What is Rattan? Rattan is the generic name for over 600 species of climbing vines, native to the tropical rainforests of South East Asia – about 70% of the worlds Rattan production comes from Indonesia. Rattan vines commonly grow to lengths of up to 600ft. They are superficially similar to bamboo, however the stalks are solid rather than hollow and they need support from other plants to grow whereas bamboo can grow alone.
Harvesting of Rattan takes place from 7 – 15 years from the start of growth. In forests where rattan grows its economic value can help protect forest lands, by providing an alternative to timber logging. Rattan is much easier to harvest, requiring simpler tools and also much easier to transport, and of course it is much faster growing than most tropical timbers. Rattans are extensively used for making furniture. The inner core can be separated and worked into wicker, and the thicker cores are used for furniture frames. Rattan accepts paints and stains like wood, so it is available in many colours and can be worked into many styles of furniture. Rattan makes durable furniture is relatively lightweight, but can withstand heavy use.