Trend Alert: Rattan

Rattan was quite fashionable in the mid-century. Designers, such as Arne Jacobson, Charlotte Perriand, and Franco Albini worked with rattan and now it gets back in trend. Rattan is the Southeast Asian fiber known for both its durability and flexibility.

 rattan in forest via  Panda  - hanging chair  Serena and Lily  - rattan via  google images

rattan in forest via Panda - hanging chair Serena and Lily - rattan via google images

Rattan is a renewable palm that grows in tropical regions, and is used mainly for furniture, handicrafts but also as building materials. It is much easier to harvest than timber, easier to transport, and it grows faster than trees. The skin of rattan is peeled off to be used as rattan weaving materials, while the core of the rattan can be used for various purposes in furniture making. You will find rattan in a range from several millimeters up to 7 cm in diameter. Rattans look very similar to bamboo, but unlike bamboo, rattan stems are more solid. They can grow up to hundreds of meters long.

 Wicker chair 1950 Franco Albini  - rattan via  google images

Wicker chair 1950 Franco Albini  - rattan via google images

Franco Albini was an Italian architect - designer, who created modern furniture by merging the Italian traditional artisanship with the new forms of modernism. He was looking for inexpensive materials for his creations and gave the minimalistic design an elegant touch.

 wallpaper  Thibaut  - rattan shelve  Anthropologie  - plant stand  Anthropologie

wallpaper Thibaut - rattan shelve Anthropologie - plant stand Anthropologie

When you look at pictures of mid-century interiors you will recognize some objects such as plant containers, rattan baskets, and other decorative works. They fitted perfectly in the homes. Now rattan will still give you this mid-century feeling, with an exotic touch. Rattan fits almost any interior style.

These days designers are integrating rattan chairs, lamps, furniture, and more into modern spaces. We will see new use for an old idea. Rattan is not a modern material, in the time of Louis the 15th they were also weaving rattan to be used in the chairs. 

 Piet Eek Hein for IKEA via  Dezeen

Piet Eek Hein for IKEA via Dezeen

Dutch designer Piet Eek Hein has worked together with Ikea to develop a collection of furniture and accessories based on traditional Indonesian and Vietnamese crafts, using rattan and bamboo. You find the Jassa collection now at IKEA.

 detail rattan bed  Anthropologie  - detail Bella Donna couch by Franco Albini  1stdibs

detail rattan bed Anthropologie - detail Bella Donna couch by Franco Albini 1stdibs

Furniture in rattan is ideally done by hand.  The rattan canes are soaked before weaving or bending to make them more flexible. Making a piece of furniture can take several days. Aside from the weaving process it also has to go through other process such as sanding, painting pr lacquering. You need skilled artisans, and a fair amount of strength is needed to pull the rattan into shape.  

 wicker weave via  Flickr  - wallpaper  Thibaut  - the Grand furniture series inspired by handbag details via  Yatzer

wicker weave via Flickr - wallpaper Thibaut - the Grand furniture series inspired by handbag details via Yatzer

Wicker is a general term for a man-made woven material such as rattan, willow, grasses and even synthetic materials such as vinyl. The term wicker is also used for the weaving process. Wickerwork is an ancient technique that is being used in the manufacturing of furniture. The natural materials are made wet to facilitates the weaving process, it contracts when dry to give a tight finish. The wicker pattern will make the finished product firmer and sturdier. 

Rattan can be used in every room of the house. The natural color of the rattan for a classical mid-century look, white is perfect to give it a summery touch, and black will make it very modern. 

You can find wallpapers , fabrics, and even tiles with the wicker motif, an "evergreen" in the interior decoration world.

A series of handwoven furniture pieces was the result of the collaboration between Italian design studio Lanzavecchia and Singaporean studio Wai . The Bilik room divider highlights the use of rattan weaving. The various sized pockets can be used to display or deposit objects. 

Rattan is trendy, but it will never get out of style, so some good reasons to buy a piece of furniture in or with rattan

  • lightweight
  • durable
  • suitable for outdoor use
  • gives a mid-century touch to your home
  • can be used in almost every interior decoration styles

Rattan is something for you?

wish you a great new week!

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