There is a common misconception that rattan and bamboo are the same thing. Though they may sometimes look the same, they’re drastically different materials with different uses and properties.
So, what are the major differences? And how can you tell which of the two has been used to create your furniture? Here is a quick guide detailing the main differences between rattan and bamboo:
How Are Rattan And Bamboo Grown?
Both rattan and bamboo grow best in tropical areas. Rattan is a vine-like plant which requires support from other sources when growing, as it cannot stand on its own. This means that rattan must be grown around other trees, from the forest floor upwards. It’s typically harvested by farmers when it’s 5-7 years old, but this does depend on the species.
Bamboo plants are much stouter and can be grown independently. Both species grow very quickly, sometimes up to six metres per year! This rapid growth makes either species an extremely attractive crop choice for farmers in developing countries, as multiple harvests can be grown per year.
What Is The Difference Between Rattan And Bamboo Physical Characteristics?
The main physical difference between the two is that bamboo is hollow; rattan is not. Because bamboo is hollow, it is inflexible, so any bending would immediately cause it to snap. Similarly, where bamboo is very hard, rattan is much more durable and flexible. This is what makes it a popular choice of material when manufacturing outdoor furniture
, as it can be bent and curved into the desired shape. Lastly, when bamboo grows, it is always uniform in thickness, no matter how tall the plant becomes. Rattan, however, becomes thicker as it grows.
Currently, 650 separate species of rattan have been identified; there are over 5,000 known bamboo varieties!
Amongst many other things, bamboo and rattan are both used to create furniture and other products – such as wicker baskets and bathroom furniture. Although superficially they look similar, their physical properties determine the type of designs they can be used to create. As previously stated, Rattan is flexible when processed allowing it to be woven into intricate designs and patterns.
Bamboo, on the other hand, is rigid. As a result, bamboo furniture is often more simplistic in design as the stems must be arranged parallel to each other. Often, both are used to create one furniture piece, with the main body made from bamboo and bindings created using flexible rattan. Not only does this ensure the durability of the product, but also adds to the rustic look of the design.
What About Wicker Furniture?
Furniture created from both bamboo and rattan is often referred to as wicker, when asking what is the difference between rattan and bamboo – this is a key part. The term wicker has nothing to do with the materials furniture is created from; it is the name given to the process of weaving materials into patterns. In this sense, a lot of furniture is created with a mixture of rattan and bamboo. Because of the nature of the furniture, it’s popular for use as garden furniture, though many people also like to use it in their conservatory and other rooms in their homes. Craftsmanship in the industry has evolved over time, and as we move into 2019, designers are now able to create wonderful, detailed designs that stand out in any setting.
Here at Desser, we pride ourselves on our contemporary wicker creation and we welcome you to take a look at our ranges to see just how beautiful they are. For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and contact us
via our quick enquiry form or call on 0161 834 1795