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Is rattan furniture sustainable?

With Earth Day taking place on Thursday 22nd April and this year’s theme being ‘Restore our Earth’ we decided to look at the eco-friendly benefits of buying rattan furniture over other materials such as wood or plastic.  

This year’s theme – Restore our Earth not only reminds us of the harm that climate change is having on our planet but also looks at the rejection that we must adapt to the impact of climate change as the only option to combat the issue. Instead, we need to focus on natural system processes and emerging green technologies to restore the world’s ecosystem and rid our oceans of plastic waste.  

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What makes rattan so sustainable?

Rattan, a tree climbing vine-like plant can only exist growing amongst established trees in the tropical terrains of Asia, Africa, and Australia and is harvested without interrupting the structure or balance of the rainforest. 

Typically used for furniture, the super vine not only benefits the rainforest but the atmosphere as well, converting CO2 into clean air. As a superior eco-friendly material, rattan has the ability to renew itself within five to seven years.  

The production of sustainable rattan not only ensures long-term supply of the material, but also acts as a safeguard for ecosystem processes, endangered animal habitats and the livelihood of rural communities that have become reliant on this plant. 

Compared to wood, rattan grows exceptionally quickly, at a rate of 2cm per day, this means the vine is fully grown and ready for harvest within two years – a process that can take up to 30 years when growing wood. Once harvested, the tip of the vine is re-planted so the plant can grow again and protect the forest from degradation.  

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How is rattan harvested?

Rattan is much easier to harvest than other types of wood and is done by hand using a few simple tools, leaving the surrounding rainforest intact. This is essential for the re-growth of rattan that needs other trees and plants to climb up and grow.  

The vine is cut into 13-foot lengths and left to dry in the sun without the use of industrial machinery. Once the drying process is complete the rattan is stored for seasoning and graded before being shipped to furniture manufacturers. The vine is remarkably flexible, an ideal property for making intricate designs for tables, chairs, and sofas.  

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Does rattan produce waste?

Unlike other materials that can produce a lot of waste during the manufacturing process, every part of the rattan vine is used to make durable, luxury furniture. The outer skin of the vine is peeled back and used for weaving items such as baskets, chair seats and tabletops while the solid core of the cane is cut into sections and steamed, making it easier to manipulate into shape. Containing nothing but recyclable fibres, rattan doesn’t emit harmful gases into the atmosphere, helping to reduce our carbon footprint. 

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Is rattan biodegradable?

Unlike synthetic furniture, natural rattan is 100% biodegradable meaning it will naturally decompose without causing harm to the environment. However, you should be mindful of any finishes that may have been applied to your furniture during the manufacturing process and make sure you dispose of any old or unwanted furniture at your local recycling centre.

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What is Desser and Co’s commitment to sourcing sustainable rattan?

At Desser and Co we take great care in sourcing all our natural, quality rattan in Indonesia, working closely with local factories and growers to protect its stunning landscape. Rattan farming provides a sustainable income to some of the poorest people living on the fringes of the forests, helping generate employment and build communities. 

So, you can buy Desser’s conservatory and wicker furniture knowing that it is produced in an ethical and sustainable way – we promote Fair Trade and follow a low carbon emission business plan. 

References: 

https://greatermekong.panda.org/our_solutions/projects/sustainablerattan/factsinformation/

https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-rattan-furniture-made-from-2736315

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What is the difference between rattan and wicker?

Do you know your rattan from your wicker? Rattan furniture is bang on trend right now for its versatility in a range of interior decorating styles. From super-modern city apartments to suburban semis, you will find stylish rattan furniture to complement any space.  

But let’s not get in a tangle! Before we look at the benefits of rattan furniture, we need to clear up the confusion between rattan and wicker. Rattan, a naturally grown, vine-like plant fibre is lightweight, durable and flexible. It’s native to the tropical regions of Asia, Australia, and Africa that can be bent into a variety of delicate shapes. Where wicker is a type of weave used for making products woven from a variety of pliable plant materials. 

A brief history of wicker

So, let’s start at the very beginning, wicker was first discovered buried with the pharaohs in ancient Egypt. Inspired by this technique, the Romans adopted the practice of basket weaving, which soon spread across the entire Roman Empire. 

The rise of trade with Asia saw the explosion of wicker goods in Northern Europe during the 19th century. Rattan furniture soon spread across the British Empire, from India to the West Indies, and then to England, where the Victorians were captivated with rattan’s civilised exoticism. 

Learn more about Desser’s history with rattan dating back over 100 years.

So, why is rattan so popular? Let’s look at some of the benefits of this versatile material that has lasted the test of time. 

 Why is rattan furniture so timeless?

Admittingly, rattan is a traditional material used to create woven pieces of furniture. However, it has evolved to create a contemporary aesthetic with the introduction of minimalistic colours and patterns on the upholstery, modern rattan looks very different to the furniture of the past and is undeniably a fashion-forward piece of decor. 

The blend of traditional techniques and contemporary styling means that rattan furniture is in the fortunate place of working with all types of decor. Whether you have a minimalist loft or a mid-century modern barn, rattan furniture will complement any interior concept, adding texture and an eclectic twist. 

Is rattan furniture great value for money?

As a premium material, rattan isn’t cheap, but compared to other materials it is an economical buy. Not only does the rattan market offer a competitive price, but the material is also long-lasting. Rattan’s durability means it won’t need to be replaced as often as other types of furniture, making it a worthwhile investment.  

How lightweight is rattan furniture?

As a lightweight material, rattan has a smaller carbon footprint when shipping the vine from its native Southeast Asia to other parts of the world. This also provides many benefits in your home – rattan furniture is easy to move from room to room. 

Is rattan furniture durable?

The ideology that rattan furniture is associated with occasional use in conservatories, isn’t the case. Modern rattan furniture is far more robust and is capable of withstanding heavy and regular use and is suitable as lounge furniture in spaces such as living rooms and bedrooms. 

Is Rattan Sustainable?

Rattan grows similarly to a weed, growing up tree trucks in the rainforest. The material used to manufacture furniture grows seven times faster than wood from a tree, with rattan vines growing up to 200 meters in length. Harvesting is done by hand with the tip of the vine being replanted to repeat the process. 

To produce our natural rattan furniture, we work with partners that promote Fair Trade ethics, meaning that rattan farmers are always paid a fair wage for their work. Our strict rattan sourcing policies ensure that farmers and factories in some of the world’s poorest countries are supported. 

If you’re looking to invest in a piece of rattan furniture visit our collection of modern designs inspired by traditional wicker making. Made from natural rattan, we have a huge array of items including chairs, sofas, baskets and planters to choose from.  

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What Is AquaClean Fabric and Why Do You Need It?

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We’ve all been in that situation, you’ve had a glass of red wine, and spilled it all over your lovely sofa, or maybe your kids decided the sofa needed a felt tip makeover?  Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way for you to clean up the mess with minimal work and no chemicals…  

Thanks to AquaClean, scrubbing your sofas is a thing of the past! 

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What is AquaClean? 

AquaClean is a patented and effective material that makes cleaning off any mess from your cushions easier than before. It doesn’t matter what you’ve split; ink, wine, sauce, mud, chocolate or cream, all you need to do is get a damp cloth and some water and wipe away the dirt. Within a matter of seconds, your furniture will look as good as new! 

This is infinitely better than using chemicals, which can be harmful to your fabric, and may even be dangerous if you have young children or pets. 

Unlike many of easy-clean materials, AquaClean is soft and feels like a sofa made from natural fibres, here at Desser we have 9 lovely options to choose from! 

Quick Cleaning 

Like most of us life is busy, and having one less thing to do is always a welcome idea. Trying to balance work life, children, and maintaining your home is never an easy challenge. 

Or maybe your children have flown the nest and you have a slower pace of life, take the time to sit back, relax and enjoy your home rather than thinking about cleaning. 

How it works 

Many of the other easy-clean fabrics on the market are essentially just a regular fabric with a layer of plastic on the outside. Whilst this does make cleaning easier, it also has plenty of downsides. 

AquaClean works differently. The protective layer forms part of the fabrics itself, each thread is wrapped up in a substance that repels the dirt, meaning that it doesn’t soak into the fabric – which is why you just need a damp cloth to rid of any stains! Sounds good right?! 

AquaClean Fabric at Desser & Co 

You have a choice of 9 AquaClean fabrics here at Desser, available on any of our conservatory ranges all you need to do is select which shade you want and our in-house upholsterers will do the rest.  

All cushions and upholstery is done by hand in our UK workshop where we have a vigorous quality check to ensure only our best work leaves the building and to top things off, we will deliver your fully assembled furniture FREE of charge (UK Mainland only!). 

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The 9 AquaClean fabric options available at www.desser.co.uk

Conclusion

Your sofa is often the most used piece of furniture in your home, and can often start to look tired and worn easily. We believe that AquaClean fabric paired with our premium cushions and hand upholstered furniture is the recipe for a long lasting wicker rattan suite. 

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AquaClean Tulip Fabric

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Keep Your Rattan Furniture in Great Shape – Care & Cleaning Tips

Rattan is a superb material for indoor and outdoor furniture. Lightweight, sturdy and strong, it needs very little in the way of attention. However, your rattan furniture will appreciate some attention now and then.

Rattan is used for conservatory and indoor furniture but, with its strong, dense properties, it is also used for outdoor sofas and armchairs, the likes of which are proving increasingly popular. These care and cleaning tips are great for both styles of rattan furniture!

INDOOR RATTAN FURNITURE CLEANING GUIDE

You’ll find keeping your indoor rattan sofas and wicker chairs easy:

  • Remove the upholstery and cushion covers to clean them as per the washing instructions on the label
  • With a soft cloth, wipe over the frame of the sofa or chair to remove dust
  • Using the upholstery tool (set the vacuum to its lowest suction power level), vacuum the sofa or chair frame, concentrating on corners and joints where does can become ingrained
  • An old, soft-bristled toothbrush can also be used to loosen packed-in dust and dirt
  • If there are stubborn stains and marks, use a damp soft cloth soaked in warm water and a gentle detergent to wipe over the surface
  • Make sure the sofa or chair frame is dry before replacing the cushions
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How often does indoor wicker furniture need cleaning?

In most cases, a clean once or twice a year will be more than sufficient to keep your wicker chairs and other furniture in great condition. 

TOP TIP – you can do the above to keep footstools, coffee table and other rattan furniture clean too. 

OUTDOOR RATTAN FURNITURE

A fabulous material, rattan can repel most things that the British weather can throw at it. Cover the rattan outdoor lounge set over at the end of summer to protect it from the autumn gales and winter rain and, come the spring, you won’t need to do too much to get it looking great again.

  • Remove the cushions and clean according to their label
  • As with your indoor furniture, wipe over the rattan lounge set with a soft, dry cloth or a soft-bristled brush would do the same – concentrate on corners where dirt and leaves gather and become compacted
  • In a clean bucket, add two litres of warm water and ¼ cup of washing up liquid and, using a soft cloth, wipe over the sofa, chair and table – you can be quite generous and give the furniture a good soaking!
  • Spotted signs of mould? Mix a small amount of white vinegar in with the cleaning solution
  • Allow the furniture to dry – do this on a sunny or slightly breezy day and it will be dry within a few hours
  • Replace the cushions and look forward to summer!

SPECIALIST UPHOLSTERY

Many outdoor rattan sofas and chairs come with waterproof and UV resistant fabric. This means you don’t have to worry when there is a summer shower or two!

To keep the water repellent properties in the material, you need to be mindful of how you clean it. Wipe over occasionally with a damp cloth to lift off the worst of the dirt and dust. Don’t scrub or use harsh cleaning chemicals.

When the upholstery does need a clean, seek professional dry cleaning. Once cleaned, the fabric can be re-proofed to offer the same water repellent properties you want.

General cleaning and care hints

Rattan may be tough but it needs treating with care when cleaning:

  • As tempted as you may be, don’t jet wash your rattan outdoor furniture – the pressure of the water will weaken the material, causing holes to appear.
  • For very stubborn stains or marks, a steam cleaner may be the solution – test it on a small, unseen piece of the item first and don’t hold the steamer over the same spot for too long.
  • Don’t be too vigorous when rubbing on the slats as this will damage the rattan.
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The Perfect Home Décor Accessories to Make Your Home Look Complete

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Do you ever look at a space in your home and think “this room doesn’t quite look finished”, and you just cant quite put your finger on why? Hopefully the following article will help you identify the problem and provide you with some ideas on how to complete your home.

The Problem: Empty and boring walls 

The best way to make a wall more interesting is to put something on it or in front of it. Our Etagre shelving is available in a small and large size – you have to admit that this is so much nicer than your boring square shelving! 

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The Large Etagere Shelving Unit

Our extensive range of mirrors are ideal for filling your walls with something interesting to look at (including yourself I guess!) Place one by itself or go crazy and have a collection. 

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Desser and Co has a huge range of mirrors

The Problem: Your home always looks messy, even when you’ve tidied!

Maybe the problem you have is storage, or lack of.

As much as we try, our home will be filled with things that aren’t ‘insta worthy’, but are a necessity to keep. Luckily, this can be solved with ample storage so you can hide things away when they’re not in use. 

Our rattan sideboard/cupboard looks amazing in any space. We have seen our customers use it in the kitchen, hallway, lounge and even the bathroom. It has a shelf and plenty of room to store all those household necessities. 

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Rattan Cabinet

Our baskets are the perfect option for clearing away things that you need easy access too. Things like toys, blankets and even logs for the fire. 

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Set of 2 baskets

Pro tip: Fill empty corners with plants

We all love a house plant, which is why we stock some amazing planters. Available in both black and natural, you can place these in any room or space and fill any unwanted gaps in your décor. There are both real and fake options available.

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Planters – Set of 2 in Natural – Also available in Black

We’ve got loads more good stuff available with FREE UK mainland delivery – what are you waiting for?! Happy decorating! 

If you need any help purchasing our products, or have any questions please email sales@desser.co.uk

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How To Choose The Right Furniture For Your Conservatory

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It is the finishing touch that will push your conservatory from ordinary to extraordinary. As well as style, you also need to consider function when it comes to choosing the right conservatory furniture.

You invested time, money and energy into creating the perfect conservatory and there is one final hurdle to jump – choosing the right conservatory furniture. 

As well as your own likes and dislikes there are four key areas to consider…

#1 MATERIAL

Conservatories are light-filled spaces but sunlight and heat are a harsh combination. Wood will dry out and some fabrics can be sun-bleached within weeks. Rattan and wicker furniture are two options that have long been used in the conservatory because as a natural material from tropical climes, its composition means it is perfect for this kind of heat and sunlight intensive room.

But if you still think of conservatory furniture and rattan chairs as being old fashioned then you need to take another look.

#2 FUNCTION

How you plan on using your conservatory is key to choosing the right pieces. For example, if you plan on using it as a lounging space, a place your retreat to at the end of the day to watch the sunset, as well as rattan sofas, consider something like a rattan daybed.  

#3 DESIGN

With an Edwardian or Victorian style home, choose furniture that blends well with these more traditional designs – essentially, you want to create symmetry and cohesion between the space and its appearance and the furniture you choose. Traditional shapes and designs work well, as does opting for upholstery fabric colours and patterns that complement the overall finish. 

Modern cutting edge conservatory design, however, is for a minimalist, barely-there frame giving the appearance of a more-or-less completely glass structure. If this is the case, opt for slimline, minimal rattan furniture for the conservatory. Make a statement with black rattan chairs or sofas, using geometric patterns in mustard yellow and grey for scatter cushions and rugs. 

#4 FORM 

Like other rooms in your home, you will have constraints on space. But even a larger room packed with ‘big’ or tall furniture can look cluttered and dense.

The solution is to look at the form – or its dimensions and structure – of the piece you intend buying. Furniture that is tall and wide will leave less floor space open to view and that means the room will look smaller.

In a conservatory that has ample proportions, this isn’t a problem. In a smaller conservatory, opt for furniture that is slim in its looks and features. 

Don’t assume that a rattan sofa is the only solution for the conservatory 

Traditionally, a rattan sofa with matching armchairs was the solution when it came to conservatory furniture. This may work for some conservatories but not all.  For example, would a pair of loft chairs be a more versatile solution? 

Today, there are many more options and solutions when it comes to fabric patterns and colours too.

An opportunity to stamp your personality on things, when you have chosen the style and shape of your Desser sofa, you have a range of 30+ fabrics to make it your own. Adding accents with scatter cushions is not a problem either, as you can customise these with your own choice of fabric too.