Rattan is a very popular type of indoor and outdoor furniture. It is traditionally constructed using natural fibres, most commonly palm stems. Most rattan furniture is now constructed from man made materials, making it more hard wearing and less susceptible to damage from the elements.
Original rattan is in fact the thin jointed stems of a palm, used to make furniture using a weave technique. Man made rattan garden furniture is often made from polyrattan, plastic, polythene or a polyethylene alternative which is designed to look identical to natural rattan, but is much more resistant to adverse weather conditions. Rattan furniture tends to go hard in the cold weather and becomes softer in the heat, this is completely natural.
Storage of rattan furniture
Ideally furniture not used throughout the winter should be stored in a dry place - a garage is ideal. It is recommended that a cover is for each part of the furniture. While this is the ideal way to store furniture over the winter, it is not always possible due to the size of the furniture or the lack of space. Storage in situ
Cleaning rattan furniture
When cleaning rattan furniture you should use a damp cloth and non soapy cleaning fluid. Soapy cleaning fluids can become caught in the weave and attract dust and dirt. It is also advisable to use a toothbrush to clean in the smallest gaps and crevices - this is an effective way to clean within the weave to remove any dust and dirt that has gathered there.
Rattan furniture is often referred to as wicker furniture, and this causes some confusion, as wicker furniture can be made of other materials besides rattan. Strictly speaking, rattan is the material, while wicker is the process used to weave it into the finished product. However, in practice, the two terms are often used interchangeably.