In the past, wicker and rattan furniture are used mostly in tropical countries. However, in the last two decades or so, there had been increasing interest in wicker furniture even in countries like Canada and the US.
Rattan can be used indoors or outdoors, but the reason why it is used extensively in the hospitality industry, especially in hotels and resorts, is due to the fact that not only does it lasts and look good, it is also capable of giving a relaxed and tropical feel to the surrounding. It is very versatile and can be used in conjunction with other materials like wood, metal and leather to create modern and chic furniture.
International trade conventions and exhibitions have helped to contribute to the expansion of audience for cane furniture. The versatility of rattan makes it easy to mix and match with existing furnishings and upholstery. Furthermore, the creation of all-weather wicker furniture also assures homeowners that their easy-to-maintain rattan furniture is able to withstand nature’s weather elements.
Many companies dealing with rattan furniture also publicize their eco-friendliness, making sure that the rattan and wicker used in manufacturing are plantation grown and does not hurt or endanger wildlife and the environment. Some of them go a step further to ensure that no child labor is used in the entire production process. As a result, it is hardly surprising that the rattan furniture appeals to the environmental conscious consumers.
The rattan furniture industry is a very active one, with business transactions spanning literally across the globe. Since the raw materials like rattan and cane are grown mostly in South East Asia, it is natural that most of the furniture manufacturing companies are located in places like Bali and Java in Indonesia, or Cebu in the Philippines. Furthermore, making rattan furniture is a craft. The skills of the craftsmen are passed down from generation to generation. The processing and treatment of rattan to make them suitable to be used in production is a long process. Even though there are some degrees of mechanization, some of the labor intensive process like weaving still has to be done by hand. This calls for the skills of the craftsmen and is what determines the quality of the end products.
Many rattan furniture companies in the US and Canada either import the finished rattan furniture directly from China, Indonesia or the Philippines, or they have their own factories located in either of these countries. Due to the size and bulkiness of the items, export of the furniture is usually in containers by sea. It will take about a month or more for the shipment to reach the retailers and wholesalers in the US and Canada. To reduce the costs of transporting these bulky items, some of these companies have their own factories and assemble the packaged materials locally.
Today, the growth and expansion of the industry gives consumers a benefit for a wider range of designs and products to choose from. With so many advantages, it is no surprise that the popularity of rattan furniture will continue to rise.