Natural rattan versus synthetic rattan.

In truth it all depends on what the intended use is when deciding on whether to go for traditional rattan or all weather rattan. The traditional rattan has long been a favourite for indoor furniture and conservatory furniture in particular. The traditional rattan comes in many shapes and sizes. Over the more recent history indoor rattan furniture tends to be woven around bamboo frames and the better quality units have sprung seats and even lacquered finishes which gives a protective layer to the rattan. The last thirty or forty years have seen floral designs leading the way as far as the upholstery is concerned.

Here at Zebrano we find the floral look very dated and have tried to contemporize the rattan by changing the upholstery. We still use floral themes but they are done in a much more contemporary way and we mix them in with smooth clean colours with little or no pattern at all. We have also mixed up the designs a little and tried to tidy up some of the more traditional designs. In the past some of the rattan suites had visible bamboo frames that while essential from a stability point of view we found it had a negative effect on the aesthetic. We have gone for the rattan weave to completely cover the frame and this leads to a more bulky and stylish look.

Traditional rattan

What's the difference between traditional rattan and all weather Rattan Garden Furniture?

The most fundamental difference between the traditional rattan and the rattan used in rattan garden furniture is that one is man made and one is a natural product.

Traditional rattan is a natural product which has been used in the production of furniture for hundreds or rather thousands of years. It is grown primarily in the Far East with the majority of today’s rattan coming from Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Traditional rattan is a fast growing plant that has similar qualities to that of bamboo. Namely that it is fast growing, strong and resilient. Bamboo itself is often used in the manufacture of traditional rattan furniture as the frame around which the rattan is woven.

The modern day rattan used in the manufacture of Zebrano rattan garden furniture is a man mad resign synthetic product similar to that of PVC. The weaving process is similar to that of the traditional rattan but that’s where the similarities end. Well you could also say that the all weather rattan has the same aesthetic appeal as well as the same strength in terms of build quality.  The all weather rattan is in simple terms a plastic copy of the original natural rattan.  It has been manufactured in PVC for good reason as it is not only hard wearing but also fade resistant and available in several color ways.

In conclusion the all weather rattan that has become so popular is a man made replica of the traditional natural rattan. They can often look very similar as you can get the resign weave rattan in a natural color and it can be very difficult to tell them apart. The difference will be apparent if the product was left out in the elements as the traditional natural rattan will not weather very well. As we are all very aware of by now the rattan garden furniture or the modern rattan is very hardy and can live outside all year round.

Contemporary patio furniture.

As far as the outdoor version of the rattan we have taken the contemporary remit even further. With clean, smooth lines and beige cushions throughout we have ensured that an up to date look is achieved. We tried white cushion but found this looked to clinical and somehow detracted from the look. With beige cushions there is a sharp and yet warm look that seems to set the furniture off in a much more appealing way. The rattan itself is, black, brown or grey which again lead to a very contemporary feel. We do also have a lighter brown range in our Winchester range but this is aimed at the more traditional market. Our all weather rattan garden furniture can also be used indoors as you have a choice of styles as far as the furniture is concerned.

traditional style

The first thing to decide is what you intend to do with the furniture and then decide the look you are after. Either way Zebrano has the products to fit the bill. Check out our rattan garden furniture or our conservatory furniture for ideas and products. 

We have written extensively on the subject of traditional rattan versus synthetic rattan on our blog. One article that we feel will be useful to you if you are interested in some further reading is 45 Amazing Benefits of Using Rattan Furniture. In this article we highlight the various advantages rattan, both synthetic and natural has and you may find some of these useful when deciding which material to go for.  As the title suggests we run through forty-five different benefits so as to give a comprehensive look at the advantages of rattan as a manufacturing material.

Are you looking for inside or outside furniture?

If you are looking for furniture to furnish the inside of your home then you do have a genuine decision to make as both the natural wicker weave and the all weather rattan both work inside. In this situation it really comes down to personal preference. Go and visit a few showrooms and try before you buy. That way you can make your decision on the look as well as the comfort of the furniture.

If you are thinking of buying garden furniture then there is no choice between traditional and synthetic rattan as the later wins every time. The synthetic rattan is designed to live outside all year round and is therefore the perfect choice for garden furniture.

Have you decided to purchase outdoor furniture, but are not sure which furniture set to get? With all the furniture choices that are available, it can become quite overwhelming at times. You may be going back and forth between the various categories of furniture sets while trying to decide which one is most appropriate for your backyard. More importantly, it needs to be appropriate for your particular needs and desires as well. This may require you to sit down and make a list of the goals that you have for your outdoor furniture. Also, write down questions that you are asking yourself and then think about the answers to those questions.

outdoor furniture

Do you want outdoor furniture for parties?

Are you going to use this outdoor furniture to hold parties and barbeques? Are you going to be lying outside under the sun and relaxing with your furniture? The answers to these questions will help you decide which outdoor furniture to purchase. You obviously wouldn’t want to purchase dining furniture set if you are only going to be using it for yourself. Although you could do that, there are plenty of more comfortable options available for those who just want to lie around and eat by themselves.

For example, there are lounger sets that you can purchase which are designed for just one or two people to relax on and eat from. These lounger sets typically come with a coffee table or side table to put your food or drink on. But if you were going to be hosting parties or gatherings for larger groups of people, then loungers would not provide an adequate amount of room to accommodate all these people. You would need to go with a much larger furniture set instead, such as a corner set, dining set, or sofa set.

Many larger furniture sets can hold anywhere from 2 to 10 people at a time. In some cases, you can even make extra room by turning the included footstools into additional seating too. Of course, these sets are going to cost a lot more money than the lounger or daybed sets. But you are also getting more for your money because the furniture pieces are bigger and provide more room for additional people. Therefore, the outdoor furniture you choose will all depend on the number of guests that you want to seat. If you only need yourself and one other person, go with the lounger or daybed because you will save money.

Before you go purchasing the outdoor furniture set that you had in mind, you need to consider the dimensions of it first. Not all furniture sets are going to accommodate the space that you have on your patio or backyard. Everyone has different size property and some people only have a limited amount of area space to work with. You wouldn’t want to end up purchasing huge corner furniture set and then have no corner area in your backyard to put it in. So, be sure to measure your backyard space with measuring tape and then compare those dimensions to the listed dimensions that you see on the furniture set online listings.

One thing is for sure; if you are looking for outdoor furniture then it is not the traditional rattan furniture you will be looking for. Traditional rattan or wicker is a natural plant and is not suitable for outdoor use. The modern synthetic rattan has used a man made material and then woven it around an aluminum frame to make an outdoor product. Therefore if you are looking too leaves your furniture outside then the all weather rattan is the choice for you.

Synthetic rattan is a special material that has been formulated to resist tough weather conditions like rain and wind. No matter if you are purchasing a corner set, lounger set, or whatever other set you want, make sure it is made from synthetic rattan. This will ensure that it lasts for your entire life and that you’ll never have to purchase a replacement outdoor furniture set ever again.

Do you want garden furniture for small patios?

The indented area you plan to put the furniture may also be a factor in deciding between traditional rattan and all weather rattan. It would be nice if everyone could have a big fancy patio in the back of his or her house. We all dream of having barbeques and big gatherings where friends and family can come together and have a good time. Unfortunately, we are not all lucky enough to have big patios, so we must make the best with what we have. The good news is that even if you have a small patio, there is still high-quality patio furniture available to put on it. This furniture is designed to be compact and accommodate the size of your small patio without taking up too much room. Let’s look at some examples of compact patio furniture for small patios.

Rattan cube sets are by far the best patio furniture for small patios. Each piece of furniture in the set is designed for consolidation with other pieces of furniture while they’re not being used. For example, the Royalcraft Cannes 2 Seat Rattan Cube Bistro Set comes with 2 dining chairs and 1 bistro table. The base of the chairs and table are shaped like cubes. Each chair goes on one side of the table. Underneath the table is space for the chairs to be tucked into when you are not using them. This will save you so much space and they’re still comfortable to use too. The price is only £269.99, which is truly affordable for patio furniture made from synthetic rattan.

Now you must be realistic about the size of your small patio in connection with how many guests you want to seat there. For example, if you wanted to seat 6 people instead of 2 people on your patio, then you would obviously need bigger patio furniture. In this case, you could try the Maze Rattan Winchester 4 Seat Rattan Cube Set w/ Footstools. The table size is only 1m x 1.25m x 1.9m and it fits 3 seats on each side. Just like the previous cube set mentioned, these seats can be tucked underneath the table to save on space. Even a small patio should be big enough to fit a table of this size. It just means that your guests will be a little closer together when they’re seated.

Cube sets are the best type of patio furniture for dining out on small patios. The bigger furniture sets, such as sofa sets and corner sets, may not fit on most small patios. It really depends on the dimensions of your patio and how long its sides and corners are. Aside from dining, you may also want simple lounger or daybed patio furniture set for accommodating one or two people. These furniture sets will be much easier to fit onto a small patio because they seat fewer people.

lounge on a daybed

If sun lounging is your thing, look no further.

One popular rattan patio furniture set is the Orlando Sun lounger Set with Side Table. This is priced at only £499.00 and it features just 2 sun lounge chairs and 1 side table. You could easily put this small side table in between the chairs and still save plenty of room. If you only want to seat one person on your small patio, then you can just put one lounger from this set on your patio and put the other lounger somewhere else. Maybe you could put the extra lounger out on your backyard or save it in case something happens to your patio lounger.

Rattan daybed sets are a little bigger but should still fit on most small patios. The Maze Rattan Winchester Rattan Love Seat is like 2 seats in 1 piece of furniture, so it already saves space. The Half Moon footstool that comes with the love seat can go right in front of it. If the footstool takes up too much space, then simply keep the love seat on your small patio and remove the footstool. The price of this furniture set is £699.00.

So whats it going to be? Traditional or all weather?

Hopefully this article has given you some idea of the differences between traditional and all weather rattan and now all you have to decide is which one you prefer! If you need our help then just give us a call on 0333 1210 218 or pop into our showroom for some friendly advice.