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Is Wicker or Rattan Better for Outdoor Furniture?

Is Wicker or Rattan Better for Outdoor Furniture?

In a decade that bore dozens of practices better left there, the ‘70s certainly didn’t disappoint in the furniture aspect—at least in terms of the outdoor variety.

Both wicker and rattan furniture pieces have a timelessness that allows them to work with any style or theme, whether classic or contemporary. Their durability also lets them stand up to the weather quite well, as you will soon find out when you visit Yard Trend website.

Which of these two would suit your patio better? Let’s make a quick comparison to help you decide once and for all.

Wicker vs. Rattan: A Comparison

There’s a good chance you’ve encountered the phrase “some things are better left in the past.” This saying applies to a number of things no longer holding relevance in the present context. Then again, it also implies some are worth carrying on at present, and that includes the ‘70s-born rattan and wicker furniture.

It would hardly be a stretch for someone with a less-trained eye to think of the wicker and rattan as one and the same. The truth of the matter is, both these furniture types are woven, and to most buyers, that’s all that matters. Alas, there are quite a few differences between these two, namely: 

Aspect of Furniture

First off, “wicker” refers to a weaving style, while rattan is a material used for making furniture. Rattan can be woven wicker-style like various other synthetic and natural materials. That’s where the initial confusion often comes from and what leads people to think they can only choose one or the other. The truth is: you can actually get a wicker-woven rattan if that’s what you’re interested in. 

That said, these terms shouldn’t be used interchangeably. That’s because furniture woven using the wicker method might not be rattan. It could be made of many other things, such as bamboo, cane, and other suitable materials, but still be considered wicker due to its construction.

The furniture construction method known as “wicker” has actually been around for a long time. Despite only gaining traction in the ‘70s, the process had been prevalent in ancient Egypt. It was even said that a well-known Pharoah’s chair was created using the method. Now, what a narrative that is.

 Is Wicker or Rattan Better for Outdoor Furniture?

Synthetic Wicker and Natural Rattan

As far as arguments go, you can trust that the words “synthetic” and “natural” will be on opposite ends of the spectrum. Though where the wicker-weaving style is concerned, these extreme opposites are both exceptional. They can score high in both beauty and uniqueness, depending on your specific needs and preferences.

On the other hand, there’s natural rattan, which you would do well not to use outdoors. As is true with anything in nature, natural rattan is vulnerable to the elements, so you want to limit its outdoor exposure as much as possible. On the odd occasion you were to bring it outdoors, make sure the weather’s fine or there’s cover so that you don’t have to worry about ruining it.

We then move on to synthetic wicker, also known as resin wicker. It’s typically made of resin designed to replicate the look and feel of natural wicker. What’s great about this particular type is its high resiliency to heat and moisture.

High-end synthetic wickers are commonly used in most outdoor products to mirror vintage furniture design. They are highly durable and very low maintenance. In addition, they can be made to replicate natural rattan, which results in an easy-to-clean classic piece with a bit of a modern touch.

Caring for Rattans and Wickers

Now that we’ve covered some of the main differences between the various types of rattans and wickers, let’s proceed with the maintenance tips. How do you care for these woven materials?

Bring Them Inside When Not in Use

As durable as wicker-woven items are, they are not completely immune to the weather. Some may take months to break down, while others take years. Nevertheless, the point is that the elements will contribute to their ruin.

Natural or synthetic, you want to limit your furniture’s exposure to heat and rain as much as you can. If you own a synthetic wicker chair or sofa you don’t want to have to take inside at the end of the day, at least make sure it has a cover or is in a roofed patio. 

Never Let Dust Settle

As is the case with most woven materials, they make it easy for dust to settle in their many nooks and crevices. Outside furniture, in particular, is even more vulnerable to dust and debris. The trick is to wipe your wicker and rattan furniture as regularly as possible. Don’t let these pieces go for a day without being thoroughly wiped clean. 

So, Which Makes the Better Outdoor Furniture Piece?

If you’re talking about the best furniture for an outdoor patio, a wicker-woven piece made of synthetic rattan takes the cake. The key to making an excellent choice where rattans and wickers are concerned is not to ask whether you should go for rattan or wicker. You should instead determine whether natural or synthetic material is the better option. That should make for a significantly easier decision in the end.