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!
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.
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.
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!