Month: May 2013

Everyone’s going green these days. We’re all starting to become more environmentally conscious, which is certainly a good thing, but it can sometimes be tough to find eco-friendly products for all areas of your life.

Finding eco-friendly furnishings, for example, can be a bit of a nightmare. However, rattan is actually one of the best options for those after environmentally-sound furniture.

If you don’t believe it, check out these reasons why rattan is eco-friendly:

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(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

1) Rattan helps to preserve forests

Rattan only grows in between other trees in diverse forests throughout Africa, Asia and Australasia, meaning it helps to sustain forests throughout the world.

Because it’s such a sought-after material, forests are protected from logging for the specific use of growing rattan. While deforestation has slowed down considerably in the last few decades, we’re still losing around 13 million hectares of forests each year.

Rattan also grows in floodplains that would go unused otherwise, so it helps to encourage animal populations and sustain many more.

2) It provides people with sustainable income

Rattan is able to provide some of the poorest people in the world with an income that they can rely on. Those living in Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, along with the many other poor countries in which it grows, are able to set up smallholdings and sell rattan to suppliers.

3)Rattan harvesting has a reduced impact on the environment

Rattan can be harvested relatively easily as it only requires the use of simple tools to cut the stems. It is certainly still a labour-intensive task though, meaning numerous people can be given work during the harvest season.

Can you think of any other reasons why rattan is eco-friendly?

 

If you’re on the hunt for a brand new sofa or armchair, have you considered investing in rattan?

Rattan furnishings are absolutely ideal for a range of settings and lifestyles, whether you have kids, you live alone or you live with housemates.

If you’re still a little unsure though, check out these top reasons why you need rattan and wicker furnishings in your life:

1) Rattan comes in all shapes and sizes

And styles, for that matter. It’s not just armchairs and sofas you can get in rattan – you’ll also be able to find dining sets, outdoor furnishings, coffee tables and occasional tables, as well as much more. So, you’ll never have to worry about mismatched furnishings again!

2) Rattan is eco-friendly

Rattan is a fast-growing palm which is farmed in Asia and Africa and it can grow in standing water (meaning it makes use of otherwise derelict ground) and it can only grow in forests. This means your rattan furniture actually promotes reforestation and, as it’s the ideal crop for a smallholding, supports some of the poorest people by providing them with jobs.

3) Rattan is cost-effective

You’re sure to get a long life out of your rattan furniture, as it’s designed to stay strong. Its construction means that it won’t fall apart easily, and there are lots of maintenance tasks you can carry out to extend the life of your furniture even further.

4) Rattan is ideal for busy lifestyles

If you lead a hectic lifestyle and you just want a sofa, armchair, dining set or any other piece of furniture that doesn’t need a lot of maintenance, rattan is the ideal option for you.

Not only this, but you’ll also find that it’s easy to manage, since it doesn’t stain easily (spilt drinks can simply be wiped off the surface of the rattan and the area dried carefully) and just needs a wipe down every now and then.

Do you think you’ll be going in for rattan furniture?

 

If you’ve recently invested in some beautiful rattan furniture, you’ll undoubtedly want to keep it in great condition.

Like most furniture types, without proper maintenance rattan can show signs of wear and tear over the years, so if you want to make sure yours look as good as new no matter how old it really gets, follow these simple steps:

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  1. Wipe rattan furnishings regularly

Most people spend a little bit of time at least once a week to get their house in order, which ought to include paying some mind to your rattan furnishings. Give them a quick wipe down once a week with a damp cloth and you should be able to prevent wear from showing.

  1. Always keep rattan furniture indoors

Unless specified as outdoor rattan furniture, you should always keep your rattan indoors. Exposure to the elements can drastically shorten your rattan’s lifespan, as water can get into the wicker and lead to the development of mould and mildew.

Though you can buy treated rattan furniture that’s ideal for the patio, if yours is designed for indoor use you should never leave it outdoors. You should also do your best to keep it out of direct sunlight.

  1. Treat stains immediately

If you accidentally stain the wickerwork on your rattan furnishings, you should treat the area immediately to prevent it from becoming a permanent fixture. You can use a mild detergent and a damp cloth, or take your rattan to a specialist to get it cleaned.

  1. Thoroughly clean rattan once a year

Aside from wiping it down once a week, you should also give it a thorough clean once a year. You should carefully scrub the furniture, using a toothbrush to get into any nooks and crannies, in order to remove the built-up dirt and dust. You may also want to coat your rattan furniture in sealant to stop it from getting damaged.

  1. Pay attention to small details

You can easily look after your rattan if you pay attention to the small details. For instance – putting rubber stoppers on the legs of your rattan furnishings will stop them from damaging the floor, and will also protect the delicate wicker.

Can you think of any other ways you can keep your rattan furniture in perfect condition?