Fern's Blog

  1. What is rattan furniture?

    High-end and aesthetically pleasing form of outdoor furniture that has long been a staple in UK gardens, rattan tables and chairs are stylish and timeless patio essentials.

    However, despite its popularity, there can be confusion around what rattan furniture actually is - what it is made from, how it is manufactured, and even if it actually makes for comfortable outdoor furniture. In this article, we look into rattan in detail, giving you all the information you need when it comes to this perennial furniture favourite.

    What is rattan garden furniture?

    Put simply, rattan furniture refers to tables, chairs and other large movable objects made from the plant material known as rattan, typically using a wicker weave method.

    Grown in hot tropical areas, such as regions of Asia, Africa and Australasia, the many different species of rattan are part of the palm family. They feature impressive weatherproof properties that provide protection against a range of natural elements, including rain, moist/humid environments and even UV rays. Naturally, this makes this material perfect for outdoor furniture.

    Additionally, when chopped down and worked into a suitable crafting material, rattan represents an extremely durable substance that is both lightweight and flexible - ideal for weaving and manipulating into complex and stylish items of garden furniture.

    What is rattan garden furniture made of?

    Although, as discussed above, traditional rattan garden furniture is still made from the natural rattan palms using a wicker weave, synthetic rattan furniture is now also a common sight in UK gardens.

    While traditional rattan furniture is made from rattan material with a wicker weave - which creates a durable and weatherproof item - synthetic rattan is crafted from a resin that is specially manufactured to resemble the real thing. This synthetic material does have a number of advantages, including typically being much cheaper than real rattan, however it doesn't tend to offer the same wide-ranging natural benefits that rattan can provide, including weatherproof and UV resistant properties.

    How rattan furniture is made

    Regardless of whether you opt for authentic rattan furniture or items made from synthetic alternatives, the chances are both were manufactured in the same way.

    Firstly, a frame for the item is made. This is typically made from a strong yet lightweight metal, such as aluminium. Vertical strands of rattan/synthetic rattan are then fixed to the frame using furniture staples. Next, horizontal stands are woven in and out of the vertical stands and fixed into place at each end using stapes. The chair or table is then complete when the entire frame is covered by the weave.

    Although traditional rattan furniture is usually handmade by a skilled weaver who can create complex weaves with long-established methods and basic tools, modern synthetic rattan replicas tend to be made by an industrial weaving machine.

    Are rattan chairs comfortable?

    Rattan chairs are deceptively comfy, and much more comfortable than other outdoor alternatives such as wooden benches and fabric camping chairs. This is because the weaved seat of a rattan chair is designed to take the shape of your body when you sit down, cradling your weight evenly to provide a comfortable platform. This is something that also improves as time goes by, as the weave loosens over time to provide even more comfort.

    To boost your comfort levels, you can always add cushions. The minimal design of traditional rattan furniture means finding the perfect cushions for your garden furniture is simple and relatively inexpensive. Some rattan furniture sets even come complete with their own matching cushions.

    All in all, rattan items make for great outdoor furniture. Whether you’re looking for a large lounge set or simply a small bistro table and chairs in the rattan style, we hope that this guide helps you to make an informed decision when it comes to these patio essentials.

  2. How to choose a chandelier

    No matter whether you’re looking for the perfect new light fixture to set the tone in your hallway or foyer or an elegant main light to grace your kitchen or dining room, chandeliers are a classy choice that can create a functional focal point for any setting. From traditional crystal styles to modern and contemporary metallic options of all Read more...
  3. How to restore garden furniture

    Outdoor furniture can be tricky to look after. Not only does it receive regular wear and tear it can also be exposed to harsh weather conditions and changing seasons. For this reason, additional maintenance and even restoration are often needed to keep your garden furniture in tip-top shape. As a rule, all garden furniture should be given a Read more...
  4. How to clean an armchair

    How to clean an armchair When it comes to any soft furnishing that cannot simply be thrown in the washing machine, removing stains or simply cleaning dirty areas of fabric can prove challenging. Upholstered armchairs are no different. With a number of factors to consider, including fabric type and the area of the chair you want to clean, doing Read more...
  5. How to choose dining table size

    How to choose dining table size When choosing the right dining room for your home, size matters. And there are several factors to take into consideration when weighing up the length, width and height you need, including the size of the space you have, how many people you want it to seat and any unique needs you have when it comes to sizing. If Read more...
  6. How to cover an armchair

    How to cover an armchair There are many reasons you might decide to cover an armchair. Perhaps your much-loved favourite chair has seen better days but it still adds a certain je ne sais quoi to your interiors, or maybe you’ve invested in a vintage piece you’d like to protect from damage. Or it could be that you’d simply like to achieve a Read more...
  7. How to dress a dining table

    How to dress a dining table Your dining table is one of the most functional pieces of furniture in your home - it provides you and your family with a place to eat, work and socialise. However, whether you have a traditional oak table, a sleek minimalist glass-top design, or a contemporary metal framed surface, your dining table’s appearance Read more...
  8. How to Arrange a China Cabinet

    How to arrange a china cabinet Offering a flourish of sophistication and the ability to keep your finest crockery on display, a china cabinet is the perfect piece of furniture in any home. Despite being available in a variety of shapes and sizes, china cabinets all possess the same purpose. But if you’re unfamiliar with this item of furniture or Read more...
  9. How to shabby chic furniture

    How to shabby chic furniture If you’ve become disenchanted by the appearance of your home, you may be consider different styles that could breathe new life into it. A mix between vintage, traditional components and rustic, harsh textures, shabby chic is a style that has been popular for several decades and continues to be contemporary through Read more...
  10. What is shabby chic?

    What is shabby chic? When it comes to changing the look of your home, there is an almost limitless  selection of different styles to choose from. Although there is likely to be a multitude of options, shabby chic is a term that is often mentioned in relation to interior design, and if you’re interested in altering the visual appearance of Read more...

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