Bamboo, Rattan, Cane, or Wicker: Are you confused too?

Updated: Jul 12



Last week, I was looking to buy a new chair for my room and as you must as well, I decided to buy something elegant yet sustainable. (I will share the chair I bought for myself towards the end of the page.) Lately, we all can observe the sustainability trend blowing up the market. These eco-conscious furniture pieces not only decrease our carbon footprint but add an earthy and light feeling to our space. As a penny-wise (not from “IT”) shopper, I compared many options and read a lot of reviews. I realized, that many of us are confused about the difference between Bamboo, Rattan, Cane, and wicker furniture. People often wondered if there is any difference at all and the result was a lot of misunderstanding while shopping for furniture and a dissatisfactory purchase experience.


While many of us are picking the sustainable way of living and there are quite a handful of ingenious brands with designers and innovators who are showcasing products that not only feel like a perfect buy for our beautiful home interior but are sustainable and inventive. With increased interest in sustainable furniture, it becomes crucial to understand the raw materials that are used to design them. Once we are well aware of the basics, we are more likely to make the right choice while buying eco-friendly furniture for our homes.


Keeping this in mind, I am sharing the basic details to make it easy to understand what is Bamboo, rattan, cane, and wicker.


Bamboo:


Bamboo is my favorite raw material. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants and has become one of the most important nontimber forest products in the world. As we have seen the Amazon and Australian being cut down or being consumed by fires, turn to bamboo as some forms can grow up to three feet a day! This strong grass is considered a renewable resource thus unlike other earthy raw materials, it’s undoubtedly the finest option. Although bamboo is considered grass and is hollow inside, it is harder than mahogany and yet supple and flexible. The latest research and technological advancement in the field has introduced several patented techniques that have made it an industrially viable raw material. If this continues, it will soon replace wood and plastic from the market for good.


Rattan:

Rattan is a type of climbing or trailing vine-like palm native to the tropical jungles of Asia, Malaysia, and China.


Cleaned rattan stems with the leaf sheaths removed are superficially similar to bamboo. Unlike bamboo, rattan is a wood not a grass and its stems are not hollow. Rattans are extensively used for making baskets and furniture. When cut into sections, rattan can be used as wood to make furniture. Rattan accepts paints and stains like many other kinds of wood, so it is available in many colors, and it can be worked into many styles.


Rattan is much easier to harvest, requires simpler tools, and is much easier to transport in comparison to other woods. It also grows much faster than most tropical wood. This makes it a potential tool in forest maintenance since it provides a profitable crop that depends on rather than replaces trees.


Do you know???
Rattan has a physical structure that is similar to that of natural human bones. We can make artificial bones much similar to real human bones from it.

Cane:



Cane is the thinner material that results from the process of stripping the rattan plant. A fantastic quality of the Cane is that it has a very low porosity rate, meaning it can repel liquids easily.





Wicker:


Wicker is not a raw material instead, a technique for making products woven from any one of a variety of pliable plant materials (like bamboo, rattan, cane, wood, etc.), a generic name for the materials used in such manufacture, and a term for the items so produced. The word wicker is believed to be of Scandinavian origin: Vika, which means to bend in Swedish, and vikker meaning willow.

This is the chair, I bought for myself. It is made from Bamboo. It came flat-packed in a small box and is surprisingly lightweight. I enjoyed assembling it. (Made me feel street smart. It’s surprising how small things can make us so happy.) It is so nice to my back that it wants to write a love poem for it. I absolutely adore working on it. (Look at those legs, aren’t they super pretty and chic?)


If you would like to check this out here’s the link. You will get a discount if you subscribe to their website. Mianzi Butterfly Chair



References:

1. Wikipedia

2. Wicker vs Rattan – What’s the Difference?

3. All About Rattan and Rattan Furniture - Written by Lisa Hallett Taylor

4. Images from Pexels and Mianzi


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