Do you know your rattan from your wicker? And what materials work best in our unpredictable British climate? Check out our 9 tips for buying rattan furniture and let your garden become the extra ‘room‘ it deserves.
1. Rattan furniture is stylish, exotic and incredibly versatile but don’t get in a tangle with your rattans and wickers: natural rattan furniture is made from palm plants – one of the strongest woods in the world – while wicker refers to the weaving process.
2. For our British climate though, it’s definitely wise to plump for a synthetic rattan which stands up brilliantly to the elements and is the perfect choice for outdoor use. Our rattan-effect garden furniture is manufactured from a man-made, resin fibre called High Density Polyethylene, or HDPE to you and me. Unlike other synthetics, HDPE (derived from a waxy substance) is an organic material that is fully recyclable and environmentally-friendly to boot – a major plus point as our lifestyles get leaner and greener.
3. A word of warning: don’t go for furniture made from polyvinyl chloride (there’s one of those big labels again) as PVC isn’t as durable and emits toxic compounds during production. And do ensure furniture is fully prepped with a UV inhibitor, because just as our skins need protection from the sun, so the rattan weave will easily degrade and fade without it.
4. Man-made rattan is also incredibly lightweight and much stronger than natural rattan so your bistro table and chairs, sun loungers and sofa sets can be moved around your garden at will, making sure you can follow the sun with ease!
5. Our ‘All Seasons’ luxury garden furniture uses the finest Hularo handwoven, synthetic rattan, around strong but feather-light, powder-coated, aluminium frames. It can withstand very hot and very cold temperatures (from a freezing -70 degrees C up to a sweltering 80 degrees C) so requires very little maintenance and upkeep. Oh, and it’s backed up by a 10-year guarantee too…
6. Research your weaves. As well as picking a colour to suit your style, you also need to select ‘type’ of weave, to help inject an incredible sense of style and personality into your outdoor space. Pick from traditional round weaves in muted, rustic grey, modern flat weaves in neutral taupe and beige and a simple, soft white weave for a classic, Scandi look. Make sure colours are fully-extruded through the resin, so the furniture is colour-fast, fade-proof and truly all-weather.
7. Thickness of weave is vital too! Thin weave strands are cheaper to buy and faster to weave but will ultimately result in a poor product that won’t last. Fact.
8. Whatever size of garden you have, be it a pint-sized patio or a full-blown palatial lawn, there is a piece of rattan furniture to suit. Try modern, modular sofa sets, dining tables, curvaceous armchairs and footrests, sunbeds-for-two and side tables to keep chilled drinks to hand. (Just remember to measure up your space accurately so you’re not squeezing in too many bits and pieces)
9. With such a great looking range of furniture at your fingertips, it would be silly to keep your rattan simply for the summer months. Why not make full use of your beautiful and durable rattan furniture indoors too, in your conservatory or kitchen – either brought in when the winter months descend or as all year fixtures in addition to your garden sets.
Do you adore your rattan garden furniture? Or do you have any other questions about rattan that our experts could answer? Please feel free to share your comments, questions and images below.