After the long winter, everyone’s chomping at the bit to get things ready to enjoy some sweet summertime weather. It’s time to officially say goodbye to old man Winter and start planning for the Summer holidays, with lots of fun things to look forward to in the coming warm months. Hotels, beach resorts, private vacation rentals are all getting their outdoor preparations made in anticipation of the crowds headed their way, and that includes their best outdoor furniture. The most popular by far is rattan garden furniture. There are a number of reasons that this is the number one choice for summertime fun furniture.
Rattan Outdoor Furniture
This year promises to be another popular season for rattan outdoor furniture. Even if you already have outdoor furniture that you are fond of, it never hurts to add a few additional pieces to accessorise or to extend the set you already have. You may have older, weather-worn furniture that needs to be replaced, and you’ve been putting it off. These days there is a wide variety of outdoor furniture to choose from, in a number of styles and materials. It is a good idea to choose pieces made well, crafted from materials that will withstand the elements and last through several seasons. One of the most popular outdoor furniture material choices has always been rattan, either natural or plastic. Natural rattan is crafted from over 600 species of palm trees. It is beautiful and authentic, however, it is not very durable, especially in extreme weather conditions. It can become unravelled easily, marring its appearance and making it weak over time. It does have a number of benefits, and nothing says Summertime fun quite like rattan outdoor furniture, whether real or synthetic.
The word “wicker” refers to the woven, plaited fibres, usually in the form of bendable branches and reeds, plastic pieces, sturdy grasses, and other materials that are woven into furniture. Many people think it refers to a type of plant or reed (rattan is the natural form of material that is used). These materials are woven to create the popular wicker furniture that we will talk about here.
Natural rattan is not resistant to extreme outdoor conditions or elements. It also becomes weakened by prolonged exposure to UV light. In rainy conditions, it should be protected by a waterproof covering or placed inside to be kept dry. On the other hand, plastic rattan is far more durable and is not susceptible to water damage. The all-weather weave construction is safe from UV light as well. Plastic rattan doesn’t unravel, fade, or get mouldy. It can even be left outside throughout the Winter months, cleaned off, and is ready for Summertime use.
Plastic outdoor rattan furniture does not require much care at all. Occasionally washing with warm, soapy water is essentially all that is required. Plastic rattan outdoor furniture is sturdy, easy care, and attractive. It can be purchased in a wide variety of colours and styles to compliment any decor.
In today’s environmentally conscious society, some synthetic materials are looked down upon due to their negative impact on the environment. It is a little-known fact that many types of natural materials can also be harmful as well. For example, a number of the 600 species of tropical palm trees that natural rattan is derived from are at risk of becoming extinct due to unsustainable harvesting processes. Rattan processing requires the use of some extremely toxic chemicals that not only pollute the environment, they can also cause serious, even fatal, health issues to anyone who lives nearby.
Be prepared to pay for good-quality rattan garden chairs. However, when you take into consideration the fact that, with proper care, the furniture will last for anywhere between one to two decades, it is well worth the price. Choosing this type of outdoor furniture means it will more than pay for itself.
Once you have all the facts, you will see that this type of outdoor furniture is a smart buy. It’s easy to see that if you are looking for durable, weather and element-resistant, sturdy furniture with a classic look, then plastic rattan is the best option for your needs.
While rattan is the material from which the furniture is often made, wicker describes the weave that creates it. Resin wicker is created with PVC or a similar synthetic material. It has an appearance similar to natural rattan, but since it is made of PVC or another material it is waterproof. This means it will not mould or mildew when it gets wet. It is easily cleaned with a simple swipe of a wet soapy cloth.
Resin wicker has a long lifespan. It is durable and able to withstand outdoor elements and rain. This means it can be left outdoors year-round instead of having the inconvenience of storing it away at the end of the Summer season, then bring it back out when Winter is over. With a quick cleaning your garden chairs are ready for use once again.
Along with summer resorts and vacation destinations, homeowners want attractive, durable outdoor furniture that looks attractive and is easy to care for. At most, if a homeowner chooses natural rattan furniture, they may find that occasionally a reed will break and need to be bent back into shape, or a corner will become frayed.
Resin wicker furniture is also ideal for outdoor events like cookouts and garden parties. It looks fashionable and classy. Its durability makes it perfect for use as outdoor tables or bars. Some people even use the furniture inside their homes as attractive shelving for books or knick-knacks.
Resin wicker also has the advantage of standing up well to heat and humidity without becoming warped or damaged. Natural rattan can become damaged by intense heat, humidity, and of course, rain, as mould and mildew can form quickly on and inside the furniture. Once this happens, the furniture is no longer safe for use and must be disposed of.
Wicker furniture is so versatile it can be placed in any setting. Some resorts even feature it in their restaurants for even more of an exotic look and feel. Since it comes in virtually any colour and in a wide variety of designs and versatile pieces, it is becoming popular for use in more and more places. Even if a desired piece cannot be found in a specific colour, plastic or wicker rattan can be quickly and easily spray-painted to match any decor at all. Nothing says “tropical” like wicker furniture.
Even though this type of furniture calls to mind tropical destinations, it also creates a relaxed, “homey”, inviting feel when it is used inside or on a front porch or home deck. It has a traditional appeal, as many people remember it from their younger years, at the height of its previous popularity, and they associate happy memories with it.
Resin wicker furniture is also cost-effective since it can be purchased secondhand, having been well cared-for. It can be purchased a piece or two at a time or as an entire set. You will find that it is more affordable than most other types of furniture, and certainly more so than outdoor furniture that is constructed to last as long as this type does. It is an excellent way to save money while being eco-friendly, durable, sustainable, and long-lasting.
Wicker can be created using branches from a willow tree, rattan reeds, or cane. Of course, none of these do well in wet conditions. Sitting in a chair constructed of these natural materials can cause the chair to stretch or even break. Some people still prefer this type of outdoor furniture, however, for its authenticity. They don’t mind taking it in during inclement weather or through the off-season, then it is placed back outside when the sunny, warm, dry weather returns.
Given the popularity of natural rattan furniture, designers have begun to create resin or plastic rattan furniture that looks like authentic, natural rattan. It can be nearly impossible to tell the difference unless you are extremely close to the furniture or actually sitting on it. The colours of the natural materials are matched perfectly, as well as the texture and overall look. Since these materials are far more durable and easy to clean than actual rattan, this type of design is in high demand for patios, resort getaways, and even in homes as trendy, classic indoor furniture.
Last but not least, a huge point in natural rattan furniture’s favour is that it is 100% recyclable. The other materials used to make it are synthetic and may even contain toxic materials, and therefore are bad for the environment and cannot be recycled. Rattan in its natural form can be returned back to the environment in any number of forms, which is a big plus considering all of the pollutants and poisons that get thrown into landfills and released into the air every day. When it is done being functional and beautiful, natural rattan furniture gives back in a positive way.