The word Rattan is derived from the Malay word rotan and comprises of approximately 600 species of climbing palms from the Calamoideae subfamily. Calamoideae also includes the raffia palm amongst others.
Rattan predominantly grow in Southeast Asia, but can also be found in tropical Africa.
Wicker, the process of weaving, has a long history with items having been found in the tombs of ancient Egyptian pharaohs. The use of wicker items has been well documented throughout Europe and the UK as early as 1200BC. As European travellers explored Southeast Asia, they returned with a new palm, rattan.
Rattan is stronger than what was traditionally used in European wicker, increasing the potential uses in furniture making. As rattan is not hollow like bamboo, the soft inner core can be separated to be used for weaving, making rattan a very versatile product.
Rattan is a fast growing family of plants, faster growing than most other forrest woods. In addition to this, rattan is easier to transport and requires simpler tools to work with compared to traditional forest wood.
In places where deforestation is having a significant ecological impact, rattan is a sustainable alternative which reduces the need for logging. As rattan is a climbing palm, it relies on other trees being protected in order to farm. The sustainable farming of rattan leads to the protection of forest lands as well as economic benefits for those involved in all aspects of the industry.
Each piece of rattan furniture is hand crafted by artisans using high quality natural products. Due to the nature of rattan, each piece is unique and may have slight variations in colour and finish.
To protect rattan pieces, keep out of direct sun and regularly wipe with a damp cloth. Avoid excessive moisture.
Application of a high quality furniture polish or oil is recommended for protection.