creating a cosy and inviting atmosphere.
3. Include plants: Adding potted plants, or a vertical garden can bring life and colour to your outdoor space. Plants can help to create a lush, natural environment that complements the organic look of rattan furniture. We love using large leafed plants that help to create a really calming space, but the choice here is endless!
4. Install lighting: Outdoor lighting can create a cosy and inviting atmosphere for lounging and entertaining. String lights, lanterns, and candles can all add warmth and ambiance to your rattan furniture and if you don't have any electrics installed in your garden then there is a range of battery or solar lights that make this simple and are also safe to leave outside.
How do you care for your Rattan garden furniture?
Rattan garden furniture is a beautiful and durable addition to any outdoor space, but like any furniture we recommend you maintain it properly to ensure it lasts for years to come. Here are our tips on how to maintain your rattan furniture:
1. Keep it dry: Real rattan furniture should not be left out in the rain or exposed to excessive moisture. If your furniture does get wet, be sure to dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth to prevent mould or mildew from forming. Real rattan should also be treated with a sealant if it is going to be left outside and the use of cover when not in use is also a good idea. This is why many people prefer a synthetic rattan for outdoors, which can withstand rain and moisture.
2. Protect it from the sun: While rattan furniture is resistant to the sun's rays, prolonged exposure can cause it to fade or become brittle over time. To protect your furniture, consider using a UV-resistant spray or storing it in a shaded area when not in use. Regular oiling and conditioning is also required. Again a cover can help here.
3. Store it properly: If you live in an area with harsh winters, ideally you would store your rattan furniture (natural or synthetic) indoors during the colder months, but as a minimum a cover is needed. This will protect it from freezing temperatures and prevent it from becoming damaged. Also, where there is excessive snow it prevents the weight of the snow resting on the flat areas for prolonged periods causing damage too.
4. Avoid harsh chemicals: When cleaning your rattan furniture, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the material. Instead, use a mild soap and water solution and a soft cloth to clean the surface and leave clean and free of chemicals after.
By following these simple maintenance tips, you can ensure that your rattan garden furniture stays beautiful and functional for years to come.
At Milola we love Rattan garden furniture, its a versatile and stylish option for any outdoor space and offers a unique look to cane and bamboo. With its natural look and durability, it's a great investment for any home here in Switzerland. By choosing the right materials and style for your Rattan furniture, accessorising it with textiles and plants, and properly maintaining it, you can enjoy your beautiful outdoor oasis for years to come. So, go ahead and invest in some high-quality Rattan furniture and start enjoying your outdoor space today!
As always, if you need any advice about rattan, or other outdoor furniture do get in contact with us at email@example.com or +41 79 155 87 19.