Rattan - any of various woody climbing plants with pliant, tough stems, particularly Berchemia scandens, of the buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae), also known as rattan vine. Furniture available from chairs, tables, sofas and dining sets.










Arm chair made of rattan (FR0011).

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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.

However, 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 wild resource.

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