Several people, even salespeople, tend to think that wicker and rattan furniture are almost the same. We then confuse the terms when we talk about this indoor/outdoor furniture that we find in homes during the few summer months. Wicker and rattan furniture are undoubtedly in the same category, but there is a difference between them.
Wicker, in English, indicates any type of product produced in a specific way, in particular in a woven pattern. The term itself is believed to come from Sweden. The word “Wika” translates to the term “mix.” The most used material for making wicker baskets is the vine from rattan. Rattan can only be found in the rain forests of Southeast and East Asia, Africa, and South and Central America. The best rattan vine used for wicker products is honey rattan, which is found in the Southeast Asia region. This material itself has many properties that make it ideal for wicker products.
Rattan is very close to the palm tree. It is a type of plant that grows quickly in the jungles of the Southeast region. It develops in the form of a pole, and its diameter varies between 1 ″ and 3 ″. Rattan is one of the most durable woods and can reach up to more than 30 meters.
Unlike the bamboo pole, the rattan has a solid core, which makes it resistant and challenging to break. The solid base along the rattan with the vertical grains are harvested and then cut into small pieces. In general, they are steamed to give them different shapes. The outer skin of the peeled rattan pole is generally used to bond furniture joints.
If on one side, we have rattan; on the other, we have the wicker. The latter is not material. Instead, it is an ancient technique used to make objects from natural materials such as willow, rattan core, etc. We work with natural wet materials so that they can easily be braided and make wicker furniture.
So here is the difference between rattan and wicker. Rattan is a specific material, so rattan furniture is made only from this material. On the other hand, wicker furniture can result from the work of different materials such as bamboo, straw, and even rattan.
For some time, synthetic materials have even been used to make wicker furniture. In terms of versatility and durability, rattan furniture far outstrips wicker furniture. On the one hand, rattan is made of solid core and exists in varieties of natural colors. Wicker furniture can be resistant, but they may also not be. In general, this varies depending on the material used to make the furniture.
Natural rattan furniture becomes discolored when exposed to the sun. This is the reason why it is better to reserve them for indoor use. On the other hand, wicker furniture, which is painted or which is made from synthetic materials, does not generally have this problem. They can, therefore, be installed both indoors and outdoors.
Regarding the artistic side, it’s a matter of taste. Here are rattan and wicker furniture that could help you make a choice.