Rattan vs Cane + what is wicker? I’ll explain! Rattan is a species of tropical liana, woody climbing stem plant, that grows in Southeast Asia, primarily Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam. Their rural villages rely heavily on rattan trade for their income, making this a major proponent for poverty alleviation in these regions - reason to feel good about buying rattan/cane/wicker products! The 13 species of rattan have grown to be highly sought after as they grow faster than timber, are easier to transport and the core is one of the strongest wood-like materials in the world.
Rattan, which is typically used to build furniture, comes from the core of the palm which grows thick and similar to the trunk of a tree. Think indoor and outdoor lounge chairs, featuring large reedlike shapes. (fun fact: the rattan core is steamed and bent to create the curves we see in furniture products and when the material dries it will hold that form forever)
Cane is the outer “bark” or skin of the rattan strands or veins. This is used in decorative, woven, accents as seen here on our @stylemeghd Caprice Cabinet. Due to its bendable qualities cane is frequently applied in a round webbing format, creating circles within the woven pattern, and often times pressed flat (spline cane) for a chair seat.
Wicker is the reference to the manner of weaving natural or synthetic materials such as; rattan, cane, bamboo and other grasses to create the makeup of a product. Wicker is the stylistic description of the product produced through the process of weaving these materials. It is not a specific species of plant but a make up of a variety of materials.