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A Short History: Rattan

Craftsmanship, Products

First discovered buried with pharaohs in ancient Egypt, wicker is an ancient craft that uses raw materials originally developed for basket weaving.  Later, the Romans were inspired by Egyptian woven furniture, and adopted wicker as their own technique, spreading the style across their empire.

Fast forward to the 17th century in Northern Europe – and wicker began to look much like today.

Over the next couple of centuries, the rise of trade with Asia brought rattan to the West, introducing a stronger material that lent itself to wickerwork. This rattan furniture style soon spread across the British Empire, from India to the West Indies, and to England itself, where it was associated with a safely civilized exoticism that captivated the Victorians.

Photo of Paul Frankl, by Paulette Frankl

It is thought that rattan entered America through colonists who brought wicker and basket chairs with them. Paul Frankl was one of the first prominent designers to use rattan in modern design, breaking convention by introducing wicker into the dining room and intermixing it with upholstered furniture.

As most of us already know, the 1960s and ’70s saw a huge appreciation for rattan. After a period where Victorian-style decor was seen to be overly sophisticated, this era witnessed a resurgence of ornate wicker furnishings, which resulted in a Renaissance of sorts as the beauty of wicker furniture was once again appreciated and welcomed inside the home.

Design and style icons such as Gabriella Crespi and Marella Agnelli lead the pack in blurring the lines between the Haute bourgeois taste for expensive cosmopolitan decor and the rules of modern design. An often misunderstood craft, their bamboo and rattan-inspired designs were limited, handcrafted, and niche – and intended for cultivated, sophisticated people with high taste.

Gabriella Crespi at Home, Photo by Matthieu Salvaing/OTTO

Gabriella Crespi’s personal life somewhat reflects that of her favourite medium: born into aristocracy, Crespi was regularly seen rubbing shoulders with royalty and celebrities alike and counted Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy among her closest friends.  However; underneath her glamorous social persona, her spiritual life had always been profound, and in the late ‘80s she ceased operations and relocated to India for 20 years in a quest for a deeper meaning of existence.

Rattan Furniture: An Affordable and Stylish Choice

Fusing style and comfort with sustainability – discover everything you need to know about rattan furniture! Shop our bestsellers today.

Rattan furniture is the perfect combination of style, comfort, and sustainability. Whether you are looking for a set of chairs for your patio or a cozy hammock for your bedroom, rattan is the perfect eco-friendly choice. Find out more about everything you need to know about rattan furniture and shop our bestsellers today.

Today once again, we are seeing a wicker revival – and something tells us it’s here to stay. Our new Saronno collection is much like our favourite socialite; exuding both the allure and polish of an aristocratic Grande dame and the soulful spirit of an inspired and gifted mind. Ranging from armchairs and stools to coffee tables and chests of drawers, the collection is exotic and chic, pure and baroque: a perfect fusion of force and finesse.

Why Choose Rattan Furniture?

Rattan furniture is perfect for all areas of your home, from sunny decks and balconies to cozy bedrooms. Not only is it stylish and comfortable, but it’s also extremely sustainable. Rattan grows quickly, making it a more renewable source than hardwood. Plus, much of the production process is done by hand by local workers who are masters in their craft – so you can feel good about your purchase without sacrificing aesthetics or quality.

Types of Rattan Furniture Available

There are a variety of rattan furniture styles that you can choose from. For outdoor areas, consider a rattan sofa set or patio chairs and tables. The lightweight material makes it easy to move around and enjoy different seating arrangements. You may also find an outdoor swing or hammock to relax in while you soak up the sunshine. And for your interior, you can find traditional wicker rocking chairs, dining chairs, accent pieces, and more! There are so many options available – the possibilities are truly endless!

Design Ideas to Harness the Versatility of Rattan Style

When considering which design ideas to incorporate with rattan furniture, it’s important to remember that the material is incredibly versatile and can be used in both traditional and modern settings. The timelessness of rattan means you can use it as an accent piece in a classic space and also as a focal point of a contemporary room. Whether you want your rattan furniture to blend in or stand out, the style options are endless!

Benefits of Using Rattan over Traditional Materials

Rattan furniture is a popular choice for many people due to its durability, affordability, and stylish look. It’s much more lightweight than traditional materials like wood or metal and is less likely to cause scratches on your flooring. Additionally, rattan furniture can be easily maintained with simple cleaning and sealing products so that it stays looking beautiful for years to come. Because of these reasons, rattan furniture is an excellent and affordable choice when furnishing your home!

Top Maintenance Tips for Your Rattan Furniture

To keep your rattan furniture looking beautiful, it’s important to make sure made sure to perform the necessary maintenance. Care should be taken on rattan furniture as well as any other furniture pieces in your home. Dust and dirt buildup can eventually cause damage to the material. Make sure you regularly vacuum or wipe down surfaces so they can stay clean and free from dust or dirt. You may also want to regularly treat the furniture with a wood wax or sealant to protect against fading from UV rays and other outdoor elements.

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