History of Furniture DesignRattan Furniture

28th July 2017

Rainforest Rattan

Rattan is one of many materials traditionally used to make wicker boxes, baskets and chests, however this light weight and durable cane is now more commonly seen curved around modern furnishings.

Furniture and handicrafts are the rattan’s main purpose of production, with most of rattan being produced in south-east Asia due to the tropical climate. Rattan canes can be both thin and thick in width and are prepared for distribution according to the diameter. During the preparation process, large canes are boiled in oil, however smaller canes are sun dried and at times also smoked with sulphur.

Two parts of rattan cane are used when creating rattan furnishings, the skin and the core. The skin around the core of the cane is removed and used for weaving, while the remaining core is cut, steamed and finally bent into the desired shape. The quality of rattan is determined by factors such as diameter and the number of internodes in the cane.

Natural rattan chair – can stylise any open living setting

There are around 600 species of rattan known, and they can be identified by their climbing stems that reach up to 100 meters in length. Rattans will reach their full length in just five to seven years, making it one of the fastest growing woods in the tropics. The climbing stems can be single or clustered, with most of these stems being found and collected from rainforests.

From the Rainforest to Your Home

Bringing rattan into your home is simple due the material being widely used for many different styles of furnishings including, bar stools, dining and designer chairs.

Natural toned rattan is a popular choice for those looking to add the rattan cane into their predesigned space. Contemporary Chinese furniture like the Contemporary Rattan Chair and the Flat Rattan Dining Chair are perfect for those wanting to bring rattan products into the living room. Pairing these natural toned chairs with cushions or throws, in similar shades seen throughout the space, will help the rattan texture blend with the tone of the room.

The rattan looks beautiful in an outdoor setting surrounded by similar wood textures. The wooden deck, the outdoor bar and the pool side seating area all look stunning with the rattan material, with Chinese bar stools like the Natural Rattan Bar Stool and the Wicker Bar Stool being perfect for these environments.

PE rattan around an aluminium frame makes a highly durable and stylish piece

For those looking for rattan products with intriguing colours or modern designs, Chinese manufactured chairs like the Paris Rattan Bar Stool, with its bright colours, and the Serenity Rattan Dining Chair, with its stunning design, will create conversation and add class to your room. Classic designer chairs are also available in the rattan material with products like the Yamakawa Outdoor Rattan Chair, designed by Japanese Yuzuru Yamakawa in 1965.

This fast growing, light weight, durable, insect and moisture resistant rattan cane is the perfect material for outdoor and indoor environments. The popularity of the material has inspired many rattan furniture designs, thus ensuring there is a product perfect for your indoor or outdoor space.

By Tia Somerville


Design Furnishings June 5 2017, The History of Rattan and Wicker Furniture, Viewed July 24 2017, http://www.designfurnishings.com/blog/history-wicker-furniture/

Osier Belle April 14 2016, Rattan Furniture- What it’s Actually Made of, Viewed July 24 2017, http://osierbelle.com.au/rattan-furniture/

2016, Urbanara, Viewed July 25 2017, http://www.urbanara.co.uk/journal/buying-guide/rattan/

2017, World wide fund for Nature, Viewed 25 July 2017, http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/greatermekong/our_solutions/projects/sustainablerattan/factsinformation/