Rattan Furniture Origin and Information:
Rattan is among the oldest natural furniture
material in use today. Unlike bamboo, which is
hollow, rattan is a solid timber vine that grows
in the Philippines.
Rattans are climbing palms that provide the raw
material for the cane-furniture industry.
Rattans have long and very flexible stems that
need support. In favorable conditions some
species will grow to very great lengths. Rattan
gatherers need to pull the canes down from the
forest canopy and remove the spiny sheaths,
leaves and whips. This leaves the bare cane of
commerce. Rattan-harvesting is thus a rather
dangerous business - dead branches can be
dislodged as the rattan is pulled and ants and
wasps can often be disturbed in the process.
Locally rattans are used for a very wide range
of purposes, the most important being in the
manufacture of baskets and mats. Undoubtedly
rattan remains the most important source of
material for making baskets and mats in the
Philippine regions; however, as the wild
resource becomes scarce, other materials such as
split bamboo are used as substitutes.
Now some producing countries have introduced
export tariffs or export bans for raw cane to
encourage the manufacture of rattan furniture
within the producing countries, thereby adding
value to the exported product, and also helping
to conserve stocks of wild rattan.
these bans have also put extreme pressure on
stocks of rattans in countries where cane export
is not controlled, resulting in severe
over-exploitation and even disappearance of the
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