Rattan Garden Furniture – Natural or Synthetic?

Neptune Cadiz 4 Seater Dining SetRattan furniture is made by winding strips of rattan fibre over a frame and weaving them into a wicker pattern. The resulting furniture is both comfortable and durable. Rattan can be used for everything from armchairs and sofas to seats and backs for dining chairs. Rattan can even be used to make tables, usually with a glass top to give a level surface. Rattan furniture combines durability and comfort, and is used for both indoor and outdoor furniture. Rattan furniture can either be natural or synthetic, available under names such as Dura-Wicker, Viro, polyrattan or poly rattan.

Natural Rattan

Natural rattan furniture is made from a tropical vine which is usually woven over a hardwood frame. The rattan fibre is woven while still flexible then hardens as it dries out, eventually becoming permanently set into its shape. Natural wicker furniture is usually made by skilled craftsmen close to the origin of the materials, then transported around the world for sale to the end user.

Natural rattan furniture isn’t weatherproof, so while you can bring it out into the garden on a fine day, it isn’t suitable for leaving outside. Regular outside use will take its toll on natural rattan furniture, as it tends to fade from exposure to sunlight. Natural wicker furniture can also be affected by moulds, especially in the nooks and crannies around the inner frame and underneath.

Synthetic Rattan

Synthetic rattan furniture has a very realistic natural appearance, even on close examination. Synthetic wicker furniture can be made from a variety of materials including polythene, polypropylene, resin or recycled plastic. Ready availability of materials means that synthetic rattan furniture can be made anywhere in the world, and the manufacturing processes are more automated which reduces costs to the end user as well as making it possible to produce a wider variety of designs.

Most synthetic rattan furniture is woven onto an aluminium frame rather than hardwood, making it more lightweight than similar natural rattan products. Other than routine cleaning, synthetic rattan furniture is maintenance free and doesn’t attract moulds. With UV resistance, and usually frost resistance, synthetic wicker furniture can be left outside come rain or shine. This makes synthetic rattan a great material for use outdoors, and it is now widely used for both modern and traditional garden furniture.

Stores Direct supply traditional and contemporary outdoor furniture in a wide range of materials. For more information please feel free to visit the Stores Direct website or to call us on 01484 434320.

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