New Arrivals: Whimsical Wicker for Spring Days

New Arrivals: Whimsical Wicker for Spring Days

While wicker and rattan are often used interchangeably, they refer to different aspects of furniture and basketry. Wicker refers to the weaving technique used to create furniture, baskets, and other items, while rattan is a specific type of material used in wicker weaving.

Rattan is a natural material derived from the rattan palm, known for its flexibility and strength, making it a popular choice for wicker weaving. However, wicker can be made from various other natural materials like willow, bamboo, reed, or even synthetic materials like resin.


The term “wicker” has its roots in the Middle English word “wiker,” which translates to “pliable branch or twig” – a fitting origin given the woven nature of wicker items. The practice of wicker weaving has been around since ancient times, with evidence of wicker furniture and baskets dating back to ancient Egyptian civilisations.

Wicker gained widespread popularity throughout the Roman Empire, and its use continued to spread across Europe during the Middle Ages. During the Victorian era, wicker furniture experienced a resurgence, particularly for outdoor settings, as it was lightweight, durable, and had an airy, natural aesthetic.

In the 20th century, wicker furniture experienced several revivals, particularly during the Arts and Crafts movement, which celebrated traditional craftsmanship and natural materials, and later in the mid-century modern era, with its organic forms and textures complementing the clean lines and minimalist design of the time.


Rattan is a vine-like palm indigenous to the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australasia. It is characterised by a solid core surrounded by a fibrous outer layer, which contributes to its flexibility and strength. The use of rattan as a material for furniture and basketry dates back millennia, with evidence found in ancient civilisations like Egypt and China.

Rattan gained significant prominence during the 19th century when European colonial powers began exploring and exploiting the tropical regions where it grew abundantly. Its lightweight nature, combined with its flexibility and durability, made rattan a favoured material for furniture making. Rattan furniture became particularly fashionable during the Victorian era, often used in conservatories and sunrooms.

In the mid-20th century, rattan experienced a resurgence in popularity, especially in tropical and coastal regions. Its organic forms and textures seamlessly complemented the clean lines and minimalist design principles of the mid-century modern style, making it a versatile choice for both indoor and outdoor settings.

In summary, wicker and rattan are two distinct yet related concepts in the world of furniture and basketry: wicker is the weaving technique, while rattan is a material commonly used in wicker weaving. However, wicker can also be made from other materials besides rattan.