The subtle difference between bamboo, rattan and wicker
Sustainable materials are gaining popularity. Bamboo, rattan and wicker are materials that are popping up everywhere when it comes to (vintage) furniture and accessories. Many interior lovers love the woven warmth. However, the three materials are often confused with each other. Our popular wicker armchair is not made of wicker, but of rattan. But what's the difference between bamboo, wicker and rattan? You can read it below. Say goodbye to the eternal confusion.
Many people think that bamboo with its wood look belongs to the wood species, but that is not the case. Bamboo is one of the strongest grass species. It grows in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Bamboo is very strong and has many uses. The plant grows rapidly and is resistant to fungi, weeds and insects. Sunlight and water are the only things that bamboo needs in order to grow. The stems are hollow on the inside and therefore easily distinguishable from wicker or rattan. Through post-processing, bamboo becomes very strong and long-lasting.
Do you sometimes talk about wicker furniture? Then this is probably rattan and not wicker, because wicker is not used to make furniture. Most furniture is made of rattan, which is much firmer. Wicker (or reeds) is a type of grass that grows along water and wet soils and can reach a height of three metres. The material can be used to cover roofs, fences, etc., but not to make three-dimensional furniture objects.
Rattan comes from the rattan palm, a long liana that's common in the tropics and is solid, unlike bamboo. Since it's not an aquatic plant, the material is very suitable for making furniture and home accessories. Rattan is cut into different thicknesses and is then also referred to as 'pit wicker'. Because of this, there's a lot of confusion with real rattan. By cutting rattan, the material can be easily plaited. Detailed patterns can be created in this way. It's not without reason that great furniture, home accessories and bicycle baskets are made of rattan.
Rattan furniture in your interior
Rattan allows you to bring a Mediterranean feeling into your home. Rattan furniture has a rich history of thousands of years. There's a growing fondness in Europe for woven furniture thanks to the eternal quality of the material, both indoors and outdoors. Rattan is no longer seen as the typical and less valued material for patio furniture of the 1990s. The ancient craft of weaving furniture, goes back to ancient and more recent civilisations; rattan was very popular with the ancient Egyptians and the modernists. Today, having the versatility between indoor and outdoor environments, not to mention the slight ease of moving between the two, fits into any home or flat. We're increasingly returning to handcraft after the focus on machine-made perfection. The strength, natural look and versatility of rattan cannot be ignored.
Definitely take a look at Furnified to admire the most beautiful pieces of rattan furniture and maybe even integrate them into your own interior!
By Lien Egghe