Rattan Dining Chairs

Wicker, Cane and Rattan Dining Chairs: What’s The Difference?

Looking to revamp your dining room? But not sure where to start?

Dining Chairs is where you should start!

 Wicker Cane Rattan Dining Chairs

Aldgate and Seabreeze Dining Chairs


As of now, the most in style dining chairs are none other than the styles commonly known as Rattan dining chairs, Wicker dining chairs and Cane dining chairs.

They have been here for centuries but have recently made a huge comeback.

There are certain things that we wish would remain in the 70s, but certainly rattan, cane and wicker furniture is not one of those. 

These styles are generously being used by designers all around the world for both outdoor as well as indoor furnishings.

Mainly for the versatile style sense they add to the room their light weightedness and also because they are made using natural materials.

 Rattan Dining Chairs

Pinnacles Arm Chair and Kelmscott Dining Chairs


But are they fit for the modern-day dining room?


If you are picturing your grandma's old rattan chair in your dining area, stop right now.

With modern-day advancements, new styles of rattan, wicker and cane dining chairs have taken the interior design industry by a storm.

The design and style sense of today’s cane, wicker and a large range of rattan dining chairs set may be new, but the techniques are still ancient.

 Emile Arm Chair

Emile Rattan Dining Chair


The mix of modern design and ancient techniques result in dining chairs that go perfectly with most decor and interior styles, including a medieval, farmhouse, mid-century and more.

In fact, contemporary settings are also carrying rattan, cane and wicker dining chairs well.


Are they all the same?


Often the terms Wicker, Cane and Rattan are used interchangeably.

Which makes it all the more confusing for clients to actually understand what each term is being referred to.

If I were to explain this in a sentence, using these terms interchangeably is like using the terms tomato and dicing interchangeably.

Where tomato is the material like cane or rattan and dicing is the method of cutting like wicker.

At Only Dining Chairs, we promote mindful buying, which means that we promote the culture of knowing what you are buying.

We want clients to be fully aware of what they are purchasing before they have finalized their purchase.


 Summerset Rattan Dining Chair

Summerset Rattan Dining Chair


And that is the entire purpose of our blog.

Today we are going to learn:


The key difference between the three popular types of dining chairs -


Wicker Dining Chairs

Rattan Dining Chairs

Cane Dining Chairs


Wicker Dining Chairs:


What is wicker, you may ask.

Wicker is basically the process of weaving natural materials like bamboo, willow, rattan, etc., in order to make a dining chair or any other piece of furniture.

 Wicker Dining Chair


It is a collective term that describes woven furniture as a whole.

A Dining chair that is made using the wicker technique will be described as a Wicker dining chair.

As wrongly believed, wicker doesn't refer to the material used in the making of dining chairs. Instead, it refers to the process of weaving, which creates those finely textured designs.

Did you know traces of the wicker technique were found more than 3000 years back in Egypt?


Wicker Dining Chairs


Wicker Dining Chairs are made using different materials, both natural as well as synthetic. Basically, anything that can be weaved. 

Natural materials include the use of:

  • Rattan
  • Cane
  • Reed
  • Seagrass
  • Bamboo
  • Willow
  • Jute
  • Natural fabrics and more.

If you are setting up an outdoor dining area, there is no way you can use wicker dining chairs made out of natural materials.

Natural materials are typically used in furniture made for indoor use. The outdoor weather can have adverse effects on both the look and durability of the wicker dining chairs made using natural materials.

But inside, these wicker dining chairs can last for decades.

No wonder your Grandma still has those typical pasty white pieces of wicker furniture that she refuses to throw away.

 Wicker Dining Chair

In ancient times, the cane was one of the most popular or maybe the only used material. But in today's modern-day age, there are tons of materials that are being used to make modern wicker furnishing.

The idea remains the same, but the use of different materials makes the present-day wicker dining chairs different and more adaptable to modern settings. 

Synthetic materials include the use of:

  • Resin
  • Vinyl
  • Engineered fabrics

Wicker dining chairs made using synthetic materials can be used efficiently, both indoors and outdoors.

They are far more durable and resistant to damage compared to the wicker furniture made using natural materials.

These materials are also referred to as HDPE wicker and all-weather wicker.

But the main reason why wicker dining chairs have become increasingly popular in the last few years is the structural soundness of this age-old technique.

They are sturdy enough to hold weight yet extremely lightweight compared to typical furniture.

Not to forget they are extremely comfortable and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

This makes them a popular choice of dining chairs among frequent movers, families with children, and people who prefer casual and comfortable seating arrangements for their homes.


Rattan Dining Chairs:


Rattan is the material that's popularly used to make sturdy yet lightweight furniture, often using the wicker technique.

So unlike wicker, which is a technique, rattan is a material. So when a description says rattan dining chairs, this means that the dining chairs or any furniture for that matter is made up using the material rattan.

 Clemente Rattan Armchair

Clemente Rattan Arm Chair


Now what is rattan, you may ask.

Rattan is one of the fastest, naturally growing species of palm trees.

It starts to grow like a tree, but after it grows to a certain height, which is often up to 100m, it bends down towards the ground, from where it starts to grow like vines, spreading its roots all over.

Due to its fast growth rate and perpetual spreading, it can be found in great abundance. Making it one of the most widely used furniture materials dated as far back to Ancient Egypt.


 Rattan Dining Chairs


But that isn't the only reason why rattan is so widely used in the making of dining chairs and other furniture. It is known as one of the strongest woods to exist. Yet, it's malleable.

Hence we call it the king of all material!

Not to forget, their abundance in nature makes them a source of renewable, sustainable and environmentally friendly choice of material.

In case you are wondering, there are over 600 species of these palm trees, which are spread all across Southeast Asia.

The major importer of rattan mainly includes the Philippines.

Rattan is often confused with bamboo, as they both look starkly similar. But bamboo does not bend and is not malleable, unlike rattan.


 Rattan Arm Chair

 Seabreeze Rattan Armchair


Rattan or Wicker dining room chairs and furnishings are made for the indoors. Just as your skin can not tolerate the UV rays of the sun, rattan furniture can’t either.

They either need a weather protectant or sealant to go on top of them to keep them protected, or you need to invest in coveralls.

But a general rule of thumb indicates that rattan furniture should be used indoors and indoors alone.

Going against this will result in cracked, dry and pale looking furniture that is neither appealing nor durable.

Not to forget, rattan is a porous material, which means it can and will soak up any moisture in the environment, which results in a breeding ground for mildew and mould—eventually resulting in a rotten piece of furniture.

Which is neither appealing nor useful.

So unless you have a covered patio, make use of rattan seats in your indoor dining area alone.

 Fantome Rattan Dining Chair

Fantome Rattan Dining Chair


In case you have no choice but to use it outdoors, do not exceed the use for more than a few hours. Make sure to store them in a cool and dry place until the next use.

That being said, indoor wicker and rattan living room furniture are highly durable and can withstand years of use without any sign of serious damage.

However, they do require some amount of care, like every piece of furniture.

Often entire dining chairs are made using rattan, as it is a sturdy and flexible material that can withstand it all.

Rattan is a durable (especially those that have been UV coated) lightweight and attractive material. Rattan is the greenest furniture (indoor rattan living room furniture) that you can find.

To see our collection of Woven Rattan seats / dining chairs set, visit OnlyDiningChairs.com.au.


How to clean rattan dining chairs :


To Clean Rattan Dining Chairs you need to make a bubbly solution of water. Use a soft, absorbent cloth to create the bubbles. Make sure that the soft cloth doesn't come into contact with the water. There is no need to soak it to do the typical cleaning.

After that, you can gently clean your chair made of rattan. Making use of bubbles instead of water is important because rattan can soak up water and then bloated, end up ruining the overall appearance and set.

Use a soft bristle to wash the crevasses of the weave.

Take note that you should always use foam for cleaning up rattan, not water.


Cane Dining chairs:


Like rattan, the cane is a material used for making furniture.

But unlike rattan, it does not occur in its form naturally. Although natural, it is given its particular form using a peeling technique.

The same rattan tree, used for making rattan furniture, is the source of cane.

The difference is that the thorny outer covering of the rattan is what is actually used to wrap around an already sturdy material such as metal, aluminium or wood. This is then called cane.


 Cane Dining Chairs


The largest importer of cane today is Indonesia.

Both materials come from the same source, yet they react widely differently when used.

Cane is sturdier than rattan and can easily withstand harsh weather conditions.

The reason being that this outer covering of rattan used in cane furniture is less porous; hence it does not absorb any moisture, which increases its durability.

 Cane Dining Chairs


This also means that cane dining chairs can stand well against spills; therefore, it is a perfect pick for large families that host often or even for regular use if there are kids in the house.

Easy cleanup, light in weight and durability, all add up to the increasing popularity of cane dining chairs.

Now that we have explained in detail the difference between each, let's move on to some basic benefits and care tips for dining chairs made of rattan, cane or other material, using the wicker technique.

Cane Dining Chairs

Benefits of wicker, rattan and cane dining chairs:


  • Light in weight - can easily be dragged around. Particularly good for moving from one room to another. A recommended choice for frequent movers.


  • Easy cleanup - a sponge and soapy water can clear out any stain. As for debris and collection of dust, regularly wiping with a microfibre cloth.


  • Durable - Resistant against years of usage, without any evident signs of damage, if cared for.


  • Low maintenance - a regular coat of polish and protection against harsh weather (especially rattan) is all you need to keep the dining chairs to last long.


  • Cost-effective - They are durable and last for decades, making them a one time purchase, compared to other dining chairs that may not last as long as these.


  • Go with most interiors - Adds the right amount of modern and classic touch to any interior.


  • Eco friendly - a source of renewable and sustainable material for dining chairs and other furnishings.


  • Add warmth to the interior - Various range of Rattan dining seats can be a breezy addition to an otherwise clumpy interior.


  • Comfortable - Wicker Dining chairs are as comfortable as they are durable and lasting.


  • Sturdy - They can withstand any amount of weight as comfortably, just like any other furniture material.


 Cane Dining Chairs

Panama Rattan Dining Chair


How to take care of wicker, cane and rattan dining chairs set:


If your grandma's old rattan armchair is still in mint condition, it is because she must have taken some care required to keep the wicker, rattan and cane furniture looking as good for decades.

Like expensive wood, rattan and a range of cane dining chairs can last for a good while on their own. But add in some basic care techniques, and they will last longer than any other furniture in the house.

Wicker furniture, however, is a little more high maintenance, given its textured design, which collects more dust and debris. Cane dining chairs require the least amount of care out of all.


Here are a few things you can do to keep them looking as new:


  • Regular clean up of stains using mild soap water and sponge. 
  • Avoid collection of dust by regularly wiping with a microfibre cloth.
  • A coat of weather sealant or lacquer every one to two years will provide protection against harsh weather conditions.

Whether you are looking for cane, wicker or rattan dining room chairs, Only Dining Chairs has some of the finest quality dining chairs in Australia with a lifetime warranty for value and peace of mind.

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