By Ian Walker
Rattan garden furniture has been a firm outdoor furniture favourite around the world for decades. It looks stylish, is available in a multitude of different styles, contemporary and traditional to suit all tastes, and is lightweight, so its easy to reposition with the suns movement making it ideal for garden or patio use. Maintaining your rattan furniture is easy to, making rattan the ideal garden furniture.
There are two types of rattan garden furniture. The first, and original, is natural rattan furniture made from the rattan vine found growing in tropical regions. The abundance of the vine and workability of the material has made it a favourite for constructing furniture for hundreds of years. Natural rattan is tough and durable, but it can fade in to much direct sunlight and if allowed to get soaked or wet through for long periods it can develop mould which discolours the vine and leaves the furniture looking unkempt and untidy.
These drawbacks bought about the development of synthetic rattan garden furniture constructed from man made polyester weaves and aluminium framing. Tough and durable, synthetic poly rattan furniture is cheap and available in many styles and colours, leading to a sales explosion in recent years. Which ever type of rattan garden furniture you have maintaining the furniture so it lasts a long time in peak condition is easy if you know how.
Natural rattan can be simply brushed down with a stiff brush from time to time to remove dust and dirt caught up in the weave. Once brushed down, wiping down with a damp cloth will do no harm so long as you don’t soak the furniture. Keep the furniture stored indoors during the winter or during damper periods of the year to avoid damage by mould. If you have rattan furniture for indoor or conservatory use don’t be afraid to take it out doors from time to time, avoiding the damp will mean your furniture suffers no ill effects. Most rattan furniture is used with covers or cushions so even use outdoors in sunlight shouldn’t cause fading or discolouration, just avoid leaving natural rattan out in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time or in drenching downpours.
Synthetic rattan is a different kettle of fish. This stuff is built to last through thick and thin. The man made fibers mean that no amount of sunlight or rainfall is going to damage this furniture. As with natural rattan, a good brushing down from time to time will keep the furniture dust and dirt free, but if you really want to go to town don’t be worried about using the garden hose on synthetic rattan to give it a really good cleaning down, just take off cushions and covers first! Best of all with poly rattan is that you don’t even have to store it indoors, although covering the furniture in off season will reduce the build up of dust and dirt.
With both types of furniture remove and wash covers and cushions regularly to keep them in a good tidy state and always be careful to follow manufacturers laundry care guidelines to avoid shrinking or discoloration in the wash.
Article Source: Maintaining Your Rattan Garden Furniture