Rattan baskets are some of the most popular types of wicker baskets in the world. They’re beautiful. They come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be used for a multitude of purposes as well. You can find rattan baskets the size of large laundry hampers. You can also find small rattan baskets which you can use for produce or to hold a small plant.
What is Rattan?
Rattan is a material that wicker baskets or furniture can be made of. It’s only one material of many. Wicker baskets can be made from bamboo, willow, and even synthetic materials like plastic. Rattan is actually another name for a palm plant that grows in tropical areas like Asia. When it begins growing it grows up like a tree. As it matures it bends back down toward the ground and begins to creep along the ground like a vine.
The majority of rattan comes from Vietnam and the Philippines, though it does grow in Africa and Australia, as well as in Asia. Rattan is harvested and it often takes an entire community to harvest it. Each vine can grow several hundred feet. The vines are cut into twelve foot lengths which are then prepared and cured depending on the purpose.
Two Basic Forms of Rattan
When it comes to rattan baskets, there are two different types of rattan. There’s natural rattan and synthetic rattan. Natural rattan is extraordinarily durable so there’s really no need for synthetic rattan.
You can find both indoor and outdoor rattan. The difference between the two often rests in the curing process and the construction of the basket. For example, an outdoor rattan product would likely have a protective coating over the basket.
This protective coating is sprayed on after the rattan has been stained or dyed. Outdoor rattan may also have a liner to protect it from water pooling at the bottom. This is also the case for rattan planters. Outdoor rattan may also blend synthetic rattan with natural rattan to make the basket or furniture more durable.
Indoor rattan is often unlined and not blended with a synthetic. It’s stained or left in its natural color. However, it can be lined if the rattan basket or furniture needs to be protected from moisture. For example, a planter basket or tray may need a liner.
The biggest confusion about rattan is that it isn’t a weave like Hapao nor is it a process like wicker. Rattan is a material that wicker baskets, decorative objects and sunroom furniture are made from. It’s extraordinarily durable and an affordable home decor and storage option.