Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between Rattan and Wicker?
The difference between Rattan and Wicker is not as much a difference as a common misconception of the words. Wicker is the process by which woods and other materials (quite often Rattan) are weaved into furniture. Rattan is a relative of the palm tree from South East Asia and is one of the world’s strongest and easily workable woods. This makes it the perfect wood to be used for wicker furniture. So once again, Rattan is the product used and Wicker is the process used.
What is Rattan?
Rattan is one of the world’s strongest woods. It grows vertically, like a vine which allows it not to form concentric rings like most other hardwoods. Straight Rattan is normally bent by means of steaming and once the makers have their desired shape, the wood is hung to dry and remains in that shape forever. These poles are usually the framework for wicker pieces. Rattan poles and vines are also used in the weaving forms of wicker furniture as well as the trim work.
Where does Rattan come from?
South East Asia is the primary location of the plantations that start the Rattan furniture process. Indonesia particularly has the most home-based Rattan businesses. There are over 4000 households spread throughout over 850 square miles of plantations throughout Asia.
How is it made?
Rattan is a plant that can grow in water and the first and most important stage in making furniture out of it is the drying. The plants are woven and bent after being hung in the plantations to significantly dry out.
Are Rattan and Bamboo the same thing?
Rattan and Bamboo look the same, but are significantly different. A method used to determine what your furniture is made from, is to check if there is a bend in the pole. Bamboo is harder than mahogany and cannot be curved. Rattan however, is durable and flexible and can be maneuvered in many ways. The one other main difference between Rattan and Bamboo is that Rattan is solid and Bamboo is hollow, which is why it cannot be bent as it often cracks in the steaming process.
How old is your barn?
The barn that we use as a showroom in Corbyville, Ontario is over 120 years old. It has been revitalized in order to hold our rattan and other wood products but, still holds its vintage authentic charm.
Is it true Rattan is strong enough to make bridges?
Yes it is true, there are many rattan bridges throughout the world which are very strong and provide a great need for local transportation. Click here for a photo of one of these bridges