Wicker and Rattan are some of the most widely used materials on casual and tropical furniture. Rattan is a vine that grows in the mountain regions of the Philippines and Southeast Asia. It can grow to lengths of up to 500 feet. It’s the trunk of a climbing palm that is very long and thin, vine like, and generally does not grow thicker than 2 inches in diameter. It is very strong, filled with fibers that run lengthwise. It’s very pliable and easily bent, making it a wonderful material to create furniture.
Wicker is not actually a material, but an overall classification of furniture woven from one of a variety of materials. A lot of people think that wicker and rattan are the same thing, but wicker can actually be made up of rattan, cane, willow, reed or one of many other pliable materials. Weaving coarse fibers loosely together round a frame makes wicker furniture. This process dates back to early Egypt.
Bamboo is another material used in our furniture. Bamboo is actually a giant cane grass, growing naturally in the warm regions of temperate climates. Bamboo can grow to over a hundred feet, growing two to three inches a day. It is easy to identify by its nodular growth and hollow stem.