How to care for natural rattan conservatory furniture
Why Natural Rattan Furniture?
Natural rattan conservatory furniture is at once incredibly durable, beautiful, and lightweight. Our rattan furniture has a smooth, silky texture for a luxurious finish. As rattan can be bent and woven into endless designs, traditional or modern, it can be mixed with many different styles of decor. Each of our natural rattan conservatory ranges uses a different rattan variety for a characteristic look.
What is natural rattan?
Natural rattan is often called a vine. Rattan is in fact a palm. Unlike its coconut tree cousin, rattan grows by scrambling through and over vegetation – hence the tendency to call it a vine. At a glance, rattan can look very similar to bamboo and it is also harvested in ‘canes’. Rattan stems are solid (bamboo is hollow) which gives it superior strength and flexibility. Those characteristics are what make natural rattan ideal for furniture construction.
There are hundreds of varieties of natural rattan, some of which will grow to hundreds of metres long. Each variety has its own character and colour. Most of the world’s rattan comes from Indonesia, as does the rattan used in our own rattan conservatory furniture.
How is natural rattan furniture made?
Natural rattan is first harvested in canes, which are then cut into sections. Before it can be bent, the rattan is peeled and steamed until it is flexible. The solid core allows the rattan to bend without splitting. After it cools, the rattan is incredibly hard and keeps its new shape.
In furniture construction, a rattan frame is made first and pieced together with screws, glue, and dowels for a secure fit. The frame is then woven with thin slices of rattan core, or even alternative materials such as hyacinth vine. Wicker weave, as featured in our India Rattan collection, is one of the most common and traditional weaves.
How should natural rattan conservatory furniture be maintained?
As a natural material, we suggest natural rattan is kept indoors. Sunlight, moisture, and other factors outdoors can damage rattan over time. For day to day maintenance, simply wipe clean with a damp cloth. A vacuum or soft toothbrush can be used to clean any small crevices or gaps.
After a period of time, if the rattan looks dull and dry, it can be brought back to its original luxurious shine with a small application of linseed oil. Continue to apply until the rattan no longer absorbs the oil, and wipe away any excess. Follow this same process for any cracks.
With gentle care, natural rattan furniture can last for years and even become well-loved heirloom items.