Outdoor Rattan Furniture: A Guide To Choosing The Best

By: Jason Harris

Have you seen it - how the outdoor rattan furniture market is exploding? It really is - not only new companies entering the field, but all sorts of new designs and colors, new patterns - but also a reliance on the traditional designs as well.

First of all, what is Rattan? Rattan is actually a plant fiber, which is grown in many different locations - China, India and in other Asian countries as well. Many people confuse bamboo with rattan, but they are very different. The stalks of a bamboo plant are hollow inside, whereas rattan plant stalks are solid through-and-through. Whereas bamboo is very rigid, rattan is much more flexible, and as a consequence it can be shaped in many different ways for use as a furniture item.

As mentioned, rattan grows in tropical areas. After being harvested, the plant stalks are cut down into the lengths needed for the furniture. A reputable rattan grower will treat the plants harvested with chemicals - otherwise the rattan can become infested with a fungus that can discolor and eventually destroy the plant fibers. Less reputable harvesters will not treat the plants properly, and as a result you can have problems with it later.

So I am making this recommendation up front: Make sure that you deal with a furniture supply company that is reputable and knowledgeable. If you don't you might end up buying junk that will not last very long, or look very good. Your alternative? Become an expert on all things rattan!

Remember: Outdoor rattan furniture is made from naturally occurring materials. For this reason do not allow your furniture to sit in pools of standing water. Why? Because it will eventually absorb the water, and this can cause swelling and gaps to appear in where the rattan is woven together.

Maintaining your outdoor rattan furniture is very easy: vacuum the dust and dirt from it, or use a warm, soapy cloth. If your furniture does get wet, it should be allowed to dry - thoroughly - especially before storing it away for the winter season.

If your outdoor rattan furniture requires more care, you can entrust it to a furniture restoration specialist. If rough spots appear on your furniture, you can take care of these yourself if you like: just sand the area lightly and then apply a good finish or varnish. If more extensive work needs done - if the frame is cracked, or the weaving needs repaired - you should contact your furniture restorer.

Properly cared for your outdoor rattan furniture will last for many years. Rattan is recognized the world over as a quality material for furniture that must be kept outdoors. It is cool, lightweight, and requires only a little maintenance. For all of its cost, it really is one of the best values around in outdoor furniture!

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About the author: Jason Harris offers his expertise on home repair and Outdoor Wicker Furniture Learn all aboutpatio furniture by visiting his website.
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