A common misconception is that wicker and rattan are si […]
A common misconception is that wicker and rattan are similar materials used in crafting woven outdoor furniture. However, this is not true. Although the two types of furnishings may look alike, there are plenty of differences.
Wicker is a style of weave that is commonly used for baskets and furniture. Dating back to Ancient Egypt, wicker is a technique that has been passed down through the ages and continues to be prevalent in modern furniture design. Scientists and archaeologists have discovered wicker furniture dating as far back as 3,000 B.C. The tombs of wealthy pharaohs have been found to contain wicker baskets, boxes, chairs, and chests. The appeal of the weave is distinctive and equally creative.
Wicker weave has seen a revival in the past century as a direct result of the Arts and Craft Movement that began in the early 1900’s. Many have sought to keep this skill alive through crafting seminars and by raising awareness about this treasured style of weave. Although wicker is popular in antique and vintage products, it also has modern applications. Wicker can be made out of woven fibers or more recently, wicker weaves have been creating using synthetic resins.
Rattan is a vine-like species that grows in tropical regions located in Africa, Australia, and Asia. When the skin is peeled away, it presents a flexible yet sturdy material that can be weaved into various shapes. Even the core of the plant is not wasted as it will be used in one way or another to build various types of furniture.
There are over 600 different species of Rattan. Because of its strong, fibrous qualities, rattan garden furniture is a very popular choice. Rattan is flexible, durable, lightweight, and most importantly, attractive. These qualities have made rattan a very hot commodity for both businesses and consumers alike.
Rattan's popularity comes with a price, however. When rattan stalks are cut down before they have fully matured, they don't have the ability to grow back. Therefore the plant is disappearing faster than it can replace itself. The industry has recognized this sustainability issue and have turned to synthetic materials that feel and look like rattan as an alternative option.
Natural rattan furniture is exceptionally strong and durable, of course, if it is protected from the outdoor elements and if it is made according to the highest quality workmanship standards. Quality synthetic rattan is extremely durable as well but there is one major difference. In contrary to natural rattan furniture, our all-weather rattan collection can be left outdoors all year round without the need to worry about the harsh outdoor conditions affecting its beauty or durability.
There is no difference between natural and synthetic rattan when it comes to comfort. Instead, the level of comfort your rattan garden furniture will provide you with depends on the design and quality of weaving as well as some other factors such as the size of the furniture because even the cosiest piece of furniture will feel uncomfortable if it is too large for instance. Also, the key pieces of furniture such as rattan garden chairs are typically used with chair cushions which increase both the comfort and the overall aesthetic appeal of the furniture.
Although synthetic materials have a bad reputation among environmentally conscious home owners, products which are made from all natural materials can cause serious damage to the environment as well. And natural rattan furniture is no exception. Due to the rising demand for rattan products, many rattan species are threatened with extinction, while unsustainable harvesting poses a risk of forest degradation and loss of biodiversity. At the same time, processing of rattan often involves the use of toxic chemicals which pollute the environment and jeopardise the health of the workers as well as the nearby communities. Many pieces of synthetic rattan furniture are not any more environmentally friendly, however, just because they are made from man-made fibres that does not necessarily mean they are harming the environment. On the contrary, all pieces of rattan garden furniture from our collection are made from environmentally friendly, non-toxic and 100% recyclable fibres.
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