Outdoor furniture need some high quality material that resistant to all the weathers, looks natural, and strong. One of the best material is rattan, most of rattans are used by creating an artistic wicker, so wicker rattan is one of the most favorite material for both interior and outdoor furniture. On this post, I will give you some information about the history of wicker rattan. Most people believe that wicker rattan furniture is a Victorian invention, but in actuality it just became popular in England and American during this time. It’s an ancient technique and one of the oldest methods of making furniture around.
What Is Wicker Rattan?
Wicker is the term for the product of weaving any number of natural materials, and rattan is that material – though others such as cane and raffia can also be used in the same way. The material is typically cut into strips, dried, and then soaked in water to make it flexible before it is woven into wicker using basket-weaving techniques. Although modern wicker is not always made of rattan, it usually is because rattan is much stronger and more durable than the other types of fiber suitable for this weaving technique. When making rattan for outdoor furniture the tough inner core of the rattan vine is used and will be woven around a solid wood base to give the piece its shape.
From Basket-Weaving to Furniture
Wicker is an ancient craft that initially developed as basket weaving. Examples of woven reed furniture can even be found among the possessions of Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs – most notably Tutankhamen, who was buried with several pieces of delicate wicker furniture. The Romans took inspiration from what they found in Egypt and spread the style across their empire. By the end of the 17th Century wicker furniture had begun to look much like it does today, and was considered particularly suitable for baby furniture such as cribs and nursing chairs and for hooded chairs favored by the elderly. This is because wicker rattan was considered to have properties that promote healing and wellness, and it was much more comfortable than solid wood.
An Inexpensive Material
The rise of wicker rattan furniture can also be attributed to the fact that the materials needed to make it were significantly cheaper than other traditional materials such as timber. In addition, the rise of trade with Asia made rattan more readily available to different parts of the world, and promoted the idea of wicker rattan furniture as exotic and interesting. And as Imperialism developed this type of furniture was ideal for newly occupied tropical locales, as it won’t warp in heat and humidity. As the Victorians became increasingly enthralled with the exotic the spread of wicker rattan furniture increased manifold and it become thoroughly domesticated.
To the United States
In the mid-19th century, wicker rattan came to the United States where it was quickly industrialized and mass-produced by the Heywood-Wakefield Furniture Company, who dominated the market for several decades. Wakefield and Heywood followed the tastes of their customers, replacing production of ornate Victorian designs with more popular styles like Arts & Crafts and Art Deco. Members of the Modernist movement became interested in wicker rattan furniture as they thought it was more hygienic and simple than upholstery – perhaps inspired by the historic idea of it as a healthful material. It was around this time that an American company invented synthetic wicker, further increasing the durability and pest-resistance of the material, and also making it so inexpensive that the style was available to almost anyone.
Much modern wicker furniture whether rattan or synthetic has shed the material’s associations with the extravagant Victorian designs, and can fit in to nearly any indoor — or more commonly outdoor furniture. Wicker continues to appeal as a material, perhaps because of its airy, casual character. If you want to get some of this gorgeous and historic material into your home, check out Shackletons for a great range of wicker rattan furniture to suit your style and budget.