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.



Material

Positives

Negatives

Lifespan

HDPE/PE
- UV & mould resistant
- Durable: tougher than PU or PVC
- Recyclable
Higher priced than PU or PVC rattanLife expectancy in the UK is 5-10 years
PU (our rattan)- UV & mould resistant
- Elastic strength to resist cracking
Non-recyclableLife expectancy in the UK is 5-10 years
PVC- UV resistant (but not as resistant as PE/PU rattan
- Recyclable
Not ideal for UK weatherIf covered, it can last for around 3-7 years in the UK

Download our handy 'Why Poly-Rattan' guide for more information on why you should choose this versatile material.