April 15, 2021

Rattan baskets have been around since King Tut ~ and they've only gotten better with age!Here's a little sumthin' sumthin' I bet you didn't know... Rattan is a naturally growing vine like species that is native to tropical regions of Australia, Asia, and Africa. For production use, the skin is peeled away and utilized for weaving purposes. 

Wicker can be woven from rattan as well as many other natural or synthetic materials...making it a versatile addition to your home.

What is the difference between natural rattan and synthetic rattan?

  • Natural rattan is made of organic, quality fibres found in nature, while artificial materials like like plastic and resin are used to make synthetic rattan furniture.
  • Natural rattan is extremely durable and will last for a long time. Synthetic rattan can be easier to break or damage.
  • Depending on the tightness of the weave, natural rattan furniture is generally softer and more comfortable than synthetic rattan that has an extra hardened coating.
  • Natural rattan is more suitable indoors, unless specifically prepared to withstand the elements. Synthetic rattan furniture can be placed outdoors all year long.
  • Natural rattan has that unexplainable visual appeal and feel of the weave that can't be replicated in synthetic furniture.

What is rattan furniture made from?

Rattan is a climbing palm that is predominantly found in Southeast Asia. The skin and inner core of rattan can be used to create a weaving material, and when chopped, the poles make excellent, robust furniture frames. Rattan vines and poles are easily cut and formed into a variety of shapes to produce one-of-a-kind furniture pieces. 

Rattan furniture has been around since the 70's and I for one remember having a beautiful bentwood stool made with a wicker caned seat. I sure wish I had that beauty today! With passing decades and home decor styles...rattan has only grown in popularity and is seen in every design style from Boho to Mid-Century Modern. My eclectic home is filled with all different varieties of rattan products from baskets to small chests to gorgeous wing-backed chairs!  

Of course, due to the popularity, designers began creating synthetic rattan furniture for outdoor use, or anywhere you needed something which was water resistant and practically indestructible. 

Below you'll find all makes, weaves and sizes in both natural rattan as well as synthetic.  Let the fun begin... 

Rattan in your home décor: 16 ideas

Cozy outdoor seating by a fireplace with three chairs, nestled among trees.

A synthetic rattan is ideal for outdoor living spaces since the elements won't affect the furniture like it would natural rattan fibers. Photo: Casa Vogue


Patio with hanging chair, woven lanterns and plants.

Rattan furniture and accessories add warmth and a soothing vibe especially when paired with a white color palette. Photo: Decorated Life


2 Rattan chairs with dark cushions outdoors, pendant light above them

Synthetic rattan furniture provides the convenience of leaving it outdoors rather than traipsing it in and out of the natural elements like rain. Photo: DesignLoveFest


Living room with beige sofa, rattan hanging chairs

A neutral home décor design is a beautiful backdrop allowing the natural rattan textures to shine in the living space. Photo:


Outdoor relaxation area with natural rattan furniture and lanterns hanged in a tree.

The beauty of rattan is matched only by Mother Nature's bounty. Photo:


Relaxing corner with a cozy sofa, table, and chairs in rattan

Textures, textures and more textures...come together in this boho chic design with rattan incorporated in the home décor. Photo: Pinterest


A set of four elegant dining chairs in cream color and dark legs in an outdoor area

Put away those folding lawn chairs and create an elegant outdoor dining room with these synthetic outdoor dining chairs. Photo: KathyKuoHome


Room with sink and white cupboards, baskets standing on appliances

Even the laundry room deserves the warmth and charm of rattan accessories like these lovely rattan baskets. Photo: Found on IG


2 white rattan hanging chairs hanged on a patio. White accent table between them.

Tire swings no more! Hang a pair of rattan swinging chairs for a cozy vibe and space on your porch. Photo: Modern Glam


A front porch with rattan furniture.

Outdoor living spaces have stepped it up since synthetic rattan furniture made an appearance. Photo: PorchDayDreamer


A set of bathroom accessories, soap dispensers on a rattan tray

Even the simplest touches of rattan make big impacts in your homedécorPhoto: CindyHattersley@IG


A cozy beach house bedroom with a natural rattan furniture and woven rug.

How sweet is this sitting area? The versatility of rattan furniture knows no bounds. Photo:


Snug leisure corner in the living room with a sofa and bamboo chandeliers.

Mix and match to your heart's content. This trio adds depth of color as well as texture to this yummy space. Photo: Kouboo rattan pendant lights on Amazon Home IG


Rattan chairs around a dining table in a room with exposed brick and wooden walls and ceiling

Belly up to the bar kids! These high top chairs are rugged and will withstand lots of use for your family! Photo: Pinterest


A modern sofa made of rattan material.

This beautiful synthetic rattan sofa defines elegance. Photo: West Elm


A wicker chair next to wicker side table.

Here's a side by side comparison of natural rattan vs synthetic (my own)...and the wicker chair came from Pottery Barn in 1991 folks! Other than needing to get new custom cushions, it's in fabulous shape! The synthetic rattan stool I bought at World Market. The synthetic is sturdy for sure but I love the tried and true "real deal" rattan furniture! Photo: Holly Rose