How to take care of rattan furniture

How to take care of rattan furniture

Some people call it Bamboo; they couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some call it cane and/or wicker furniture; they are not far from the truth. Cane and wicker are parts of the Rattan plant. Rattan is a specie of palm that has climbing vines that grow as long as 200 – 500 feet. They are found in the tropical jungles of the Asian continent.

It is popularly used in making outdoor and indoor furniture. Some people spray paint it while others leave the furniture in it’s natural golden/brownish color.

Because of man-made deforestation, Rattan -which needs trees to climb in order to grow properly, has fallen in short supply. It is therefore important that you take good care of your rattan furniture so that they last longer, looking beautiful and strong.

Here are a few tips to help you take maintain these stylish, exotic and classy furniture pieces.

Outdoor to indoor

As mentioned before, rattan can be used both indoors and outdoors. When you use them as outdoor garden, patio or open porch furniture, do not leave them out in the open permanently. Despite the fact that it grows out in the open, the fibre is susceptible to the elements especially the sun, rain and frequently changing temperature.

They are light weight so you can take them indoors whenever they are not in use and bring them out if there’s a need. Rattan will last longer indoors or on a screened porch.

Sun screened

Do you have cane and wicker furniture in your garden, gazebo and patio? Treat them with sealers that have ultra violet protectants as a first line defense against the sun’s degradable UV rays. The sun’s rays cause rattan to fade and lose it’s sharp color.

Dry & Clean

Wipe your rattan furniture down regularly to get rid of dust and mildew. These two products of the climate -dust and mildew, cause rattan fibre to decay. Do not get them wet though. If you have to use any detergent or cleaning agent, use the soap bubbles from dish washing liquid to dampen a soft wash cloth and wipe your rattan furniture. Use a brush with same soap bubbles to clean those places the cloth cannot reach.

Use Appropriately

Do not kneel or step on them as such pressure would weaken the rattan strands and shorten their life span.

Fixing the Cracks

When they get overly dry, rattan gets cracked and this spoils their beauty and compromises their usefulness. To fix this, use a brush to get some boiled linseed oil into the cracks and splits. Do this until you notice that the crack can not absorb any more oil. Let it dry up or harden.

It may take a few days to get thoroughly dried up and there -your exotic furniture piece is back to good. Just wipe it clean with a damp, soft wash cloth before use.

Rattan or cane & wicker furniture have their special kind of beauty. They add a certain ambience wherever they are. Because of their flexibility, rattan can be used to make ball or teardrop shaped chairs, garden sofas and swing chairs. Coffee tables or center and side tables, arm chairs and rocking chairs.

 Although there are synthetic rattan furniture nowadays (and their makers claim they last longer than natural rattan), you still need to take proper care of them. Use these tips every week or on a fortnightly basis and you will be proud and happy with the results you will get.

Matthew Imerhion


Matthew was brought up on classic movies, jazz, rock and reggae.

He has always loved creative arts despite studying some social science course. He has recorded a couple of songs (dope rap songs I must say), worked as a copywriter in a few advertising agencies but now does freelance for free Wi-Fi connection. He prefers writing motivational and inspiring pieces in the form of poems, articles, short stories or songs. 

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