What is rattan - features, characteristics, types and uses
Rattan is one of the most popular materials for making furniture. Rattan products look great in the interiors of various styles, creating an original space filled with a sense of calm and comfort.
Knowing what rattan is and what its advantages are, one can competently choose the necessary furniture products without making a mistake in quality and price.
Rattan - what is it?
“Devil's rope” and “Spanish reed”, calamus and rattan - all this refers to rattan, which grows in the tropical forests of southwest Asia, primarily in Malaysia and Indonesia. The rattan forests are impassable because the trees grow close to each other, reaching 300 m in height.
Therefore, rattan is called dried and treated shoots and palm stalks.
What is rattan in furniture production:
- it is a material with increased strength;
- the stems are flexible, and after processing they become very plastic, which allows them to be given any shape;
- from long shoots, you can create furniture of different sizes;
- the stems are smooth and smooth, so the furniture is beautiful and does not require coloring.
Rattan furniture produced in many countries, especially Asian:
- in China;
It is believed that the best quality products are made by Indonesian manufacturers.
The structure of the rattan stem
On the cut stem of the calamus you can clearly see what rattan is. The three-layer structure ensures the quality of the furniture produced from it. The stalk of the rattan in the cut looks like this:
- a layer of strong bark;
- middle layer, porous and soft;
- dense core.
The thickness of the stem of rattan depends on many conditions, it is the climate and the weather that matters, the age of the plant.
Thick stems are used to create the basis of a furniture product, braided strips are created from thinner shoots, they cover the corners, ends, and joints. The core of the rattan palm also goes in: it is split into fibers, woven and woven into rattan, suitable for making mats.
Depending on the structure of the core, the thickness and density of the middle layer of rattan is divided into classes.
Rattan class definition
Experts suggest when buying products to pay attention to the rattan class. Traditionally, the material is divided into 3 classes:
- Class "A" is the best. This includes the stems are large, thick, with a large core and small pores. The cut of shoots in rattan class "A" is light. Rattan furniture products of the highest class have excellent strength, high performance, capable of withstanding a considerable load for a long time. At the same time the furniture does not change color, even being on the street. From the stalks of class "A" select the highest quality shoots, which are not the slightest defects, of which constitute a premium category.
- Sometimes a rattan of class “B” is combined with “A” to make products more affordable. Class “B” calamus stems are less thick, and therefore less durable, the core is not so thick, the stem is darker at the cut. Class "B" is more flexible, but it can also withstand the load. Therefore, it is used, combining with class "A", as a braid or decorative elements.
- What is rattan class "C"? These are even thinner stems with a porous structure, which has various natural defects. All this is reflected in the strength and quality of furniture products.
Products from rattan class "A" and "C" differ in price by 2 times.
How is rattan treated
At the first stage, the calamus stems are cut off, the leaves and bark are removed from them.
Then the shoots are standardized, pruning to the same length and selecting the diameter.
At the next stage, the rattan is subjected to disinfection and steam treatment, after which the stems become plastic, convenient for weaving and durable. Shoots are placed in patterns, where they dry up, acquiring a given shape.
A rattan product is covered with a protective compound to ensure the preservation of the natural moisture level.
Why is rattan so fond of furniture manufacturers? The reason lies in the fact that this material has high environmental performance, it is comfortable and safe, easy to maintain and durable.
Manufacturers guarantee that rattan furniture will last at least 20 years.
Color range of natural rattan
Natural rattan has a natural pleasant color, so it is not stained, but treated with vegetable coloring components. Rattan can be 4 warm colors:
In order not to damage the natural color and integrity of the surface layer of the stem, rattan products are coated with a translucent lacquer, creating a protective film.
If the furniture is painted black or brown, it is worth taking a closer look - most likely, various defects of the stems are hidden under the dark paint.
Natural and artificial rattan
Natural rattan is used to create furniture from time immemorial. Artificial rattan appeared at the end of the last century. Release it in 3 types:
- strips of various textures 4-12 mm thick;
- round rods 2-4 mm thick;
- fibers imitating wood bark, 4-12 mm thick.
Artificial rattan is produced according to various technologies from cellulose, polyvinyl chloride or polypropylene, adding rubber, synthetic, silk or reinforced threads to the strength and ductility.
The artificial rattan has its advantages, namely:
- the bars in the product are always the same even in thickness;
- the material has no natural defects (spikes, roughness, abrasions, thickening);
- perfect color;
- weaving is smooth, even.
In addition, artificial rattan furniture is much cheaper and there are much more varied options for such furniture products for sale.
Rattan furniture in the interior
More than half of the wicker furniture products sold on the Russian market are rattan furniture. Where wicker furniture looks like:
- in stylish cafes, restaurants;
- on the summer cottage or cottage;
- in the winter garden;
- in saunas, baths, spa complexes;
- in the kitchen;
- in the hall;
- recreation area.
Artificial rattan furniture, as well as from natural, has become not just a utilitarian object, but it turns into high art, embodying bold design ideas. Thus, the famous Spanish and Italian companies Rattan Deco, Gabar, Rattan Wood, Bonacina, Roberti Rattan and others create furniture-art-objects using textiles, glass, metal, and various woods.
Therefore, today the presence in the living room or bedroom of artificial rattan or real furniture is a sign of good taste and availability of finances.
Types of wicker rattan furniture
Asian craftsmen weave rattan all sorts of furniture designs that vary in composition.
The furniture can be completely made of rattan (the skeleton of thick stems is braided with thin branches).
It is possible that the frame is made of wood and decorated with rattan weaving.
Finally, in some designs used:
- Textile elements (pillows, rollers, mattresses) are created for sitting.
When buying a combined product, you must carefully inspect all the details. If the joints and corners are poorly covered with braid, there is a risk that the furniture will fall apart very quickly. If part of the rattan rods is replaced with reed bundles, this is a sign of poor quality goods.
- stools, chairs, armchairs, incl. rocking chairs;
- tables of different sizes and purpose;
- sofas, beds, cradles, chaise lounges;
- cabinets, shelves;
- chests, dressers.
Features of operation of rattan furniture
If we take into account that the rattan furniture has special features of operation, storage and maintenance, like any other furniture, and carefully observe them, then the products will please for many years.
How to properly operate:
- Do not leave in the rain and scorching sun.
- Do not place close to open fire.
- Rattan coating can be accidentally cut or scratched with sharp objects.
- Do not stand with feet on the seat.
- Do not exceed the permissible weight load.
Wipe regularly with a damp cloth, removing dust and moistening the surface. You should not use aggressive chemicals and various detergents.
In case of severe contamination the structure can be washed.
Small parts of weaving should be vacuumed.
Rattan armchairs and sofas
Sofas and rattan chair - the most popular products.
Furniture can be created in any style: colonial, ethnic, office, Provence. Designers create exclusive models of rattan chairs that look original and unusual. Rocking chair always remains in fashion.
Popular rattan suspension chairs, 1 or 2 seater. This fashionable and stylish design is complemented by a textile cushion for seating. Another fashionable novelty is a papasan, an oval-shaped armchair with a mattress, in which it is pleasant to recline.
The combination of woven rattan with leather seat and wooden elements of armrests, chair legs looks interesting.
When buying a rattan sofa, you must bear in mind that there is no sleeping space provided for them, they are not laid out.