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What Exactly is Rattan?

Updated: Jul 10

Right now we can't safely be outside in groups, but a great way to get outside is in your own outdoor space, if you have it. We've seen a lot of people landscaping and working on garden projects lately, and it makes sense. If you can't get out and about, then make the space around you a comfortable and somewhere you're happy to be.


One of the ways we're sprucing up our customers' outdoor spaces is with our beautiful, hand-molded rattan furniture, and we thought this might be a good opportunity to talk about rattan.




So...What is rattan? Where does it come from? Why is so much outdoor furniture made from it?


Rattan is a term which refers to many varieties of climbing palms - the kind we use for our furniture comes from the forests of Indonesia. The material is light, flexible, and much easier to harvest than traditional wood. Rattan grows more quickly than trees, and actually relies on tree cover to grow. This means that forests in the areas of the world with rattan tend to be protected from deforestation, in order to support the rattan industry.


Because of its flexibility, rattan is a very exciting material to work with. The chairs we carry are functional pieces of art, molded by master craftspeople in Indonesia. Rattan has a very strong core, which is what makes it durable, but in the right hands (and with the right amount of heat), it can be sculpted into a variety of shapes.



Rattan is often used to make outdoor furniture because of its durability and natural weather resistance. However, it still needs to be protected. This material is quite sturdy and can withstand the elements, but to get the most life out of your furniture we always recommend that you shield it from long periods of direct sunlight and keep it out of the rain when possible.




We love rattan - it’s easy to clean and care for, it’s flexible between indoor and outdoor, it’s sustainable and eco-friendly to harvest, and it’s a strong, simple, and elegant material.



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3430 NE 41st Ave, Portland, Oregon 97212

Store Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am - 6 pm

503-488-3600

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