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RATTAN GARDEN FURNITURE
Rattan is the most popular style of garden furniture, outselling all others six to one. It's no surprise as it has a classic quality, and the new synthetic materials used to make the rattan weaves mean it can keep outdoors all year, no matter the weather. Also known as polyrattan, this furniture looks like the natural cane sets found in conservatories and sun rooms, but it's made from high-quality plastics that are coloured to look like natural cane, woven around rust-proof frames. Rattan furniture typically features soft, comfortable cushions that add to their appeal. They have their own weatherproof properties but are easily removable and typically better stored indoors while the woven furniture can stay in the garden.
Why buy rattan garden furniture?
Our Favourite Rattan Garden Furniture
Outdoor Fabric Brands
Maze continues to be the most popular rattan brand in the UK, with ranges that include everything from full furniture sets to handmade accessories like patio heaters and planters. Royalcraft has one of the widest ranges of style available, and it comes out with new collections every year, standing out as one of the top innovators of rattan design. Bramblecrest prides itself on luxury and quality, and this commitment extends to even the smallest details, like custom-fit covers available for every furniture set. The Internet Gardener team has visited the Alexander Rose factory in Cebu, Philipines, and we have seen first hand the quality in craftsmanship that goes into every handwoven piece of furniture. LIFE is an incredible new range of furniture that is as maintenance free as you can get. The rattan is combined with special outdoor fabric cushions that can stay outdoors every day of the year, leaving you more time to relax!
How is rattan garden furniture made?
Rattan furniture looks stunning, and many people have the perception that is it machine manufactured. This is not the case at all, and each rattan piece has been crafted by hand, no matter which supplier it comes from. Early in the process, the synthetic rattan is treated with UV resistant dyes and extruded into long vine-like strands. These are hand woven around powder-coated aluminium frames to ensure they are completely weatherproof. This hand technique is what gives polyrattan its trademark style despite being made from synthetic materials instead of natural cane. Because each item is woven by hand, there will be slight variations between them. The skill taken to accurately weave detailed armchairs to the exact same pattern can take years to accomplish. Every piece is fully inspected and backed by a manufacturer's guarantee to ensure quality.
The History of Rattan
It's interesting how the growth in demand for rattan garden furniture has emerged over the last 10 years. Initially, rattan furniture was made in the British colonies from natural cane, handwoven around a bamboo frame. This style was referred to as wicker and was mainly designed for garden rooms or undercover porches. Today, you can find an occasional chair that has survived from an Edwardian drawing room coming up as a profitable lot in auction rooms, even though natural cane rattan generally does not last long if exposed to the outdoors.
During the 80s and 90s, the demand for conservatories, summer houses, and garden rooms became a popular design addition to homes, and that led to a high demand for wicker furniture in the UK. As this was designed to furnish a room, these pieces were generally sold in sets and consisting of a sofa, chairs, coffee tables, and lamp tables, all made from natural cane or a twisted reed, such as water hyacinth. As this demand grew, many different styles were being manufactured to suit all sizes of rooms. The only drawback at this time was this furniture was for indoor use only, as it was not weather resistant and would rot if left outdoors.
Many UK gardens at this time had traditional wooden furniture sets, made from pine softwoods and painted to preserve its life. Teak and acacia started to become more popular in the late 90s. Households were now spending more time outdoors socialising, barbecuing, and sitting at dining tables with armchairs, which often were reclining. The issue is that wood requires extra effort to keep in top condition, but people started having less time and needed something that would be easier to maintain. This is where a demand for something new and where the emergence of synthetic rattan garden furniture found its appeal.
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