Cane Rattan Furniture

cane rattan furniture
    rattan furniture
  • Rattan (from the Malay rotan) is the name for the roughly 600 species of palms in the tribe Calameae, native to tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australasia.
  • Beat with a cane as a punishment
  • Make or repair (furniture) with cane
  • a stick that people can lean on to help them walk
  • beat with a cane
  • a strong slender often flexible stem as of bamboos, reeds, rattans, or sugar cane
cane rattan furniture - The Complete
The Complete Guide to Chair Caning: Restoring Cane, Rush, Splint, Wicker & Rattan Furniture
The Complete Guide to Chair Caning: Restoring Cane, Rush, Splint, Wicker & Rattan Furniture
Jim Widess, co-author of the bestselling The Caner's Handbook and a top authority in the field, presents a caning guide that readers will treasure for years to come. With the help of his amazingly detailed instructions and illuminating color photographs, even novices can fix virtually any piece of cane or wicker furniture; at the same time, professionals or collectors will value the hundreds of expert, time-tested tips Widess has amassed during three decades of work. Each chapter features a color gallery showcasing a variety of styles and techniques.

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National Geographic - Bamboo - The Giant Grass
National Geographic - Bamboo - The Giant Grass
Bamboo and Rattan Facts

A sixty foot tree cut for market takes 60 years to replace. A sixty foot bamboo cut for market takes 59 days to replace.

Over one billion people in the world live in bamboo houses.

The world trade in bamboo and rattan is currently estimated at 14 billion US dollars every year.

The majority of bamboo and rattan harvested for market is harvested by women and children, most of whom live at or below subsistence levels in developing countries.


Bamboos are giant, woody grasses which put out several full length, full diameter, naturally pre-finished, ready-to-use culms ("stems") each year. A single bamboo clump can produce up to 15 kilometres of usable pole (up to 30 cm in diameter) in its lifetime.

Bamboo is the most diverse group of plants in the grass family, and the most primitive sub-family. It is distinguished by a woody culm, complex branching, a generally robust rhizome system and infrequent flowering.

It has a tropical and subtropical (cosmopolitan) distribution, ranging from 46 N to 47S latitude, reaching elevations as high as 4,000 m in the Himalayas and parts of China. Bamboo is very adaptable, with some species being deciduous and others evergreen.

The taxonomy of the bamboo remains poorly understood, though the general consensus seems to be that bamboo numbers between 60 and 90 genera with 1,100 to 1,500 species.

Described as the 'wood of the poor' (India), 'friend of the people' (China) and 'brother' (Vietnam), bamboo is a wonder plant that grows over wide areas of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America. Millions of people depend on this plant for their livelihood. It has become so much a part of the culture and memory of societies that the existence of a Bamboo Age has not been ruled out.

Its use in food and cooking goes far back in history. Exports of bamboo shoots from Taiwan alone amount to $50 million (US). Apart from traditional uses, bamboo has many new applications as a substitute for fast depleting wood and as an alternative to more expensive materials.

Modern paper industry has expanded to such an extent that 2.2 million tonnes of bamboo are used in India for this purpose.

Bamboo furniture is an expanding business. In the Philippines, between 1985-1994, exports rose from $625,000 to $1.2 million.

Bamboo's potential for checking soil erosion and for road embankment stabilization are now becoming known. It is equally important for providing fast vegetative cover to deforested areas.

Bamboo's role in the construction field is equally substantial. Hundreds of millions of people live in houses made from bamboo. In Bangladesh, 73% of the population live in bamboo houses. It provides pillars, walls, window frames, rafters, room separators, ceilings and roofs.

In Borneo and in the Naga Hills of India, large communal houses of 100 feet in length have been built of bamboo. Throughout rural Asia it is used for building bridges, from the sophisticated technology of suspension bridges to the simpler pontoon bridges. Bamboo scaffoldings are found throughout Asia, and they are employed on the high rise structures of Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Bamboo is also used for musical instruments of all three types: percussion or hammer instruments, wind instruments, and stringed instruments. In Java, 20 different musical instruments have been fashioned of bamboo. The flute may have been invented by cave people toying with a hollow bamboo stem.


Rattans are spiny climbing palms in the tropical forests that can attain lengths of over 185 metres. There are 13 rattan genera with 700 known species.

Growing in the tropics and sub-tropics, rattan, or cane as it is commonly known, is a ready source for the cane furniture industry. It is collected from the wild forests throughout Southeast Asia and is the most vital forest produce after timber. Its social significance is no less. It provides sustainable income to some of the most disadvantaged segments of people living in and on the fringes of forests.

Because of its strength and flexibility, the stem of rattan is used extensively in the manufacture of cane furniture and in matting. Other uses of rattan, mostly in the rural areas, are for cordage, in construction, basketry, thatching and matting. Long before the Portuguese discovered the trade route to the East and took back rattan (along with the other wonder, spices) it had been an invaluable part of the life of the rural folk throughout Southeast Asia.

Even at the beginning of the century, rattan trade had been considerable, with Singapore as the main clearinghouse. With practically no rattan resources, Singapore earned more than $21 million (US) from the processing and manufacture of semi-finished goods.

In the 1970s, Indonesia became the major supplier of rattan, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the entire global trade. Since then, the trade profile had undergone dramatic changes. The val
Wicker Bed
Wicker Bed
Wicker is hard woven fiber formed into a rigid material, usually used for baskets or furniture. Wicker is often made of material of plant origin, but plastic fibers are also used. Materials used can be any part of a plant, such as the cores of cane of rattan stalks, or whole thicknesses of plants, as with willow switches. Other popular materials include reed and bamboo. Often a frame is made of stiffer materials, after which more pliant material is used to fill in the frame. Wicker is light yet sturdy, making it suitable for furniture that will be moved often. It is often used for porch and patio furniture. Wicker furniture has been documented as far back as ancient Egypt[1], and wicker baskets have been found in Pompeii.[2] It has been proposed that the extensive use of wicker objects in the Iron Age had an influence on the development of the patterns used in Celtic art.[citation needed] In recent times, its aesthetic was influenced heavily by the Arts and Crafts movement at the turn of the 20th century. The oldest and most prominent North American manufacturer was Heywood-Wakefield of Gardner, Massachusetts. Antique wicker products are highly sought after by collectors. There are two types of wicker furniture available—natural and synthetic. Natural wicker is made from rattan vine and is well-known for its strength and durability. Natural wicker is unsurpassed for beauty and comfort, although it requires maintenance to keep it in good shape.[3] Synthetic types include paper-wrapped high tensile wire (using the Lloyd Loom process patented in the early 1900s[4]), and plastic or resin (often preferred for outdoor use).[5]

cane rattan furniture
cane rattan furniture
Rattan Furniture: Tropical Comfort Throughout the House (Schiffer Book for Collectors and Designers)
Rattan stalks have been bent into furniture forms in the tropics for nearly a century. Design changes have provided variations from fancy items with bamboo before 1920, to streamlined, Deco-inspired forms of the 1940s, and practical, mass-produced styles in the 1960s and beyond. Today, each rattan style is recognized for its distinctive contribution to casual living spaces, indoors and out. In this book, over 400 color photographs of rattan furniture, period upholstery fabrics, and related art works are described in detail to present an inspiring variety of furnishings for every room in the house. Harvey Schwartz identifies the best pieces and explains what to look for in the market place. Beautiful floral bark cloth cushion covers and tropical scenes in prints and paintings are shown combined with fantastic rattan furniture to provide the best look for casual living.