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Help us raise donations this April for the National Autistic Society!

cane chair for kids room

Help us raise donations this April for the National Autistic Society

help us raise donations for national autistic society

This year, YOU can make a difference! With every purchase of our wicker items this month, we’re donating 10% to the National Autistic Society and giving you an extra 10% discount as a thank you for helping to raise funds for our chosen charity.

The month of April is World Autism Month, and it begins with the United Nations led World Autism Awareness Day, on April 2nd, which highlights the need to fully accept those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.

Our chosen charity for this year’s World Autism Month is the National Autistic Society. They are the UK’s leading charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families, since 1962.

What is Autism?

The National Autistic Society provides all the information you will need in beginning to understand what autism is and how it is a spectrum condition that affects people in many ways.

Click here to find out more about what autism is.

Here’s a short video from the National Autistic Society that helps visually explain what autism is, narrated by Alan Gardner, the Autistic Gardener.

Why did we choose the National Autistic Society?

Recently, we’ve been working with @mayasmoonplay and have been truly inspired by Maddy’s dedication to improving Maya’s journey through life. See Maddy’s answers below to learn about how the National Autistic Society has helped her and her family.

  • How has the National Autistic Society supported you over the years?

“The National Autistic Society has provided events and activities we have attended personally where Maya is able to play and be around other autistic children in a welcoming, non-judgemental environment. It has meant for me, as a parent, that I got to meet other parents of autistic children, which is vital in feeling included and reducing isolation for parent carers.”

  • Do you have any advice for parents who are experiencing the same journey?

“At the beginning it can feel quite daunting, knowing your child is taking a different path to most other children, but over time you learn about autism, and it gets easier. I personally advise parents to listen to adult autistic voices. After all, they were autistic kids once, so take advantage of local autism courses and not be fearful of trying a variety of things to support our children with things like alternative communication, sensory equipment etc.

Also, using portage from as early as possible is key in getting all the support in place once they reach school age with EHCP’s. And most importantly, not trying to change our children but accepting them as they are.”

To keep up with Maddy and Maya’s journey and to learn more about autism advocacy, follow her on Instagram, TikTok, Blog, or Pinterest!

What other ways can I help the National Autistic Society?

There are so many ways you can support the National Autistic Society, from raising money by running, cycling, or even hosting an online quiz with family/ friends and helping transform the lives of autistic people.

Campaigning with the National Autistic Society and lobbying your local MP council, and businesses to ensure autistic people and their families get the support and services they are entitled to. Or you can simply donate through their website:

national autistic society marathon

£600,000 in 60 days

This year National Autistic Society are celebrating their 60-year anniversary and are asking for support to help raise £600,000 in 60 days!

£6
A donation of £6 could enable the charity to keep its website up to date with the latest vital advice and guidance. Donate and be part of growing the biggest source of autism knowledge in the UK.

£60
A donation of £60 could ensure the online community is there for everyone who needs it, providing a safe place for autistic people and their families.

£600
Raising £600 could help 12 families receive support from the charity’s Education Rights line, helping those families to know their rights.

£6,000
Raising £6,000 could enable a job coach to support two autistic adults into paid employment, championing autistic talent.

£10,000
Helping to raise £10,000 could fund a year of running costs for three of the charity’s 116 community branches, supporting autistic people to overcome loneliness and isolation.

Donations to the National Autistic Society meant people like Robyn and her family could find support even through the pandemic.

Donations also meant Jerrel was helped by the charity’s Autism at Work programme to find employment as a data business analyst at HM Revenue and Customs.

Watch the videos to hear more about their journies. 

Browse our selection of wicker furniture today to help us raise donations! We have a wide selection of pieces, ranging from various price points, styles and sizes. 

Modern designs inspired by traditional furniture, our wicker furniture pieces are designed with luxury in mind, finished with gorgeous detailing these items look effortlessly stylish in any setting.  Made from natural rattan, we have a huge array of items including chairs, sofas, mirrors, baskets and planters to choose from.

10% of Wicker Furniture sales will be donated to the National Autistic Society via Work for Good

etagere small bookshelf set

Help us raise donations this April for the National Autistic Society

This year, YOU can make a difference! With every purchase of our wicker items this month, we’re donating 10% to the National Autistic Society and giving you an extra 10% discount as a thank you for helping to raise funds for our chosen charity.

The month of April is World Autism Month, and it begins with the United Nations led World Autism Awareness Day, on April 2nd, which highlights the need to fully accept those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.

Our chosen charity for this year’s World Autism Month is the National Autistic Society. They are the UK’s leading charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families, since 1962.

What is Autism?

The National Autistic Society provides all the information you will need in beginning to understand what autism is and how it is a spectrum condition that affects people in many ways.

Click here to find out more about what autism is.

Here’s a short video from the National Autistic Society that helps visually explain what autism is, narrated by Alan Gardner, the Autistic Gardener.

Why did we choose the National Autistic Society?

Recently, we’ve been working with @mayasmoonplay and have been truly inspired by Maddy’s dedication to improving Maya’s journey through life. See Maddy’s answers below to learn about how the National Autistic Society has helped her and her family.

mayasmoonplay thumbs up
Maya enjoying a NAS activity
  • How has the National Autistic Society supported you over the years?

“The National Autistic Society has provided events and activities we have attended personally where Maya is able to play and be around other autistic children in a welcoming, non-judgemental environment. It has meant for me, as a parent, that I got to meet other parents of autistic children, which is vital in feeling included and reducing isolation for parent carers.”

mayasmoonplay maddy family
Family fun day with the NAS
  • Do you have any advice for parents who are experiencing the same journey?

“At the beginning it can feel quite daunting, knowing your child is taking a different path to most other children, but over time you learn about autism, and it gets easier. I personally advise parents to listen to adult autistic voices. After all, they were autistic kids once, so take advantage of local autism courses and not be fearful of trying a variety of things to support our children with things like alternative communication, sensory equipment etc.

Also, using portage from as early as possible is key in getting all the support in place once they reach school age with EHCP’s. And most importantly, not trying to change our children but accepting them as they are.”

To keep up with Maddy and Maya’s journey and to learn more about autism advocacy, follow her on Instagram, TikTok, Blog, or Pinterest!

national autistic society marathon

What other ways can I help the National Autistic Society?

There are so many ways you can support the National Autistic Society, from raising money by running, cycling, or even hosting an online quiz with family/ friends and helping transform the lives of autistic people.

Campaigning with the National Autistic Society and lobbying your local MP council, and businesses to ensure autistic people and their families get the support and services they are entitled to. Or you can simply donate through their website:

£600,000 in 60 days

This year National Autistic Society are celebrating their 60-year anniversary and are asking for support to help raise £600,000 in 60 days!

£6
A donation of £6 could enable the charity to keep its website up to date with the latest vital advice and guidance. Donate and be part of growing the biggest source of autism knowledge in the UK.

£60
A donation of £60 could ensure the online community is there for everyone who needs it, providing a safe place for autistic people and their families.

£600
Raising £600 could help 12 families receive support from the charity’s Education Rights line, helping those families to know their rights.

£6,000
Raising £6,000 could enable a job coach to support two autistic adults into paid employment, championing autistic talent.

£10,000
Helping to raise £10,000 could fund a year of running costs for three of the charity’s 116 community branches, supporting autistic people to overcome loneliness and isolation.

Donations to the National Autistic Society meant people like Robyn and her family could find support even through the pandemic.

Donations also meant Jerrel was helped by the charity’s Autism at Work programme to find employment as a data business analyst at HM Revenue and Customs.

Watch the videos to hear more about their journies. 

Browse our selection of wicker furniture today to help us raise donations! We have a wide selection of pieces, ranging from various price points, styles and sizes. 

Modern designs inspired by traditional furniture, our wicker furniture pieces are designed with luxury in mind, finished with gorgeous detailing these items look effortlessly stylish in any setting.  Made from natural rattan, we have a huge array of items including chairs, sofas, mirrors, baskets and planters to choose from.

10% of Wicker Furniture sales will be donated to the National Autistic Society via Work for Good

etagere small bookshelf set
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A Mancunian Family Affair

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This past year, more than ever, has shown us the true meaning of family and friendship, and with World Family Day just around the corner on Saturday 15th May we look at the 102-year history of Desser and Co – a Manchester based family business.  

The story of Desser and Co starts back in the dark days of the First World War, where a British soldier named Issac Desser served on the front line in Belgium. It was here that Issac encountered a Flemish craftsman who was producing several types of basketware and the foundation of Desser and Co was born. 

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On his return from the war, Issac began a small business operating from the front parlour of his Mother-in-law’s house. Here, Issac’s wife, Anne and her family helped packing goods to despatch to customers. Realising the commercial potential, Issac began importing the baskets from Belgium to sell to retail outlets across the United Kingdom.  

When the family moved to a new house near to Cheetham Hill Road in Manchester, the business went with them and Issac was soon joined by his brother Simon – and in 1919, Desser & Co was formed. Following this in 1932 Issac’s son Morris also joined the company. 

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After the Second World War, Simon’s son-in-law Ronnie Stewart joined the family business, which was now housed at Lord Street, Cheetham Hill. However, shortly after this move Simon passed away.  

The family business continued to grow, necessitating another move to a large but still cramped basement on Robert Street. By this time, Morris’ son Gordon began working for the family business followed by Ronnie’s two sons Michael and Barry. Further expansion signalled another move in the early Seventies to an impressive purpose-built warehouse and showroom on Bradstone Road, Cheetham Hill, where the company is still based, today!  

5

In 1975, sadly, Issac Desser passed away, working at his company until his 80th year. Proceeding him, in 1987, Simon Desser (Issac’s Great Grandson) joined the business kicking off the fourth generation of the family business followed by Mark Stewart in 1997 and then David Stewart in 2017 (both Ronnie’s Grandsons).  

Unfortunately, sadness descended on the family once more with the passing of Morris in 1997, Ronnie Steward in 2000 and Simon Desser in 2018.  

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The family and business have shared many hardships throughout its 102-year history but with its Mancunian spirit and the will to succeed, has kept the family business alive. The Great Grandsons – Mark and David have great ambitions for the company for many more years to come.  

Not only does Desser and Co celebrated four generations of a family run business, but many also committed employees have been with the company for over 30 years, bringing family members of their own into the business – making it a true family affair! 

All this from one man who had a simple idea whilst serving on the front line for his country. 

Anything is possible.  

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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 Friday 22nd April, 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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How To Choose The Right Furniture For Your Conservatory

Mercer-2-4

What furniture should I have in my conservatory?

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-conservatory-suite
Dijon Natural in Athena Stripe
snug
The Snug Chair in Floral Lilac

#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. 

mercer conservatory sale
The Mercer Suite in Smooth Blush
bali light oak suite in smooth beige fabric
Bali Light Oak in Smooth Beige

#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 to buy.

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.

What furniture should I have in my conservatory?

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.