Spring is always a refreshing season for home furnishings. New designs are birthed and the classics come forth reimagined. One classic in particular is capturing out attention is wicker, but more commonly referred to as Cane, Seagrass or Rattan. Even as a long time interior design writer, one can struggle to know when to refer to this woven wood classic as Cane, Rattan or Wicker? So what is proper…actually?
Frankly, it’s all ‘wicker’, a term that is used to refer to any type of woven furniture such as reed, rattan, cane, seagrass, and bamboo among others. Also, wicker in essence, describes the act of weaving wood to form an article of furniture. Who knew it wasn’t just that thick white shellacked stuff at our grandmother’s home when we were kids. A beautiful example of how far ‘wicker’ has come are the lovely chunky weave of seagrass beds, sofas and love seats from William Sonoma Home this spring.
Wicker, or wickerwork, is a natural or synthetic vine or grass that is then woven into a pattern. Natural wicker would consist of Reed, Cane, Willow, Seagrass, Rattan or Bamboo, while Synthetic (aka fake) wicker consists of Resin or Vinyl. If the former, then it may be stained painted or left au natural.
Rattan, a commonly known wicker, comes from the Rattan tree indigenous to Southeast Asia. The Rattan tree is vine like and proves very durable being an extremely strong material by nature. Due to its strength, Rattan furniture items tends to be more hearty in style, perfect for chairs and other substantial furniture. Like these Anthropologie chairs in fun colors.
Cane is basically a part of the rattan plant. It is produced simply by peeling off the skin of the rattan vine. One great quality of cane is that it is less porous and stronger than rattan in nature. Cane is ideal for chairs and seats due to their natural pliability and easy clean-up qualities. See the Serena and Lily traditional Louis XIV bed below. With a tropical twist yet modern vibe it’s bright, light and airy and we are loving it at Jigsaw.
Cane and rattan are both relatively inexpensive wicker materials. They are also typically lightweight but best of all Cane and Rattan wicker furniture are environmentally friendly due to the fast rate of growth of the Rattan tree which makes it highly renewable!
For more information on Cane and Rattan, or images used in this blog, please leave a comment or visit our contact page to reach a designer at www.jigsawdesigngroup.com. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @JigsawDesign4U!