Rattan & Wicker. What is the difference?

Rattan and Wicker furniture can be a bit confusing to distinguish. Many people, including sales people who sell furniture tend to believe they are almost a like. Wicker and rattan furniture actually fall under the same category but there are many differences between the two.

Rattan originated from Southeast Asia thus it is inherently a tropical palm tree. It grows exactly like a tree but eventually bends back to the ground like vines. It then snakes through the ground instead. If you are looking for a strong piece of wood, look no further. It is one of the strongest woods out there and possesses the ability to grow up high as hundred feet. Pretty impressive!


The quality of the wood makes it the ideal material in the production of durable furniture for home, garden and installation. The solid core of rattan along with vertical grains is harvested, and is cut into smaller sections. The wood is then usually steamed, bent into the desired shape and dried. Once it has dried, it will retain its shape forever!

rattan2Here is where the difference lies, Rattan is a specific material, but Wicker is an ancient technique to create items out of natural materials. It’s the process of weaving materials such as straw, bamboo and even rattan. All those years, when you thought you had bought a lovely wicker basket, is in fact just the process the basket went through in being manufactured! The term wicker has nothing to do with the materials furniture is created from!

London Rattan's LogoWhen choosing between the two, Rattan is the most durable and versatile. It processes excellent qualities to create long lasting, strong outdoor and indoor furniture. Wicker furniture can be hard to identify, as it will be a mixture of strong and not so strong materials.

Rattan will always be our top choice! Which do you prefer?