Wicker rattan furniture has been an indispensable part of the interior of every self-respecting country house for several centuries. And if a century ago only people with significant income could afford rattan furniture, with the invention of synthetic rattan, wicker furniture everywhere penetrated the terraces and gardens of country houses and cottages. One important question remains, what kind of garden furniture to choose for interior design – from natural or artificial rattan?
Advantages and disadvantages of natural rattan
Natural rattan is a style and history in the interior, as well as a real headache for its owners. Now you will see for yourself, but let’s start with the good! So, the two main advantages of natural rattan:
Environmental friendliness. It is understandable, natural rattan is one of the most environmentally friendly materials for furniture. It does not pollute the environment either during the cultivation of palm trees and the production of furniture, or during its operation, or after disposal;
Ease. By themselves, the stems of rattan palms are very light, and besides, the same palms are used in the frame, only thicker and more stable. As a result, the furniture itself turns out to be as heavy as a feather. And this quality of it is very useful in operation, since you will have to constantly wear rattan furniture back and forth during the spring-summer season.
Why do we call rattan the headache of garden? So, let’s move on to the disadvantages of natural rattan furniture. Get comfortable, there will be a lot of them!
- Absolutely zero water resistance. Even despite the fact that natural rattan is coated with a special varnish, it swells very quickly from moisture. Therefore, you will have to constantly transfer it from the room to the street and back. This is where her lightness comes in handy!
- Ease. Yes, yes, this is also a medal with two sides. On the one hand, light furniture is easy to carry, on the other hand, it can fall and scatter around the garden from one gust of wind. Well, as a result, something heavy will also fly on it, then such furniture can suffer significantly.
- Fragility. Despite the fact that rattan furniture can withstand up to 100 kg of weight, it must be used with care. For example, carefully sit on chairs or armchairs. Otherwise, when you try to sit down with a swing, it may simply fall apart under you.
- Difficulty in storage. Rattan furniture needs to be monitored more carefully than a child. It can not be stored in a hot or too dry room – it will begin to dry out and crack. But even with humidity here you need not to overdo it, otherwise such furniture will quickly become covered with mold and fungus.
- Does not withstand temperature extremes. Leaving such furniture for a long time on the street, even in the warm season, and even more so for the whole winter, is completely impossible.
- Not UV resistant. Under the rays of the sun, natural rattan quickly fades. So it is hardly worth sunbathing on such furniture in the garden at noon.
Too many cons? And if we take into account that we have listed here only the main ones? So the manufacturers of rattan furniture thought about this and invented in the middle of the last century a magical synthetic rattan, which visually resembles natural, but turns all its shortcomings into advantages.
Advantages and disadvantages of artificial rattan
Artificial rattan is known by many names – techno rattan, poly rattan, synthetic rattan and even hularo. In any case, the material itself is long strands made of polymers and rubber. Unlike natural rattan, the colors, texture, length and width of artificial material ribbons can be any. However, as a rule, artificial rattan and wicker furniture looks as close as possible in appearance to natural.
Advantages of artificial rattan:
- Amazing moisture and water resistance. You can leave artificial rattan furniture outside for the entire period of autumn bad weather and even for a snowy winter. You will be surprised, but in spring artificial rattan will look as if nothing had happened.
- Resistance to temperature difference. Store your faux rattan furniture wherever you want. Nothing will happen to him.
- Does not fade in sunlight. Sunbathe during the day on sun loungers or artificial rattan sofas to your heart’s content!
- More stable frame. In the case of artificial rattan, more massive frames made of wood or aluminum are used.
- Withstands more weight. In addition, artificial rattan furniture is not so fragile.
Are the benefits of synthetic rattan furniture impressive? Let’s now move on to its shortcomings. It so happened that in furniture made of natural and artificial rattan, the pros and cons have mirrored. What are the disadvantages of wicker furniture made of synthetic material?
- Synthetic rattan is not a natural material. However, in its manufacture, the most environmentally friendly polymers are used, which do not emit harmful substances and unpleasant odors even with high heating.
- More weight. Due to the more massive frame, synthetic rattan furniture is heavier. But this does not matter, you will not need to constantly wear it and hide it from rain, moisture or sun. It will be necessary to move such furniture unless you want to make a rearrangement.
What material to choose from?
Let’s say right away that we do not recommend purchasing natural rattan for families with small children and pet owners. Even despite the naturalness and environmental friendliness of the material, rattan furniture will not last long in such “extreme” conditions. But if you still decide to purchase it, be prepared to change it often or constantly repair it. Which is also not cheap and quite difficult.
We do not recommend natural rattan to those who cannot ensure constant supervision and care for it. If it rains, the wind rises, or the bright sun comes out from behind the clouds, and your natural rattan furniture remains on the street, you can say goodbye to it. It would also be impossible to lock her up for the winter in a cold, unheated country house and leave until spring.
In addition, every year rattan furniture needs to be coated with a special varnish so that wood bugs do not start up in it or mold attacks it. Yes, and it is advised to clean such furniture with a vacuum cleaner with a special brush or a dry soft cloth without any detergents.
We are all for artificial rattan furniture! First, you can do whatever you want with it. Secondly, it can be washed with anything and anytime. Thirdly, it does not need any care at all – they bought it and forgot about it. And finally, this furniture can be used all year round as you like.