Cane/rattan/wicker/bamboo – we’ve heard all the names and we all know that we LOVE it. Out of these names, rattan is the actual material used for most nursery (and home) furniture. A vine in its rawest form, it is easily bent to form the beautiful pieces you see from all over the world that take up your Instagram feed.
Rattan is one of the strongest yet sustainable options for furniture available. It is not hollow, unlike bamboo which is actually a grass. This grass can grow up to 30 metres in height, which makes it perfect for use in flooring and building purposes (hello bamboo floor boards). Both these materials are environmentally friendly as they require no pesticides and are extremely fast growing – no plantations required. Tick!
In the making of your beautiful rattan nursery furniture items, one of the best things is the lack of chemical processes. Purely steam and water bends the poles into shape by the hands of skilled workers; this here process is magic to the eye, watching adept hands weave and mold. Rattan does need to be ‘finished’, water-based being best for little hands and mouths, however there is one more material at play here – cane! Yes, this is different yet again (!!), being the outer skin of the rattan vine. If added to a piece of furniture to bind, it creates a fabulous outer as it is very non-porous – all you need to do is wipe it down. And wipe it down we shall when there are children around! Again, and again, and again.
As rattan lasts for lifetimes, it is the perfect material for heirlooms, both for durability and design. The amount of times I have heard women say ‘Oh I had similar for my babies!’, or ‘this reminds me so much of my childhood. My mum still has mine!’ Bassinets, change tables, clothes racks, play gyms, chairs, tables, mobiles, multitudes of toys – all beautifully made by hand and all eco-friendly.
So clarity has hopefully been achieved on the whole rattan sitch my friends. Whatever it is, it is darn funky and we are so glad it is here to stay x