Rattan Furniture     

Rattan is the name for around 600 different species of palms, typically found in Southeast Asia that can grow to up to 2,000ft and is a very
good material for making furniture because it's lightweight, durable, suitable for outdoor use, and to a degree, flexible. It also accepts paints and stains readily, meaning it can be available in many colours/styles.

The problem with natural rattan however, is it's durability. As it's made of natural fibres with hardly any treatment, natural rattan doesn't always stand up well to the climate here in the UK and can be affected by mould if it gets too wet too often. It is also known to fade if exposed to sunlight.

Therefore, most rattan furniture you see tends to be made of high-quality plastics designed to look and feel like natural rattan with the additional benefit of increased durability and performance. This provides the flexibility for the furniture to be used either indoors or out.

The three most common materials used for making rattan furniture are High Density Polyethylene (HDPE/PE), Polyurethane (PU) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). These are all collectively known as poly-rattan to distinguish them from natural rattan.

If covered, it can last for around 3 - 7 years.

Material

PositivesNegativesLifespan
HDPE/PE

 • UV & mould resistant

 • Durable: tougher  than PU or PVC

 • Weather-proof

 • Recyclable

 Higher priced than PU  or PVC rattan Life expectancy in the  UK is 5-10 years
PU

 • UV & mould resistant

 • Elastic strength to  resist cracking

 Non-recyclable Life expectancy in the  UK is 5-10 years
PVC

 • UV resistant (but not   as resistant as PE or   PU)

 • Recyclable

 Not ideal for UK  weather If covered, it can last  for around 3 - 7  years