The difference between cane, rattan, and wicker

Posted by Joan Shumaker on

Natural materials like cane, rattan, and wicker have been named one of the hottest design trends for 2020 by magazines like Elle Decor, Dwell, and House Beautiful, to name a few.

It's not hard to understand why, as they create an earthy and light feeling while still being super modern and stylish. With our growing environmental consciousness, we want to incorporate more natural elements into our homes. But what is the difference between cane, rattan, and wicker? 

 

The rattan plant

The rattan plant is a natural vine that grows in Southeast Asia. 

Rattan plant

Both rattan and cane derive from the rattan plant. Cane is the thinner material that results from the process of stripping the rattan plant.

Wicker can also be made out of rattan, but also out of bamboo, reed, willow, or even synthetic fibers. It can be made from any natural or man-made material that is durable enough to be woven. Wicker refers to the method, rather than the material. 

 

Features and application

The rattan core is steamed and sliced to make different shapes for the furniture. Rattan is most commonly treated and painted, while the cane is left in its natural round state. In terms of strength, the cane is generally more durable than rattan, which is why it's often used for binding purposes. Cane is traditionally woven into different webbed patterns. The rule of thumb is that pieces that feature thin, woven accents, like at the back of a chair or on a cabinet door, are considered cane.

Wicker furniture is made from weaving slender branches around wooden or metal frames to produce chairs, tables, and sofas, etc. Wicker comes in a broad range of styles and weaves and also come in many colors, along with more natural or white finishes. It's recommended to use wicker made of synthetic material, like resin or vinyl, if you have outdoor furniture, to withstand rain, sun, and humidity.

 

The benefits of using cane, rattan, and wicker

Except for being stunning, there are several other reasons to opt for furniture made out of cane, rattan, or wicker.

  • They give a light and airy feeling to the room.
  • It's eco-friendly and complement environmentally-friendly interior design and architecture.
  • They allow sound and signal to penetrate cabinet doors, which is excellent if you want to hide less-desirable-looking cable boxes, routers, sound bases.
  • They are lightweight and are an excellent material to use in kids' rooms.

 

Cane cabinets Norse Interiors

     IKEA Besta cabinets customized with Norse Interior's cane doors.

    Keep it looking good longer

    The number one tips for keeping cane and other natural material looking good is to keep it clean, free from dust, and grime. You can usually get away with just using a dampened cloth to dust it off, but if it's dirty, you can use a wood soap or a mild detergent in warm water to clean it. Make sure not to use too much water, and dry it properly to prevent it from sagging. Cane, rattan, and wicker are very durable material, so don't worry too much about the upkeep. 

     

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    You might also like: Why cane furniture is the biggest design trend 2020

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