How To Bend And Shape Rattan

How To Bend And Shape Rattan

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Rattan is a natural material found mainly in the jungle areas of Southeast Asia. It is a material that has been used for centuries to make home decor and home furniture products.

Rattan can be bent and shaped in a variety of ways. The rattan must first be pliable so that it can be bent. Several methods are used to accomplish this. Once the rattan is pliable, it can be shaped in various ways.

Table of Contents

Preparing To Bend Rattan

When you are looking to bend your rattan, there are a few things that you need to understand, such as the size of the rattan piece is and what shape you want to bend it into.

Several methods can be used to bend your rattan, and the method you will use will depend on what you need to do with the rattan piece. 

The methods to prepare the rattan are:

  • Soak The Rattan – The rattan is often soaked in water to become pliable and soft. Sometimes they will bleach the rattan so that it is a lighter color. To bleach the rattan they will add some bleach to the water to soak the rattan.
  • Heat the Rattan – The rattan may be heated with a blow torch so that the rattan is made hot and can be bent.
  • Combination Of Soaking And Heating – Depending on the size of the rattan and what shape you need for the rattan, sometimes they use a combination of soaking and heating the rattan to shape and bend the rattan pieces.
  • Steaming – Some people will steam the rattan to soften the rattan.

All these methods have in common that they are all about finding ways to ensure the rattan is softer and more pliable to work with. When you are bending rattan, you have to ensure that the rattan is soft enough so that it can be bent, and then once it is bent, it can be held in the shape you require.

Video On Shaping and Bending Rattan Parts

You can view our video below to see how the rattan is heated with a blow torch and then bent into shape using a simple machine.

Shaping Rattan Furniture and Other Parts

One of the beautiful aspects of rattan is that it can be bent and shaped into various curves and forms. The curves and forms make rattan ideal for various home decor and furniture products.

Shaping Rattan

The principles of shaping the rattan are similar to bending the rattan. The rattan must be soft so that it can be shaped. Here are some ways the rattan is shaped:

  • Shaping Using A Simple Machine – The rattan can be shaped using a simple machine. (Check video our video above tto see this process.)
  • Shaping Using A Mold – If you need a specific shape, the shape can be accomplished using a very simple mold. These are often simple wooden molds in which the rattan piece is placed so that all the shapes are uniform.
  • Shape On A Frame – Rattan can also be shaped on a frame. Usually, this is done with a smaller piece of rattan, and tiny nails are used to help keep the rattan in place. To properly shape the rattan using this method the rattan should be wet so that it is pliable and can easily be put on the frame.

Because of how versatile rattan is, it is a perfect material for manufacturing Home Decor and Home Furnishing products. Rattan can take well to various finishes, making it an ideal material for various products.

Why Rattan Bends And Shapes So Well

Rattan is one of the perfect materials for making intricate shapes for home decor and home furnishing products. Rattan is a type of climbing vine that is native to the tropical jungles of Asia, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China.

One of the largest sources of rattan is the Philippines because rattan does well in tropical climates.

The rattan vine grows into a solid stem-like material that could be 1 to 2 inches in diameter. The rattan vines can grow as long as 200 to 500 feet. Even though the rattan can grow quite long, it is usually cut into about 13-foot lengths, making it easier to transport and work with.

Rattan makes an ideal material to work with because you can find quite long rattan vines that can be used for larger home decor at home furniture products.

Bamboo is not the same as rattan, as bamboo is very strong and stiff. Rattan is pliable, especially if wet and once the outer bark is peeled off.

The outer bark or peel of the rattan is also used a lot for weaving. The natural colors of the outer bark give the rattan a unique look and color.

The outer bark or peel of the rattan is used a lot for caning.

Video On Weaving

To see how the outer bark or peel of the rattan is used to weave caning for furniture, you can watch our video that shows how caning is made on a hand-type of loom.

Basket Weaving, Caning and Other Weaving – Vietnam

As you can see from this video, a cane for furniture is a 100% woven item; every piece needs to be woven by hand on the caning loom.

We love rattan and find it a versatile and excellent material for home decor and home furnishing products. Rattan is an excellent source for accessories such as mirrors, trays, lamps, and even lampshades. And also a great material to use for stools, chairs, and all other kinds of furniture.

To find out more about how Mondoro can help you create, develop, and manufacture excellent home decor and home furniture products – including rattan 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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What is rattan?

Rattan is a type of vine that belongs to the palm family. It is known for its strength, flexibility, and suitability for crafting furniture and other decorative items.

Can rattan be bent and shaped?

Yes, rattan can be bent and shaped due to its natural flexibility and pliability.

What tools are needed to bend and shape rattan?

To bend and shape rattan, you will typically need a heat source (such as a steamer or boiling water), clamps or straps, gloves, and possibly a form or mold to shape the rattan around.

How do you soften rattan before bending?

Rattan can be softened by applying heat to make it more pliable. This can be done by steaming the rattan or soaking it in boiling water for a period of time.

Can I use a hairdryer to soften rattan?

While a hairdryer can provide some heat, it may not be sufficient to soften rattan effectively. It is recommended to use a steamer or boiling water for better results.

How long should rattan be soaked or steamed before bending?

The time required to soften rattan varies depending on its thickness and moisture content. Typically, soaking or steaming rattan for 30 minutes to an hour should be sufficient.

How should I protect myself when working with heated rattan?

It is essential to wear gloves when handling heated rattan to protect your hands from burns or discomfort.

Does rattan retain its shape once cooled?

Yes, rattan will retain the shape it was bent into while it cools and hardens. This makes it suitable for creating durable and long-lasting furniture and decorative items.

Care & Maintenance Of Outdoor Synthetic Rattan Furniture

The care and maintenance of outdoor synthetic rattan furniture are pretty straightforward. Use mild soap and water and a soft brush to clean your furniture at least once a year. With proper storage, you can be sure to add to the longevity of your outdoor synthetic rattan furniture pieces.

You can discover more by reading Care & Maintenance Of Outdoor Synthetic Rattan Furniture by clicking here.

Can You Paint Plastic Rattan Or Faux Rattan Furniture?

The short answer to this is that you should not paint your plastic or faux rattan furniture. The plastic or faux rattan material is not made or manufactured to be painted. If you paint on your plastic or faux rattan furniture, the paint will eventually peel and crack; the painting could also damage the furniture.

You can learn more by reading Can You Paint Plastic Rattan Or Faux Rattan Furniture? by clicking here.

Buying Guide For Outdoor Furniture Fabrics, What You Need To Know

Your choice of outdoor fabric for your outdoor furniture collection will make a difference in how long the material will last. There are ten key points to consider when making your outdoor fabric selection. Proper maintenance and care will also help expand the fabric’s life cycle.

By clicking here, you can learn more by reading our blog Buying Guide For Outdoor Furniture Fabrics, What You Need To Know by clicking here.

Anita Hummel
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