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So what is Rattan? Rattan is native to tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australasia and Rattan comes from the Arecaceae family which is a type of palm. However, Rattan is notably different in the way in which they grow and how they are structured. Rattan has a slim stem and is usually around 2-5cm in diameter. It also grows differently to other types in its family whereby it is more vine like and will grow over anything it can get to. The Rattan is also known to grow hundreds of meters long while tangling it around other plants and trees. Rattan is very easy to harvest and it also grows at a speedy rate. For these reasons, it also make it much more eco-friendly and sustainable to the forests that they grow in. It also makes the tools simpler and allows it to be transported more efficiently and in larger usable quantities. The raw rattan strands can be processed and used in different product but primarily they are used within the furniture industry. Rattan is an amazing material to use because it is hard wearing, lightweight and is fairly flexible to use. Some of the uses of Rattan Furniture – This is the more wide spread form of using Rattan. It is like most of wood types whereby you can stain and/or paint rattan to your choice of colour. This makes it versatile and useful for people to customize the look and feel of the furniture that they are after. But if you peel back the outer toughened skin, you can separate the inner core and it can be working into a wicker. Accessories and smaller items – Because rattan is easy to use, it is a popular choice to make other items such as baskets, planters and other decorative items that your imagination can think of. Another use of the rattan is to be used as a cane for the likes of martial arts. Shelter – Rattan as you know if strong and is somewhat flexible which makes it an ideal solution for shelter in countries where rattan is grown and is native to the forests. The rattan can be woven tightly around some kind of framework to keep the structure in place and because it is lightweight, it is easier to move around if and when you would need to. Environmental Issues As rattan is still in its fairly early stages of mass harvesting it is surviving but as demands get higher and higher, it is threatened with overexploitation. This will make people cut the stems to soon in its life in turn will reduce the chances of re-sprouting causing it to be unsustainable. Modern Rattan Modern Rattan uses a synthetic resin which is also known as the “All weather rattan” which means that it is widely used for outdoor use due to its excellent properties. It looks like natural rattan but has the weather resistant properties of resin plastics that it uses. As these rattan strands are being made, the colour is added into the production process. This means that the colour is embedded into the strands and will remain that colour throughout its lifespan. It is UV resistant so it won’t fade. It is weather resistant so no matter what you throw at it, it won’t change. Not to mention that the Modern Rattan is virtually maintenance free and easy to clean by using a hose or pressure washer. It doesn't need to be repainted or re-varnished and it is not susceptible to fatigue throughout seasons. The synthetic rattan is used worldwide in hot and cold climates and it still holds up.

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