Month: June 2013

At Desser, we’re known for producing cheap conservatory furniture that’s high-quality and long-lasting, so you can enjoy your stunning furnishings for years to come.

The rattan we use in our furniture has a very interesting story as well, and if you’ve ever wondered how this durable palm is grown, we can tell you!

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Rattan growing around a tree

Where is rattan grown?

You can find rattan throughout the world, although it’s most commonly grown in Africa, Asia and Australia. Because it needs to be grown in areas with a tropical climate, South and Southeast Asia are the main suppliers of rattan. In fact, Indonesia is one of the largest suppliers of rattan, producing around 80% of the world’s rattan.

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Rattan has a thorny exterior, which makes harvesting it even harder

How is rattan grown?

One of the most unusual things about rattan is the way it grows. It likes to grow in forests populated by young trees and, rather than growing like a tree (such as bamboo), it creeps up other trees in order to reach the light.

Rattan actually supports reforestation projects, because it can’t grow without other trees around it, so it’s helping to protect some of the world’s most important forests.

Local farmers plant rattan ‘gardens’ between the trees and are responsible for managing them. These farmers often have gardens ranging between 2 and 5 hectares in size.

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Harvested rattan bundles ready to be used

How is rattan harvested?

Rattan is harvested once every few years and, using the above garden measurements, can amount to 1.3 metric tons at a time.

The harvesting process is quite labour-intensive, but this makes it ideal for local farmers. It requires great skill to be able to split the rattan’s outer layers and remove the inner core, which is the product actually used to make furniture.

It’s then washed and smoked to cure it and change its colour to the traditional yellow that we’re all used to seeing. After this, it’s dried and then it’s ready to be used to make beautiful rattan furniture with.

So, the next time you relax on your hand-crafted rattan sofa, take a little time to think about the incredible journey the material’s been on!

Images courtesy of nybg.org, networkedblogs.com and remontrotanga.com.

 

Wicker furniture has always been hugely popular, thanks to the fact that it looks great, is incredible durable and is multi-functional.

However, even the best wicker conservatory furniture can start to look a little worn after a while. If yours is starting to show some signs of wear and tear, you can easily get it back into perfect condition by showing it a little TLC.

Here’s how to get your furniture back into great shape:

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1) Wash and dry wicker carefully

Wicker furniture needs to be gently wiped down with a damp cloth once a week to remove dust and debris from the weave. During the drying process, you must ensure no one uses the furniture until it’s completely dry, otherwise the weave may come out of place or be accidentally reshaped.

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2) Protect wicker from direct sunlight

Just like rattan, wicker can be bleached if left in direct sunlight. One of the easiest ways to prevent this is to ensure your sofas and chairs are placed in shady areas of the room or, if you’re certain you would like to place them in the conservatory of by a window, you can make use of throws and scatter cushions.

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3) Polish and varnish wicker furniture

You can polish and varnish your wicker furnishings every so often to increase their durability and shine, so they’ll last for longer and look great at the same time. Lemon oil makes a great polish, while specially-made varnish can also be used.

Whether you want to get your three-piece furniture set or a small wicker basket back to its heyday, these handy tips are sure to help.

Do you have any other advice for rejuvenating older wicker furniture?

 

Wicker furniture is stylish and contemporary, and it works wonderfully with a range of interior design trends in any room. However, if you want to make sure it stays in the best of condition you’ll need to look after it properly. Whether you’ve got a modern conservatory suite or sophisticated outdoor dining set, caring for cane furniture should be part of your cleaning routine. While rattan furniture can indeed last a lifetime, it’s still good practice to put the effort in to keep it looking fantastic – this is particularly the case if you use it as outdoor garden furniture.  

Make sure you follow these tips on caring for cane furniture to do just that:

 

1) Keep cane out of direct sunlight

Generally speaking, cane, wicker and rattan furniture should be kept out of direct sunlight. With prolonged exposure, these materials can dry out and may even end up breaking as a result. In 2018, we saw one of the hottest summers on record. If your cane sofa or chairs are located in the conservatory or in a sunny spot, regularly rotate them around the room to ensure all sides of the furniture is exposed to the sun. You could even keep them underneath some shelter such as a canopy or shade sail. This would also protect them from harsher weather conditions.   cane furniture under shelter in garden  

2) Be careful with rattan

Rattan can be quite delicate, which means you’ll need to be careful about how you use it. Any uneven distribution of weight can damage it, so never use a wicker chair as a step ladder or kneel on a rattan chair. Furthermore, if your furniture didn’t already have cushions, it’s a good idea to invest in some. Not only for comfort, but also so there’s less chance of any damage.   rattan dining set outdoors

3) How do you restore wicker furniture?

Regularly cleaning your cane, rattan or wicker furniture will ensure it stays in the best of condition for much longer than you might expect. Clean it once every few weeks by wiping the cane down with a damp cloth to remove dust, and brush with a dry paintbrush to dislodge any debris. You can then leave it to air dry. If your cane furniture comes with removable upholstery covers, freshen them by getting them dry cleaned once every year to keep them in prime condition. This is one of the most important tips when thinking how do you restore wicker furniture, as it’s often one that many people neglect.   cleaning rattan furniture  

4) Beware of mould and mildew

Mould and mildew can be rattan’s worst enemy at times. While it can be very susceptible to dry conditions, damp or humid surroundings can be just as damaging. Invest in a dehumidifier if this is an issue when your wicker furniture is in your conservatory. In addition, when caring for cane furniture, you can also tackle mould and mildew with a diluted bleach solution whenever it appears.   close up of cane furniture  

5) Store cane furniture properly

Unless specifically designed for outdoor use, never place your rattan, cane or wicker furniture outside – the weather can have instantly damaging effects. When storing this kind of furniture, ensure every part of it gets enough air circulation to prevent mould and mildew from developing. Pull furniture away from walls and never keep them in the basement or loft, where conditions can vary from dry to humid very easily. Similarly, even if you have all-weather outdoor furniture, it’s best practice to keep it sheltered during harsher weather. You should protect it with a waterproof sheet or move it into your shed – still with a protective cover.   furniture set kept under shelter for caring for cane furniture   How do you restore wicker furniture, do you have any tips?

With the right care and attention, your Desser suite could easily last a lifetime.

Cane furniture is durable and hardy, but you’ll need to keep it in good condition if it’s to stay looking good as new.

Here are a few hints and tips you may wish to follow:

What is my Desser suite made of?

Before you undertake any cleaning jobs, it’s important you understand what your suite is made of so that you can clean it properly. Our suites include the following materials:

  • Pirelli Webbing

One of the best webbing supports, Pirelli webbing is used on all of our sofas and chairs to ensure the frames are sturdy and strong.

  • Dacon Wrap

All Desser cushions for 2013 are encapsulated with Dracon wrap, which helps to provide long-lasting shape and comfort to cushions for years to come.

This kind of wrapping material can also reduce the risk of mould, mildew and parasitic life in your suite.

Where to keep your Desser suite

  • Wicker furniture is best kept out of direct sunlight, as this will help to keep the cane in the best of condition.

  • It can be kept in conservatories, as long as the furniture is moved around the room every few months to reduce sun exposure.

  • Rotate your suite’s cushions regularly to reduce exposure.

How to clean your Desser furniture

  • Use a soft, damp cloth and a dry paintbrush to remove dust and debris from between the wickerwork every month.

  • You can also use a vacuum with a small brush attachment for this job.

  • Spray wicker with furniture polish once in awhile. However, never use benzene, thinners, abrasive creams or other harmful chemicals on wicker.

  • Wipe away stains on pillows with a cloth sprayed with soapy water, or a dry-cleaning fabric spray.

To find out more, simply contact Desser today.

 

Desser is proud to produce sustainable wicker furniture which promotes Fair Trade ethics. We also abide by a low carbon emission business plan that ensures we’re able to provide our customers with environmentally friendly furnishings.

Our rattan sourcing policies help to support farmers and factories in some of the world’s poorest countries, and our traditional manufacturing methods help to reduce negative environmental impacts.

Eco-friendly rattan sourcing

Indonesia is the world’s largest rattan supplier, accounting for almost 70 per cent of all trade for this natural material. We work closely with our traders to ensure the local communities that are sustained by rattan production are protected.

Rattan: a wonder product

Rattan truly is a natural wonder, growing up to 6 metres per year and supporting numerous other plants and landscapes.

It’s able to grow in the most unlikely of places, such as in floodwater that would otherwise make land unusable. It also helps to sustain other trees, as it can only grow in densely wooded areas. This is why it can be commonly found in fruit orchards and rubber estates.

Social significance

Rattan crops support numerous small holdings across Indonesia and the many other locations where it is grown and harvested. It provides these people with a regular income and is an uncomplicated industry, relying on labour-intensive management.

Ecological Desser suites

All of the suites from Desser are handcrafted using rattan grown in countries such as Indonesia, and we do our utmost to support these communities.

To find out more about the environmental impact of rattan production, or to learn more about Desser products, get in touch today.

 

Whether you’re new to cane furniture or you’ve always enjoyed wickerware, here is where you can find some of the best books on this furniture type.

We’ve compiled this useful guide to fantastic rattan furniture books to help you in your hunt for the most in-depth resources:

Restoring Cane Furniture

  • The Complete Guide to Chair Caning

Find out everything you need to know about restoring cane, rush, splint, wicker and rattan furniture with this informative book.

  • Complete Book of Wicker and Cane Furniture Making

If you’ve ever wanted to know how to make your own cane and wicker furniture, take a read of this book.

Making Your Own Wicker Furniture

  • Chairmaking Simplified: 24 Projects Using Shop-made Jigs

Making your own furniture will be a doddle with this book, which provides you with 24 excellent projects to build your skills. Includes projects on wickerwork.

  • Making Bent Willow Furniture

Willow is one of the most interesting products for making furniture from, but the art of handcrafting furniture from this natural resource is dying out. Craft your own home furnishings by following the guides in this book.

  • How to Make Your Own Cane Furniture

Use this book to discover how to create your own cane furniture, including chairs, tables and chaise lounges.

Cleaning Rattan Furniture

  • How to Clean Just About Anything

If you want to know how to properly clean rattan furniture, follow the handy guide found in this book that can help you to get your home sparkling clean.

About Wicker Furniture

  • Wicker Design

Wicker design trends and styles can be incredibly interesting; read this book to find out more about them.

  • Classic Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture has been popular for hundreds of years – find out more about the classic styles that influence the current ones with this book.

  • Wicker Basketry

Desser began as a wicker basket supplier. Discover the techniques and trends behind this interesting art by buying this guide.

  • Contemporary Wicker Basketry

Wicker basketry may be incredibly old, but it’s still practiced today. If you want to have a go at creating your own baskets, follow this book’s guides, projects, suggested techniques and inspirational designs.

  • Natural Baskets

You don’t necessarily need to have access to any hard-to-find resourced in order to create wicker baskets. Use this book to find the right materials in gardens, fields and woods in your local area.

  • How To Make Baskets

A simple book offering an easy-to-understand guide to making baskets with an assortment of materials.

About Rattan

  • The Nature and Culture of Rattan

Learn all about how rattan is produced, and how it supports numerous communities throughout the developing world with this interesting read.

  • The Biology of Vines

Rattan is a type of vine that grows in wooded areas, and which can also grow in floodwaters. Learn more about it and other vine varieties with ‘The Biology of Vines’.

If you would like to add any links to this page, please contact Desser today.