What is Rattan?

Rattan is one of the two designated materials used by Sika Design in all of their furniture pieces (the other being wicker). But, what makes rattan so special and why do we love it so much?

Some facts:

  • It's one of the fastest growing natural materials, regenerating ever 5 to 7 years
  • 80% of the world's rattan resources grow in Indonesia, close to the Sika Design factory
  • It's strong, bendable, durable, and transforms CO2 into clean, fresh air
  • Glue is not required in the production, being replaced by toxin-free lacquer

Bundles of rattan ready to be made into furniture

Bundles of rattan ready to be made into furniture

Rattan is also remarkably hardwearing and resistant to heat, cold, moisture, and temperature fluctuations. It grows as a vine in the rainforest, up the trees from the very bottom, and has been known to grow up hundred of meters. As rattan grows by climbing trees, it's been indirectly linked to the preservation of the Indonesian rainforest.

When it's processed, the cane is debarked and sanded down for a beautiful smooth surface, which can be polished in the natural yellow state, stained and lacquered in any desired color, or left with the bark for a more rustic feel. Also, rattan requires no special attention whatsoever. For daily cleaning, it can be wiped with a cloth. For more extensive cleanings, mild soap is more than enough. And, in case it ends up losing its shine over the years, it can be wiped with plain furniture oil.

There is a common misconception that rattan is just a different kind of bamboo — but that isn't right. Bamboo doesn't bend, whereas rattan does. Bamboo is hollow, whereas rattan is solid. In addition to that, rattan furniture can truly last generations.