What is rattan?

Rattan is a naturally sustainable, climbing plant, which grows abundantly in the tropical regions of Africa, Australasia and Asia. In Indonesia, and other parts of South-East Asia, Rattan continues to play a major part in supporting the economies of rural communities. After the long canes are harvested, the outer skin is peeled away to be used as a weaving material. The core is cut into sections and steamed until it is soft enough to be bent into shape. This can be used to make rattan furniture like chairs and stools and other home accessories like laundry baskets.

Properties and qualities

Rattan is strong, durable and lightweight. It is often confused with bamboo, however although they might seem similar, there are some important differences. Rattan stems are solid unlike bamboo canes, which means it is easier to manipulate into different shapes. This strong core makes it extremely hard to break and is a good choice for making hardworking homewares such as garden furniture. Rattan is the fastest growing tropical wood, typically taking around 5-7 years to restore its growth before it is ready to be harvested again, which makes it a great sustainable option.


Rattan can be cleaned simply by wiping with a damp cloth. For best results, refer to the care instructions on your rattan product.