If you shop for a set of outdoor furniture, you will quickly discover that there are various types of them. Among the most popular types of these sets, are rattan and wicker. All you have to do is go online and browse a furniture store to see how true it is. There are even shops like Wicker Furniture Direct that specialise in outdoor wicker furniture sets. So, what are rattan and wicker, you may ask? Or maybe you know something, but you’re not sure how they are different? You’ve probably heard people using it interchangeably and you wonder if it’s one and the same thing. Well, if that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything there is to know about rattan and wicker furniture that may help you decide which one you should favour.
The terms are very often used interchangeably, even by people from the industry, but it’s a common mistake. They may be similar, especially when it comes to looks, but there are some major differences.
Difference Between Rattan And Wicker Furniture
It’s a vine of a type of a palm tree from the South Eastern regions of the world (tropical parts of Africa, Asia and Australia) where it grows in jungles. It can grow extremely high (up to one hundred feet). The main producer of rattan is the Philippines.
You have to peel away the skin, and then you will find a sturdy material inside that tends to get very flexible as well. It’s also one of the strongest types of wood on our planet. It’s durable, yet very light, it looks good and it’s extremely easy to maintain and clean (you only need a brush, a rag and not a lot of water). Plus, it’s not at all expensive. All that makes rattan the perfect material for making outdoor items. No wonder that people decided to use it to produce Difference Between Rattan And Wicker Furniture.
You can use it in many different ways, for example, wrap it or weave around frames. It all depends on the desired effect, but rattan is very versatile, so it’s chosen by the admirers of various styles – from vintage to modern. It’s the most popular choice to decorate patios, kitchens, dining rooms, gardens, etc. There are people who claim it to be the perfect material for children’s room because of its lightness.
When it comes to maintenance, you shouldn’t let your Difference Between Rattan And Wicker Furniturestay wet as it can cause the loss of shape, mildew and mould. You can use boiled linseed oil to revive it when it dries out or cracks, plus, consider adding a preservant, e.g. a coat of lacquer.
However, it’s not a very sustainable material. When it’s cut down, it can’t grow back all by itself, and people are already using more rattan than it’s growing. That’s why it’s more and more often for the furniture companies to use synthetics, e.g. vinyl.
Well, it’s not really material. Wicker is an ancient technique, a style of weave used to manufacture various items from different materials (like willow, cane, reeds, rush or even rattan core). They are made while wet as it makes it simple to create wicker designs. This technique can be traced back as far back as to ancient Egypt.
Wicker allows you to produce different types of furniture as well, but you can also use various materials. The downside is that wicker items tend to be less durable than 100% rattan, but the exact resilience to conditions depends on the chosen material. It’s often chosen to create chairs, couches, benches, stools, etc. It’s also quite cheap, especially in comparison with steel or mill wood. It can be painted, stained or left natural.
To clean wicker furniture, you will need a dry, stiff brush to remove all dirt from in-between spaces. It’s essential to clean them regularly to make sure that your pieces of furniture will last longer and look better, and to avoid the accumulation of dust and allergens. Additionally, once or twice a year apply a layer of lacquer to maintain the quality and strength of the material. Plus, use sandpaper to smooth out the rough spots if you want to avoid accidents.
That’s the difference. Rattan is a specific material, while wicker is the name of a technique used to make things. Therefore, rattan furniture is 100% rattan, and wicker furniture can be made of rattan, bamboo, straw or synthetics, like resin or vinyl. So rattan is not the wicker, but wicker may be the rattan.