One of the hottest new trends, rattan furniture has crossed the threshold from garden to home and is now one of the most popular materials.
Demand for rattan furniture has rocketed in recent times, and shows no signs of abating, being predicted to be one of the styles which will explode even further in 2015, and beyond.
If you’ve never chosen this material for your furniture you might be wondering just why it’s so popular. Its visual appeal is undeniable, but is there any more to it than that? We take a look at some of the unique qualities which make rattan popular the hit that it is.
What is Rattan?
Many people have heard furniture described as rattan, but aren’t really sure what it refers to.
Rattan is a material, a type of vine, which is harvested from tropical jungles, treated and then used to create the distinctive woven furniture which is popular all around the world.
A naturally strong material, natural rattan can be problematic when left outside as originating from a tropical climate; it’s not able to deal with wet and cold environments. For this reason, the majority of rattan furniture is now made from synthetic materials, providing the same distinctive look and myriad of benefits, but without the vulnerability.
Synthetic rattan is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing and the majority of furniture described as rattan, is actually synthetic.
For the purposes of clarity, the qualities of rattan being described below refer to synthetic rattan, rather than the natural vine.
Whether rattan furniture is being used in the garden, or around the home, there may be times when it is exposed to damp, wet or humid conditions.
In the garden there’s the rain, snow and frost to contend with, while inside, rooms such as the kitchen, bathroom or conservatory may be damp or humid. These conditions can be problematic for traditional materials such as wood, which can warp and peel.
Rattan is able to shrug off both extremes of temperature and dampness, making it the perfect choice for those rooms where the selection of suitable furniture is somewhat limited.
Easy to Clean
No matter how much you fall in love with a sofa, one of the things that have to be considered is how easy it will be to clean.
You might adore the idea of a white suede sofa, but realistically with a young family, it’s going to get stained and look filthy within a matter of weeks.
Rattan offers the perfect blend of practicality and aesthetics. To clean, rattan simply needs a damp cloth, with most stains and spillages just wiping away. It’s a stain resistant material which is ultra-low maintenance; for a really deep clean all you need to do is run over it with the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner!
The upholstery is deep and plush but the covers zipper off and can be rinsed in the washing machine to keep them looking as good as new.
Because a rattan sofa is so easy to clean, it will last and last without looking jaded.
Tough and Strong
Rattan is an extremely resilient material and can withstand lots of use. It doesn’t scratch or break easily and can withstand the rigours of everyday life.
If after prolonged use, you find that the rattan is starting to split or crack, a little DIY repair is easy. Just rub some boiled linseed oil into the rattan and as it dries it will harden. This swells the material, closing any gaps and repairing any splits, leaving a tough and shiny surface once more.
There are lots of reasons why rattan is such a popular material for home furniture, but an undoubted benefit is that you don’t have to pick between practicality and function. As tough as it is beautiful, your rattan furniture can be used in any room and will carry on looking good for many years to come.