Rattan – a natural design material

Calamus thwaitesii in southwestern India

rattan [ ra-tan, ruh– ]

Rattan is a type of climbing or trailing vine-like palm native to southern Asia, Malaysia and China. Its outer bark is used for caning, and its inner, reedlike section is used to weave wicker furniture. It was introduced to the West in the early 19th century, rattan has become the standard material for caning, and its strength and manipulability have made it the most popular of the many materials used in wickerwork.

Rattan Lounge Chair

Kay Fisker "Canton" Rattan Lounge Chair, Denmark
Kay Fisker “Canton” Rattan Lounge Chair, Denmark


Boyce, C. (1985). The Wordsworth Dictionary of Furniture. Wordsworth Reference.

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