What’s The Difference Between Rattan And Wicker?

Rattan and wicker are two terms that are used commonly in the world of furniture and home decor. Outdoor rattan furniture and wicker patio furniture are one of the most commonly used furniture in many households, and they are known for their positive characteristics. However, many confuse rattan and wicker with one another, mostly using them as interchangeable or synonymous. This increased suspicions and confusion over the two materials and whether or not they were the same. As we progress with this informative article about rattan vs wicker, let us first clear the clouds of confusion: rattan and wicker are not the same things. They are two completely different things which we will explore further in this article. 

The first and foremost fact, rather than a difference, about rattan vs wicker is that wicker is a style used for weaving, whereas rattan is a material. Yes, this may come as a shock, but they definitely aren’t one and the same. If you’re wondering why you still feel like you’ve heard them in a sentence together or seen them in the description section of a product is because many furniture products are made of rattan wicker weave style. This means that that particular product is made with rattan, styled with wicker weaves. One is referred to for the material (rattan) and the other for the weave style (wicker). So the next time you come across wicker patio furniture, you will know that this is not made with wicker but made by following a wicker weave pattern! 

Now that we know the difference between the two, let’s find out what exactly both these terms mean: 

What Is Wicker? 

Wicker dates back to 3000 BC when scientists and archaeologists found its first existence. This style of weave has been used extensively for baskets and furniture. In ancient Egypt, the technique of wicker weave was passed down through the ages, from generation to generation and made its way to the modern world where it is still used as a prevalent design! Archaeological evidence suggests that tombs of wealthy pharaohs contained wicker chests, baskets, boxes and chairs. Wicker was demanded because of its distinctive and creative style. This treasured style of weaving has again gained momentum as many seminars and workshops aim to keep this art style alive. 

What Is Rattan?

A species of naturally growing vine-like plant, rattan is a material that is famously used for wicker weaves. These kinds of vine-like plants are native to tropical regions of Asia, Australia and Africa. For production, the skin of this plant is peeled and then used for different weaving purposes. The rest of the plant is not wasted but harvested for other types of furniture. 

Rattan has over 600 different species and can be classified as a strong fibrous plant that comes close to the likes of bamboo. Characteristics of rattan like lightweight, durability, attractiveness and flexibility make it a common choice for furnishings. 

Now that we know what these two terms mean, let’s take a look at some facts that will help us distinguish between wicker and rattan:

  • Wicker is a style of weave, while rattan is the material used. Rattan is often used to create wicker weaves. This is where your and everybody’s confusion about these two terms being synonymous arises. Both of them are not even materials in the first place!

  • There are more than 600 species of rattan plant. The term rattan is used to describe a widely found variety of climbing palms. Indonesia houses the largest amount of rattan found in the world! Compared to wood, it is not hollow in the middle but solid. And just like wood, it can be stained and painted.
  • Wicker is an ancient weaving technique. The Age Of Exploration witnessed the revival of wicker as rattan began its import from Asia. Europe saw the rise of popularity of rattan as it then exploded as a full-blown commodity. 

  • At Shop4Patio, you can find wicker outdoor furniture with intricate design and unparalleled durability. If you’re interested in transforming your patio into a beautiful part of your house, you know where to find us! 


    • What is the difference between wicker and rattan?

    Rattan is a material obtained from a naturally growing plant which is then weaved into designs that create many products like furniture. This style of weave that uses rattan is known as wicker. 

    • What kind of material is rattan & Wicker?

    People often wonder what is wicker made of? Is it similar to Rattan? Allow us to clear this confusion - Rattan is a natural material derived from a plant similar to bamboo, whereas wicker is a style of weaving. 

    • How can you tell a wicker from a rattan?

    They are not two materials. One is a weaving style (wicker), while the other is a material (rattan). 

    • What lasts longer wicker or rattan?

    Wicker will last as long as rattan since rattan is woven into a wicker-style furniture product. 

    When looking for quality wicker patio chairs, patio furniture with fire pit, or wood patio furniture, choose Shop4Patio!

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