19 May 2024, 21:56
By Robert Bridgman Jun 10, 2013

The Rise of Rattan

In recent years, the amount of people buying rattan furniture has dramatically risen - especially for the garden, says Robert Bridgman of outdoor furniture supplier Bridgman. Despite this now being such a popular choice, every day we are still asked some of the following - what exactly is rattan? How is the furniture made? Why is rattan so popular? What is it?

Rattan is the generic name for about 600 species of palms that can mainly be found in tropical regions such as Africa, Asia and Australasia. Most of the world’s supply (c.80%) comes from Indonesia, meaning they have developed a professional approach to the craft of rattan weaving. While wildly popular in the Seventies, wicker furniture first became all the rage in England and America during the 17th and 18th centuries, and it's coming back!

How it is made

Many people believe that rattan furniture is miraculously made using machines. However almost every rattan chair you’ll see on the market is actually handcrafted. Here is a video showing you the process - on average it takes about five hours to complete a single chair.

You must be careful though when looking at rattan furniture. Some use staple guns to hold down the rattan to the frame with compromises the quality of the chairs, and this will be often reflected by the price. In Indonesia, the most prominent place for the craft, you will rarely see people cut corners as they take pride in their work and heritage.

Why is it so popular?

Synthetic rattan is extremely popular for several reasons – it is extremely durable, low maintenance, and available in a range of colours and styles. It can be left outdoors all year round – unlike wooden furniture it requires no treatment.

So there you have it, a quick overview of what rattan is and why it is so popular. For more information about rattan furniture, be sure to check out the Bridgman website.

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