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Wicker and Rattan Furniture

Wicker and rattan furniture have been popular for centuries. Traditionally, wicker was made from whole or split rods of willow, but today other reeds and canes are also used in manufacturing it. Rattan comes from Southeast Asia. It grows as a long plant with a hard bark that can be bent into shape without breaking. Both wicker and rattan can easily be painted or stained, so they come in a wide choice of colors. These lightweight, natural materials have long been associated with carefree, casual living. They are a good choice for family rooms, dining rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. They can be used on porches and outdoors, but neither wicker nor rattan is fully weather resistant, so they will not last as long if left outdoors.

The following should be considered when buying wicker and rattan furniture:

  • The furniture pieces should be tightly woven and sturdy. Poorly made pieces will quickly fall apart if subject to any real weight. Well made wicker and rattan can last for ever. There are still many nineteenth century pieces available on the antiques market.
  • Cushions should be made of high quality foam. They can be wrapped in fiber for added softness.
  • Cushions with weather resistant fabric are available. All cushion fabrics should be stain resistant, as wicker and rattan are meant for casual living.

Wicker and rattan furniture are often purchased as suites of matching pieces, so check to see what is available when planning your room.

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