Buyer's Guide to Rattan Garden Furniture
The terms wicker and rattan furniture are too often interchanged, with many believing that they are almost alike when the fact of the matter is, there are many differences between the two.
Rattan is an excellent type of garden furniture- it is eco-friendly, lightweight and really easy to maintain.
We’ve put together this in-depth guide so you can learn everything you need to know when buying garden furniture including:
- Rattan vs Wicker: Differences
- Cleaning and maintenance tips
- Buying advice
How Do Rattan and Wicker Differ?
Rattan is a close relative of the palm tree; it is a type of vine that grows in the jungles of the South Eastern region and is one of the strongest woods available. It’s really hard to break, very durable and the peel is commonly used to bind the furniture together.
Wicker on the other hand, isn’t a material but rather a technique used to manufacture products out of materials like rattan, willow, bamboo, straw and rush. Such natural materials are made wet and are then woven to create wicker furniture.
So rattan is a product and wicker is the technique used to manufacture the furniture. Wicker garden furniture is hugely popular choice- it’s easy to maintain, contemporary and robust; but if you want solid durability and versatility, rattan furniture is your ideal choice.
How to Maintain Rattan Furniture
You don’t need any fancy cleaning products to keep your rattan garden furniture spick and span. Some dishwashing detergent, a bowl of warm water, a soft cloth, a toothbrush and some lacquer are all you need to maximise your furniture’s longevity.
- Add some dish detergent into a bowl of water and stir to create bubbles.
- Dip a soft cloth into the bubbles only and wipe the rattan. The moisture cleans the rattan without over wetting it, causing damage.
- Use an old toothbrush to get into the cracks and crevices.
- Allow to dry and then apply a coat of lacquer with a paintbrush for added protection. Use boiled linseed oil to restore any cracks. If you do use linseed oil, make sure it is boiled and not raw as this will not dry.
- To remove tough stains, apply the detergent and scrub with more water than stated above. If the rattan is quite wet, use a hair dryer to help it dry quicker or leave it out in the sun.
How to Choose The Best Rattan Furniture
All rattan isn’t the same, so here is a checklist to make sure you choose the very best pieces of furniture:
- Make sure it is UV stabilised so it withstands the sun’s glare.
- Choose cushions that complement the furniture. Thin ones won’t last long outdoors and aren’t very comfortable, and we advise water repellent seat cushions for every chair.
- PE or HDPE Rattan are the best types of rattan as they have an eco-friendly manufacturing process, they’re recyclable, weather-proof and tougher than PU or PVC. What’s more, they’re mould-resistant.
- As a result, PVC rattan tends to be cheaper than the others so bear this in mind when calculating your budget.
- Make sure you buy furniture frames that are strong. The great thing about rattan is that the aluminium frame won’t rust outdoors, unlike steel.
- Before purchasing any furniture, it’s important to measure the garden space to ensure it fits properly.
So there you have all the top tips and advice that you need to deck your garden out this summer with high quality, stylish rattan furniture.
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