Wicker and Rattan Furniture: What is the Difference?

Wicker and Rattan Furniture: What is the Difference?

Although wicker and rattan furniture is often thought of as the same and as such sold as such, the fact is there is a distinct difference between the two. For many years, both rattan and wicker furniture have been a popular choice for use both indoors and outdoors particularly on patios, terraces and swimming pool areas. Hotels have favoured this lightweight and very stylish furniture because it adds a certain style and comfort to areas where guests enjoy a relaxing moment or two. But what exactly is the difference between wicker and rattan furniture?

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Stylish outdoor rattan furniture has been a popular choice for decades

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Where Does Rattan Come From?

The natural material rattan is in fact very similar to the bark of a palm tree. However, it’s a type of rapid growing vine that’s found in jungles. The vine actually looks more like a pole and is quite wide with a diameter of anything between one to three inches. The one thing rattan boasts is being considered among the strongest woods on the planet and can grow as tall as one hundred feet high. The parts of the vine which are used for the manufacture of furniture are the core and vertical grains. These are harvested and then cut into small sections which are then steamed so they can be shaped. The bindings you see on rattan furniture is in fact, the vine’s outer layer or skin, and it’s this that hold each joint found on rattan furniture together in such a unique way.

Where Does Wicker Come From?

When it comes to wicker, this is not a material but rather a technique that’s been used for centuries in the manufacture of furniture as well as other items. Materials like willow, rattan core and rush can be used in wicker work items of furniture. Whatever the material, first it has to be soaked so it can easily be woven into all sorts of shapes which include making furniture. In short, whereas rattan is an actual natural material, wicker on the other had is an ancient technique used to manufacture furniture. In these modern times, outdoor furniture that looks like it has been made out of rattan is in fact often made using a synthetic material too.

 

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Indoor rattan furniture adds a cachet of style to the bedroom too

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Why Choose Rattan Over Wicker Furniture?

Rattan wins hands down when it comes to durability and the selection of colours used to make both indoor and outdoor furniture beats wicker every time. With wicker furniture, it really does depend on the material which has been used when it comes to durability because if it’s rattan then it will be a lot stronger than if it was made out of willow or rush. But with this said, even natural rattan furniture is bound to fade over time if exposed to lots of sunlight and of course, painted wicker furniture although it won’t fade, the paint does tend to crack if left out in the elements.

Good Quality Weather-proofing

All rattan furniture being sold by well-established and reputable suppliers will have been weather-proofed with high quality products which means the items of furniture are extremely well protected from the elements and this in turn means they are a lot more durable. Wicker on the other hand is usually painted although you can buy natural wicker furniture too.

Conclusion

If you are looking for durable, stylish outdoor furniture you’ll find plenty on the Internet, visit sites like Maze Rattan Furniture for example. However, if you are not sure whether to invest in wicker or rattan, you may want to consider good quality furniture made out of rattan because it is a lot stronger and with the weather-proof finishes now used, your garden sets can remain outside even when our British summers aren’t as kind as they could be. The one thing you need to bear in mind is that rattan does not tolerate the wet too much so it’s always a good idea to cover your furniture when it rains. Over the winter months you would need to bring your garden sets indoors and store them somewhere nice and dry which is just as true for either rattan or wicker items you may have in your garden.

 

Image credits: ModeLiving and Wickerfurniture

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