Rattan furniture is made from rattan canes or vines, a species of palm that is very similar to bamboo. Because it is relatively inexpensive, lightweight, extremely durable and has an exotic aesthetic, rattan is a popular choice for home décor. It is flexible enough for both indoor and outdoor use.
Rattan is one of the strongest woods in nature, has a solid core and grows wildly and abundantly in Southeast Asia. To turn it into furniture, the rattan canes must be cut into manageable sections, usually 12 to 18 feet (about 3.7 to 5.5 meters), and then steamed until it is soft enough to bend and shape. To hold the canes in place, the outside peel of the cane is usually stripped and then used to tie the pieces together in sections. This outside skin is also very durable, yet pliable.
Its exotic nature makes rattan furniture especially appropriate for use in rooms with a tropical or Asian theme. Although it is often used as outdoor furniture for patios or lanais, rattan furniture is manufactured for indoor use as well, with many companies offering dining sets, living room sets and even bedroom suites made of rattan. Virtually any furniture can be made from rattan, from chairs and sofas to desks and bed frames. Rattan takes paint and stain easily, so it’s easy to adjust rattan furniture when redecorating.
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