Is rattan a tree or plant?
Yes, however, it’s not most likely you ‘d find one at your local nursery or grow it in your yard. Rattan is a type of climbing up or routing vine-like palm native to the tropical jungles of Asia, Malaysia, and China. Among the biggest sources has been the Philippines. Palasan rattan can be identified by its hard, strong stems that vary from one to two inches in size and its vines, which grow as long as 200 to 500 feet.
When rattan is harvested, it is cut into 13-foot lengths and the dry sheathing is eliminated. Its stems are dried in the sun and then stored for spices. Then, these long rattan poles are corrected, graded by size and quality (evaluated by its nodes; the fewer internodes, the better), and delivered to furniture makers. Rattan’s outer bark is utilized for caning, while its inner reed-like area is utilized to weave wicker furniture. Wicker is the weaving process, not an actual plant or product. Introduced to the West throughout the early 19th century, rattan has become the basic product for caning. Its strength and ease of adjustment (manipulability) have actually made it among the most popular of the numerous natural products used in wickerwork.
Its popularity as a product for furniture– both outside and indoor– is unmistakable. Able to be bent and curved, rattan takes on numerous terrific curving forms. Its light, golden color lightens up a room or outdoor environment and instantly communicates a sensation of a tropical paradise.
As a material, rattan is lightweight and almost resistant and is easy to move and deal with. It can stand up to extreme conditions of humidity and temperature and has a natural resistance to insects. See Rattan Garden Furniture here.
Are Rattan and Bamboo the Same Thing?
For the record, rattan and bamboo are not from the very same plant or types. Bamboo is a hollow yard with horizontal growth ridges along its stems. It was utilized to build little furniture pieces and devices in the late 1800s and early 1900s, especially in tropical locations. A few bamboo furniture producers incorporated rattan poles for their smoothness and added strength.
Rattan in the 20th Century
During the height of the British Empire in the 19th century, bamboo and other tropical furniture were incredibly popular. Households as soon as stationed in the tropics and Asian nations went back to England with their bamboo and rattan furnishings, which were usually brought inside since of the cool English environment.
By the early 20th century, Philippine-made rattan furniture started to show up in the United States, as travelers brought it back on steamships. Earlier 20th-century rattan furniture was developed in the Victorian style. Hollywood set designers started utilizing rattan furniture in numerous outdoor scenes, whetting the hungers for movie-going and style-conscious audiences, who loved anything that pertained to the concept of those romantic, far-off South Seas islands. A style was born: call it Tropical Deco, Tiki, Hawaiiana, Tropical, Island, South Seas, Kon Tiki or whatever.
Responding to the increasing request for rattan garden furniture, designers like Paul Frankel started to develop new looks for rattan. Frankel is credited with the much-sought-after pretzel-armed chair, which takes a dip at the armrest. Business based in Southern California quickly followed suit, including Tropical Sun Rattan of Pasadena, the Ritts Company and Seven Seas.
Remember the furniture in which Ferris Bueller sat outside throughout a scene in the film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or the living-room embeded in the popular TELEVISION series, The Golden Girls? Both were made of rattan, and were in fact restored vintage rattan pieces from the 1950s. Much like the earlier days, using classic rattan in films, television, and pop culture helped stimulate a restored interest in the furniture in the 1980s and it has actually continued to be popular amongst collectors and admirers.
Some collectors have an interest in the style, or form, of a rattan piece, while others think about a piece more desirable if it has numerous stems or “hairs” stacked or positioned together, like on an arm or at a chair base.
The Future Supply of Rattan
While rattan is used in a variety of products, the most crucial is the manufacture of furniture; rattan supports a worldwide market valued at more than US$ 4 billion each year, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Formerly, much of the commercially collected raw vine was exported to overseas makers. By the mid-1980s, however, Indonesia presented an export ban on raw rattan vine to encourage the regional manufacture of rattan furniture.
Till recently, practically all rattan was gathered from tropical rainforests. With forest destruction and conversion, the environment location of rattan has decreased rapidly over the last couple of decades and rattan has experienced a supply shortage. Indonesia and a district of Borneo are the only 2 places worldwide that produce rattan certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Since it requires trees to grow, rattan can provide an incentive for neighborhoods to conserve and restore the forest on their land.