Let me tell you about the two types of rattan furniture. There is beautiful natural rattan furniture, at home in the conservatory or other places indoors, and there is lovely synthetic rattan furniture, ideal for the garden and all places outside. Both natural and synthetic rattan are durable materials, well suited to furniture.

terrace. Synthetic rattan

Comfortable synthetic rattan chair with cushion

Natural rattan fact file

Natural rattan is made from different species of climbing palm which grow rapidly in the jungles of South East Asia. Raw rattan provides:

  • thin weaving material from the outer skin – including for kubu
  • wood for furniture from the core
  • material for wickerwork from the inner core.
Kensington natural rattan corner sofa

Kensington natural rattan corner sofa

Wonderful natural rattan is strong and durable, despite being light. It’s extremely good for conservatory furniture – it has the ‘look’. It doesn’t like being outside, though. Too much sunlight can make it brittle, too much rain and it may rot, and frost may make it split.

Rattan chair. Natural rattan furniture. spring clean

Natural rattan chair

Synthetic rattan / Faux rattan furniture

High quality synthetic rattan is very flexible and easily woven into elegant furniture. It’s made by weaving a high-quality synthetic wicker ‘thread’ around a strong aluminium frame protected with a powder coating. Vertical strands of rattan are fixed firmly to the piece of furniture with staples. The horizontal strands are then woven in and out to create the finished product. When completed, the frame is entirely covered. A skilled weaver will create a dense and regular rattan weave but there may be very slight differences between pieces of furniture. That’s the beauty of hand-made items!

Cambridge 6 chairs and rectangular table. synthetic rattan

Cambridge set of 6 chairs and rectangular table in synthetic rattan

Synthetic rattan is even lighter and stronger than natural rattan. It’s resistant to ultraviolet light, so it won’t become brittle and crack, and colours won’t fade. It doesn’t swell, rot or get mouldy, so it’s quite able to cope with a bit of rain. (Bring in the cushions, though!) It doesn’t mind chlorine or salt, so it’s fine to use around the pool or at the beach.

We provide a 5 year structural warranty but with some care and attention, your rattan garden furniture could be going strong in 20 years. Luckily, it requires minimal maintenance.

In brief, choose natural rattan furniture for indoors and synthetic rattan furniture for outdoors (and indoor use as well, if you like). You won’t look back.