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What is rattan?

At Sika-Design, we have had a passion for rattan since 1942 and many of our indoor furniture is handcrafted from the beautiful material. But what makes rattan so special and why do we like it so much.

Rattan is not bamboo

Rattan is one of the most sustainable materials available for furniture manufacturing. Rattan is often confused with bamboo, but there is a big difference between the two materials. Bamboo is hollow and cannot be bent. Rattan, on the other hand, is solid and can therefore be steamed and bent into all sorts of shapes. The fact that rattan is solid also makes rattan furniture very durable, and able to last for generations.

Rattan comes in 600 different variants and from these 40 can be used in the production of furniture. At Sika-Design we only use the 2 best qualities called Tohiti and Manau.

Rattan and sustainability

80% of the world's rattan resources grow in Indonesia, close to Sika-Design's manufacturing facilities. According to the Indonesian people, rattan is hugging the rainforest. This is to be understood both literally, as rattan grows as vines around the trees in rainforest, and in a figurative sense, as rattan production helps to preserve the rainforest. No rainforest, no rattan.

  • Rattan regenerates in the span of 5 to 7 years, making it one of the world's fastest-growing materials for furniture manufacturing. Rattan vines are known to grow up to 100 meters.
  • Rattan absorbs CO2 and generates clean air - and produces up to 35% more oxygen than a tree.
  • Rattan is harvested in the most environmentally friendly way, namely by hand.

Processing of rattan

The material is easy to process as it only needs to be steamed for 10-15 minutes before it can be shaped by hand. All our rattan furniture is therefore handmade using only a few simple tools. Rattan can be used completely without further treatment, this we call skin-on. Rattan can also be stained and varnished as desired. At Sika Design, we only use toxin-free varnish.

Use and maintenance of rattan furniture

Rattan is remarkably durable and resistant to heat, cold, moisture and temperature fluctuations. Rattan furniture is best suited for indoor use but can also be used in covered areas.

Rattan requires no maintenance, but for daily cleaning it can be wiped off with a hard-wrung cloth.

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