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How to clean your indoor rattan furniture

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Natural materials are big news in interior design right now and rattan furniture has seen an explosion in popularity throughout 2020 and 2021. Apart from making a style statement in your home, rattan furniture is a lightweight, durable and sustainable material. The hardwearing properties of the vine-like plant, grown in tropical rainforests will last a lifetime if cared for properly. 

However, as a porous material, rattan will suffer from damp if stored in a moist environment. Care to keep it clean and free of dust will ensure your furniture will last for many years to come.  

chelsea suite
The Chelsea Natural suite in Texture Blue fabric

How often should I clean my rattan furniture? 

The traditional weaving technique used to construct rattan furniture means there are many nooks and crannies for dust to gather. Therefore, the furniture should be dusted with a soft cloth or vacuumed with an upholstery brush on a weekly basis. A more thorough clean using a damp cloth should take place monthly, ensuring any food or drink stains are cleaned away immediately. 

What equipment will I need to clean my rattan furniture? 

  • Duster 
  • Soft cloths 
  • Vacuum with upholstery brush 
  • Toothbursh 
  • Two clean buckets 
  • Warm water 
  • Washing up liquid 
  • Chlorine bleach 
  • Boiled linseed oil 
clifton suite
The Clifton Natural suite in Athena Check fabric

Cleaning instructions – weekly 

  1. Dust the furniture 

Using a duster or a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery brush, dust over the furniture to remove any dirt that may have formed in the weave. To remove stubborn build-up, use a soft-bristle toothbrush to remove dirt from corners or the joins of the furniture. 

  1. Cleaning stains 

With a damp cloth (using a solution of warm water and washing up liquid) wipe away any stains as soon as possible. Do not try to rub these stains with pressure as this will push the matter deeper into the weave of the furniture, then leave to air-dry.  

Cleaning instructions – monthly 

  1. How to make the cleaning solution 

Mix four cups of warm water and a tablespoon of washing up liquid in a bowl or bucket. Stirring the solution until suds form on the surface. 

Fill an additional bucket with fresh water to rise off the furniture using a clean cloth. 

  1. How to clean the rattan furniture 

Using the cleaning solution run a damp cloth over the furniture, starting at the top then down over the rattan piece. Ensure you are rising the cloth, frequently in the fresh water and wring until slightly damp.  

Again, if you have any dirt build-up in the weave of the furniture, use a toothbrush but do not over-saturate the piece with water. 

  1. Allow the furniture to dry 

Allow the furniture to air-dry. If there’s excess water, use a soft cloth to dry the piece. 

camden
The Camden suite in Pimlico fabric

Cleaning instructions – yearly 

Each year, remove the cushions, inspected the furniture for issues and condition the rattan. Before you begin the thorough yearly cleaning, follow the steps for weekly and monthly cleaning first. 

  1. Inspect Rattan for issues 

Remove the cushions from the furniture and look for any splits or breakages in the structure. If you’ve stored your furniture in a damp space, check the legs for mold or mildew. 

  1. Clean off any mold or mildew 

To remove any mildew, make a solution of equal parts of chlorine bleach and water. Wearing rubber gloves, dip a soft cloth in the bleach solution and apply to the affected area only. Do not saturate the rattan and move the piece into a sunny spot to dry as quickly as possible. 

  1. Condition the Rattan 

Once you’ve followed all the cleaning steps and allowed your rattan furniture to dry completely. Dip a clean, soft cloth into boiled linseed oil to condition the rattan – boiled linseed oil is used over regular linseed oil as it dries faster and can be bought at most DIY stores. 

To prevent any drip marks, start at the top of the piece and wipe downwards over the furniture. The oil will add moisture to the fibres, helping to prevent breakages. Allow the furniture to dry for at least 48 hours before replacing cushions. 

Looking to add to your collection of rattan furniture or making your first purchase? Check out our range of sustainable, luxury furniture. 

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Is rattan furniture sustainable?

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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.  

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 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 10 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 get rid of any stains! Sounds good right?! 

AquaClean Fabric at Desser & Co 

You have a choice of 10 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 checks 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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Premium stain resistant fabrics. Which allows the toughest of stains to be removed by simply using water and a cloth.

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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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.

dijon
The Dijon Natural suite in Athena Stripe fabric

#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.  

snug
The Snug Chair in Flora Lilac fabric

#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. 

mercer
The Mercer suite in Smooth Blush fabric

#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. 

bali light oak suite in smooth beige fabric
Bali Light Oak suite in Smooth Beige fabric

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.