It is the first of September and already there is talk of autumn, as is always the case, but for us, we’re happy to hold on to summertime just a little while longer. Ask anyone who knows me and she will tell you that I adore wicker of any kind — in chairs and at picnics, on bicycles and in baskets scattered all about the house, holding books and shoes and bottles of Perrier on countertops. There is something about the texture — whether rattan or bamboo or seagrass — that adds such warmth to a home. Who knew that it could also be used for light fixtures and canopy beds? Its applications are endless and the memories of summertime that it evokes is enough help anyone dream though the winter months to come . . .
What is the difference between wicker and rattan?
Rattan is a type of vine and a close relative of the palm tree. It is one of the strongest woods and can grow as high as hundred feet, with a diameter between one to three inches. Unlike bamboo, rattan has a strong core, making it quite durable and difficult to break. Once rattan is harvested, it is steamed into shape, its outside skin peeled off and used to bind the furniture joints together.
Wicker, on the other hand, is not a material, but an ancient technique used to manufacture items out of natural materials, such as willow, rush, rattan and more. The natural materials are made wet so that they can be easily woven to create wicker furniture pieces. While rattan is a specific material (rattan furniture is crafted out of rattan only), wicker furniture may be made out of different materials such as bamboo, straw and even rattan.