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Rattan is produced from a jungle vine found extensively in Southeast Asia. The strong, solid cane with its vertical grain is harvested, cut into lengths and often steamed to shape into curves. The cane is used to make the sturdy indoor/outdoor furniture popular in tropical climates, while rattan peel, the "skin" of the vine, is stripped and soaked to make the thin, pliable strips that bind the rattan poles together buy wooden dining chairs.
When good quality materials are used and the vines are woven properly, rattan woven furniture should last 100 years or more with normal use. Some wicker antiques of the Victorian period are still in use today. The oldest surviving pieces of wicker furniture date from the Egyptian Empire. These pieces include chests made of reed and papyrus, wig boxes made of reed and rush, and wicker hassocks and chairs.
Wicker's durability comes from the properties of the best furniture manufacture in China. A rattan vine, which can be cut into various widths and shapes, is filled with fibers running lengthwise through it, giving the vine the strength of multi-strand cable. A vine will bend, but unlike wood, it will not splinter or break. Many Americans, who are accustomed to wood furniture, mistake wicker's flexibility for weakness.
Cheap Rattan Chairs for sale may also be peeled mechanically to form thin slats for weaving. The curved outer layer is also used as a decorative trim to hide the rough seams created by the wicker process. Bamboo may also be used for trim, but rarely as a form. Bamboo is hollow, which means it often cracks when steamed and bent. Rattan is solid, which makes it an ideal material for the lightweight but solid furniture we commonly call wicker.
Rattan grows in a long slender stem, which maintains an almost uniform diameter throughout its length. It grows in a manner similar to a vine, but has an inner core and is not hollow like bamboo. The shade in the rain forests is very dense and climbing on tree limbs is the most practical way for the vines to reach the light above the forest canopy. The outer portion of the stem is extremely hard and durable while the inner portion of the stem is softer and somewhat porous. There is no harvesting season for rattan, it grows year round.