With the increasing popularity of Plantation and tropical decor styles, wicker and cane furniture, has made a big comeback. Or is that rattan furniture? These terms are often used interchangeably and it can be confusing to know what terms to use in an online shopping search. Does one search for rattan furniture or cane furniture online ? And what about cane outdoor furniture - is there such a thing?
This post will clarify some of the terminology; shed some light on why there is confusion as well as summarise the pro’s and con’s of natural vs synthetic products.
Cane vs wicker vs Rattan
Okay, so what is the difference? Well, the word wicker describes the process of weaving no matter what the material.
Rattan and cane are examples of materials that can be used in this process whereas rattan is a very flexible vine that grows in rainforests.
Furniture can be made from an entire rattan pole, sometimes even with the skin still on it. Cane refers to a part of the rattan vine or pole which is peeled off and most often used to create cane webbing for seats or binding to hold rattan poles together. What about split cane furniture? Well, split cane is a length of rattan that has been machined (‘split’) from the pithy centre of the rattan vine.
The way I like to think about it is that cane is a part of rattan, and both can be used in the process of weaving.
Sounds simple, so why is there confusion over what to call it? Well, that’s because some furniture is a combination of the two eg. a chair frame made of rattan and seating and binding made from cane. So does that make it a cane chair or a rattan chair? If the item you have in mind has both elements you’re best to search
using both names, or try searching for cane rattan furniture.
Okay, so that’s the technical lesson over... but hopefully it has helped clarify a few things.
Choosing Cane and Rattan Furniture
If you’re looking for indoor furniture, most cane and rattan will stand the test of time very well. You can also place it on well protected verandahs that don't get too much weather or full sunlight.
But if you’re looking to use it on a verandah that gets some weather or a full outdoor location you need to be aware that even the best quality cane furniture
So if you’re after cane garden furniture you’re much better off going for all weather options that have aluminium frames and synthetic cane binding and weave. Aluminium is corrosion resistant and synthetic wicker is:
And the look? These days the all weather outdoor cane furniture looks very authentic: options range from the traditional white cane furniture to brightly coloured versions all the way through to options that mimic the look of unpainted natural cane with alls its texture and varied colour.
The best part: with synthetic all weather products you wont have to worry about repainting or repairing split cane . You get the the look without the hassle . So if you’re after cane outdoor chairs or maybe an outdoor cane sofa set, go for all weather options. Petite Retreat stocks a range of these so take a wander over to the product pages to see if there is something that strikes your fancy.