5 Steps To Natural Rattan Materials Processing Explained

5 Steps To Natural Rattan Materials Processing Explained

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When you look at a beautiful piece of natural rattan furniture, most people do not realize how many steps it has taken for the rattan material to reach the supplier.

Processing the rattan materials can also be labor intensive. Two main methods are used to process the rattan materials: traditional and modern. The more modern method cures the rattan; most rattan processed today uses this method.

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Two Methods To Process Rattan Materials

As rattan is a natural material, it should ideally be processed as soon as the rattan has been harvested. When the rattan is processed, the raw material is then prepared so that the rattan can be used for finished products.

Proper rattan processing is essential to ensure that your finished product is quality. How well the rattan is sorted and processed during these steps can affect the quality of the finished rattan product.

Today, there are two methods for processing rattan: traditional and modern.

Traditional Method To Process Rattan Material Explained

The traditional method to process rattan material is the method used for many years. When processing rattan, you need a tape measure, brush, knives, a file, and an area to dry and sort the rattan.

Rattan Weaving
Rattan Weaving

Steps For The Traditional Rattan Processing

Here are the three steps which are used in the traditional method when processing rattan:

  • Take off the skin or outer part of the rattan. The first step is to have the rattan’s skin or outer part taken off as soon as the rattan arrives.
  • Leave the rattan to dry in the sun for three to seven days. This will help to reduce the water content.
  • Sort the rattan. The rattan is also sorted for the size and use of the rattan. Larger rattan can be used for furniture pieces, and small rattan for other items.

The traditional method of processing rattan is probably the method that was used if you have some antique rattan furniture. There is a good chance that this was how they would process the rattan used for the furnishings during that time.

Several things are wrong with this method, especially when the rattan is not cured; it can have bugs or other pests in the rattan. That is why this process is not used as much as the modern method that will cure the natural rattan.

Rattan Weaving
Rattan Weaving

Modern Method To Process Rattan Material Explained

Although it is more expensive than the traditional method, the modern method of processing rattan is considered better as it produces higher-quality rattan.

Rattan Weaving Factory
Rattan Weaving Factory

Here are the steps to process rattan with the modern method:

Step 1 – Sort the Rattan Into Sizes

Once the rattan is cut, it is sorted into approximate sizes. This is important because only specific sizes of rattan can be used for certain things. Also, the rattan suppliers will sell as per the required size.

Most rattan weavers are by the rattan already presorted in the size they need. That is also why sorting the rattan is essential in the return process.

Step 2 – Cure The Rattan Material

The next step is the rattan that needs to be cured. The rattan is cured to eliminate insect larva, fungus, or other bugs. It also helps increase the durability of the rattan so that the rattan can be stored longer than the traditional method.

Rattan is cured by boiling it in diesel oil. The suppliers will use a long tank so long strips of the rattan can be fixed at once.

Curing the rattan will also give a better color to the rattan, especially the large rattan. And it will also show any flaws in the rattan so those pieces can be sorted and eliminated.

The rattan is cured by filling the curing tank with diesel oil and waiting until the oil comes to a boil. They will wrap a chain around the rattan so it is bundled and then drop it in the diesel oil. The oil should not be heated above 100 °C or 212°F.

How long the rattan is boiled will depend on the diameter and species of the actual rattan but usually between 8 to 20 minutes.

Once the rattan has been boiled, they will take it out of the tank and allow the oil to drip off it for about 30 seconds. An essential part of this process is that the workers must be sure that the diesel oil does not spill on the ground or out of the tank.

The workshop area must also be well-ventilated and have all the fire and other safety equipment.

Step 3 – Drying The Rattan Material

Now that the rattan has been cured, the next step is the rattan must be dried in the sun for 10 to 14 days. The rattan must be dried upright so that the rattan remains straight.

Step 4 – Sort Of Rattan Material

After adequately drying the rattan, sorting is the next step to see if any rattan shows defects; it needs to be rejected. Those not rejected are then sorted again according to their size and any markings on the skin.

The first quality rattan is sorted to be used for furniture production, and the lower quality is sorted for other things.

Step 5 – Bending And Splitting The Rattan Materials

Rattan needs to be sorted for rattan materials that can be bent or rattan materials that should be split to be used for weaving, such as caning or other types of weaving.

You can watch our video to learn how to bend rattan materials,

Shaping Rattan Furniture and Other Parts

Depending on the supplier, the rattan also needs to be cut into sizes so that the sizes can be bundled and sold to the weavers to weave or manufacture into products.

As you can see, processing the rattan can take time and skill. It takes time to cut down the rattan, cure it, and then split and cut it again.

The natural rattan must also be sorted several times. These steps happen before the rattan even gets to the manufacturer producing the rattan furniture or home decor products.

Rattan Revelations: The Magic Behind a Decorative Darling

With its earthy charm and timeless appeal, Rattan has been a favored material in home decor for decades. Beyond its aesthetic allure, there’s a fascinating world of facts surrounding this versatile material.

Let’s unravel the captivating intricacies of rattan:

  1. Natural Origins: Rattan is a naturally occurring material derived from a type of palm native to tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and Australasia.
  2. Eco-friendly Champion: Unlike some wood varieties, rattan is highly sustainable due to its rapid growth rate, making it an eco-friendly choice for decor enthusiasts concerned about the environment.
  3. Light yet Strong: Despite its lightweight nature, rattan boasts remarkable strength and durability, often outlasting many other furniture materials.
  4. Handcrafted Wonders: Rattan products, due to their intricacy, are typically hand-woven, carrying with them the skill and essence of their craftsmen.
  5. Adaptable Designs: The pliability of rattan allows it to be molded into a plethora of designs, from intricate vintage styles to sleek, modern aesthetics.
  6. Natural Ventilation: Rattan’s woven design promotes air circulation, making rattan furniture exceptionally comfortable during warmer months.
  7. Low Maintenance: Rattan requires minimal upkeep. A simple dusting or occasional wipe-down is often enough to keep rattan pieces looking pristine.
  8. Resilient Character: Rattan is naturally resistant to splintering and breaking, ensuring that products made from it remain intact and beautiful even with regular use.
  9. Blending Capabilities: Rattan seamlessly complements various other materials like wood, metal, or glass, making it a favorite for mixed-material home decor items.
  10. Symbolic Significance: In some cultures, rattan items, due to their long-lasting nature, symbolize love and family ties, often being passed down through generations as heirlooms.

With its blend of durability, aesthetics, and eco-friendliness, Rattan stands out as a material of choice for discerning home decor enthusiasts. Each rattan piece, woven with skill and care, is a testament to nature’s splendor and human craftsmanship.

If you are interested in seeing how Mondoro can help you with your rattan furniture and other home decor products – we would love to talk to you about how we can help you.

Find out more about how Mondoro can help you create, develop, and manufacture excellent home decor and furniture products – don’t hesitate to contact me, AnitaCheck out my email by clicking here or become a part of our community and join our newsletter by clicking here.

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Frequently Asked Question

What is rattan?

Rattan is a type of climbing palm plant that belongs to the Arecaceae family. It is widely known for its durable and flexible stems, which are used for various purposes, including furniture making and handicrafts.

Where is rattan found?

Rattan is native to tropical regions, primarily found in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Australia. Countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand are known for their abundant rattan resources.

How is rattan harvested?

Rattan is harvested by cutting the stems close to the ground. The stems are carefully selected based on their thickness, flexibility, and quality. After harvesting, the stems are processed to remove the outer skin and prepare them for utilization.

What are the main uses of rattan?

Rattan has a wide range of applications. It is commonly used for making furniture, baskets, home decor items, and handicrafts. Rattan is also used in construction, such as for making fences, supports, and trellises.

Is rattan a sustainable material?

Rattan is considered a sustainable material because it is a fast-growing renewable resource. The climbing palms can be harvested without causing permanent damage to the plant or the environment.

How is rattan processed?

There are two main methods used to process rattan materials: traditional and modern. The more modern method involves curing the rattan, which enhances its durability and quality. Most rattan processed today utilizes this modern method.

What is traditional rattan processing?

Traditional rattan processing involves manually treating the rattan stems with heat and smoke. This method is time-consuming and labor-intensive but is still used in some regions.

What is modern rattan processing?

Modern rattan processing involves immersing the rattan stems in water or steam to cure them. This method helps to preserve the rattan’s natural color and strength and reduces the risk of insect infestation.

The Tre Natural Color Trend for Home Decor and Home Furniture

Tre means bamboo. But it also helps to symbolize the strength and ability to be resilient. The Tre trend is about having nature as part of your life and home. The Tre natural color palette has a lot of lush green tones. The Tre trend can be used together with other home decor and furniture trends.

You can discover more by reading The Tre Natural Color Trend for Home Decor and Home Furniture by clicking here.

Can Cane Furniture Be Left Outside?

Cane furniture is not outdoor weather-resistant; manufacturers produce outdoor weather-resistant furniture from synthetic, not natural, cane materials. Throughout history, cane furniture was in outdoor settings in many parts of the world; during that time, there was no genuinely outdoor weather-resistant furniture.

You can learn more by reading Can Cane Furniture Be Left Outside? by clicking here.

What Is The Difference Between Rattan, Wicker, And Cane Furniture?

Rattan is a type of palm or vine that grows in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Rattan refers to a kind of natural material. Wicker is a type of weave using rattan materials. Cane also refers to a type of weave that is usually woven using the rattan material.

You can learn more by reading our blog What Is The Difference Between Rattan, Wicker, And Cane Furniture? by clicking here.

Anita Hummel
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