Wicker Furniture vs. Rattan Furniture
In summary, the Furniture brothers went to court after Wicker accused Rattan of telling people they had the same qualities.
“We are fraternal twins,” Wicker yelled, “But he is telling everybody that we are identical! He’s stealing my business! Rattan Furniture is nothing like me, Wicker Furniture!”
“Do you have proof?” the judge asked.
Wicker leaped out of his seat, “I most certainly do, your Honor! My case is as follows. . .”
Rattan is a material, while Wicker is a style of weaving
If you take a turn around a furniture store, you’ll actually see plenty of ‘wicker rattan furniture’. That’s because technically, any chair that is made of woven wood is a wicker chair. Rattan furniture, on the other hand, means it is actually made of rattan wood. There you go, people, case closed. The two words get equated so often because wicker furniture often uses rattan wood.
“You better not be pulling my leg!” the judge said. “If there really is some material called ‘Rattan’, then what are its qualities?”
“Oh, I’ll tell you a thing or two about Rattan’s qualities,” Wicker said as he glared at his brother.
Rattan is a tough-skinned green vine that is native to Australia, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Rattan is used in wicker furniture so often because the skin is strong, light, and flexible. Rattan, of course, doesn’t give up its skin so easily. The vine is covered in thick thorns that need to be violently scraped off before the plant can be processed. Once you do, though, you are left with an extremely valuable product–Rattan Furniture has been in high-demand for years.
Rattan also has an interesting past–and not all of it was good. The native peoples of Malaysia used it in many aspects of their culture. They did make rattan furniture, but they also used it to build homes, weave clothing, and cook with. Rattan’s wide range of uses made it a valuable product, and rattan furniture began to travel west.
It was in the West where rattan’s history takes a turn. In 19th century England and Wales, rattan rods were used to punish students who were misbehaving or not performing well. Larger canes of rattan were used to punish criminals.
However, rattan also has an interesting future. I won’t pretend to know the science, but scientists have started using it produce artificial bones. If only those poor English children had access to this technology. . .
“Quiet, enough Wicker you have proven your point!” the judge said. “I believe you about this Rattan character. But I still need proof that you, sir Wicker, are merely a style of weaving! Say your part.”
Wicker furniture has been used since ancient Egyptian times. Back then, they used reeds and branches to weave wicker furniture, but the practice was common cross-culturally. Anywhere you find strong, flexible wood, you’ll find wicker.
A wicker weave is durable and strong, and it was not only used for wicker furniture but also for art, roofing, and shields.
Today, wicker furniture is still a popular choice, and many companies still use natural materials. However, companies are starting to shift to synthetic materials. Materials like Rattan use a lot of land, and when they are cut down the plants often don’t grow back. Environmentalists pushed for synthetic fibers, and demand for good-for-nothing freeloaders like Rattan has gone down. Luckily, this means the price of Rattan Furniture is lower than ever.
Wicker, however, hasn’t been replaced like Rattan has. A lot of Wicker Furniture is still woven by hand instead of being replaced by a machine. Part of this is because people have promoted the importance of keeping up the tradition and saving the jobs of the weavers. The main reason, though, is that handmade Wicker Furniture is stronger and more durable. Weaving Wicker Furniture is a difficult process, but the quality shows in the end product.
“Take a seat Wicker, you have made your point,” the judge. “Rattan, you clearly have sullied the name of your brother by claiming to be identical. You are a material used in wicker furniture, but wicker is the style used to weave the furniture. The people deserve to know the difference so that they can make informed decisions about their purchases! This case is closed!”