Wicker and rattan – these terms are often used interchangeably and people often confuse them. This makes it a challenge for people to figure out whether this is the same product or not. We want to make sure that we clear up any confusion – rattan and wicker are NOT the same thing. In fact, these are two completely different things.
What Is Wicker?
When we are talking about wicker, we are talking about a style of weave. This style of weave is often used for furniture and baskets. This technique dates back to Ancient Egypt and is still prevalent in modern furniture design. How far does wicker date back? There is wicker furniture that dates back as much as 3,000 B.C. Scientists and archaeologists have found wicker chests, chairs, boxes, and baskets in the tombs of wealthy pharaohs.
Even though wicker obviously dates back in history, there are modern applications for wicker as well. It is possible to make wicker from woven fibers and we have recently seen synthetic resins being used for wicker weaves.
What Is Rattan?
Whereas wicker is a style of weave, rattan is the type of material that people use with these wicker weaves. It is a vine-like species that is native to the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia. The skin is peeled away for production use and then utilized for weaving purposes. Manufacturers often make different types of furniture from the core, to ensure that nothing is wasted.
There are more than 600 different species of rattan. This means that we often just qualify it as a strong fibrous plant that has a number of similarities to bamboo. Because it is attractive, flexible, durable and lightweight, it is often used for furniture. Recently the sustainability of these plants has become something of a focal point, primarily because of the high demand due to the popularity of these strands. The stalks are not able to regrow if they are cut prematurely. This is one of the reasons that synthetic materials have become more and more popular, because they offer an environmental viable material.
The quality of wicker furniture is impeccable and the product itself is incredibly durable, primarily because it is all hand-woven. You get the same look as natural rattan fibers with synthetic wicker materials, but with much better durability when left outside. Because they can withstand the forces of Mother Nature, polyethylene wicker furniture is a great option if you are looking for outdoor furniture.