Rattan Effect Garden Furniture

Written by becky lower
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Rattan Effect Garden Furniture
Rattan effect furniture provides a timeless style to any decor, indoors or out. (furniture image by Galyna Andrushko from Fotolia.com)

The rattan vine is among the oldest of the natural products used in the making of furniture today. Rattan is a vine that grows in the tropics. When heated, the vine becomes pliable and can be crafted or woven into a myriad of styles using wicker weaving techniques. When it cools, it returns to its hard natural state, making it a perfect choice for furniture. This renewable product provides a natural look and a sophisticated setting to your patio or enclosed porch. In recent years, the use of a synthetic equivalent has become popular, because it is durable and lightweight.

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Benefits

Rattan effect garden furniture has emerged as a popular alternative to natural rattan for four very important reasons: It is lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, it withstands the elements, it is more affordable than natural products and it is available in a wide range of styles and colours. It resists the cracking, splitting and unravelling which plagues natural rattan furniture.

Rattan Effect Garden Furniture
Rattan effect garden furniture is lightweight and affordable. (Garden Furniture set image by TekinT from Fotolia.com)

Considerations

Natural rattan can accumulate mould and mildew over time, with constant exposure to wet and damp conditions. Since natural rattan uses teak wood as its frame, it is an expensive and heavy piece of furniture. However, it is a renewable, green method of furniture making, which is not the case for rattan effect synthetic furniture.

Rattan Effect Garden Furniture
Natural rattan is a renewable method of furniture making. (Interior Furniture image by I-MAGIC from Fotolia.com)

Characteristics

Rattan effect furniture provides a natural look and a touch of sophistication to your setting, be it a patio, conservatory, or sun porch. It has a wicker weave style, but is constructed of a man-made fibre with plastic weaves that emulate natural rattan. It can withstand all types of climate changes, is highly durable and can have any size of weave, allowing for a myriad of design opportunities not available when using natural products. It can also be painted, opening up the design choices even more. White furniture looks breezy and summer-like. A dark finish provides an elegant look, especially when paired with bright fabrics. A natural finish can be meshed with green fabrics or floral prints for an outdoorsy, truly natural look.

Rattan Effect Garden Furniture
Rattan effect furniture is constructed of a man-made fibre woven to emulate natural rattan. (wicker basket image by Alex White from Fotolia.com)

Drawbacks

Rattan effect furniture is extremely lightweight, being constructed of an aluminium frame and plastic, so it is less practical in windy areas. The finish can also be damaged in direct sunlight if not properly treated. It is also not an eco-friendly method of furniture making, unlike real rattan.

Rattan Effect Garden Furniture
Rattan effect furniture can be damaged in harsh sunlight if not properly treated. (Wicker Chair on Beach image by ike from Fotolia.com)

Types

The types of rattan effect furniture ranges from traditional to modern. One style that is rapidly gaining in popularity is the cube style--a set of four to six chairs and a square or rectangular table with a glass top. The chairs are in the shape of cubes, and it is all designed to stow into a larger cube when not in use, thereby offering an extra layer of protection against nature. If you prefer a more traditional style, British colonial is a popular look. Or you can find a style in between, since rattan effect furniture offers a wide variety in design variation along with robust durability.

Rattan Effect Garden Furniture
Rattan effect furniture can be modern or traditional. (furniture series - 1 image by maslight from Fotolia.com)

Tips

When buying rattan effect garden furniture, it's less expensive to buy an entire set at a time, and preferably in winter, when they are often on sale. A typical set is four to six chairs with a glass-topped table, or two chairs and a sofa with cushions. Coffee tables, end tables and ottomans are add-ons.

Rattan Effect Garden Furniture
Buy your furniture in a set to save money. (furniture image by Galyna Andrushko from Fotolia.com)

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