From natural rattan to synthetic rattan: the transition of furniture manufacturers, craftsmen and designers


The use of natural rattan in the manufacture of furniture as well as in other projects goes back hundreds of years, this material that is obtained mainly from the palms of a type of bush that grows in the tropics conquered worldwide lovers of craftsmanship and rustic art. Through the use of natural rattan, manufacturers and craftsmen offer high-end, elegant and resistant furniture and accessories, however the fact that this material is affected when exposed to different climatic agents became the main reason why many people considered the implementation of synthetic rattan.

Nowadays the transition from natural rattan to synthetic rattan is a phenomenon that is being registered everywhere and this is mainly due to the physical and mechanical factors that characterise synthetic rattan and make it the ideal substitute. In this article we will talk about the characteristics of both materials, the applications and the main benefits obtained by manufacturers, craftsmen, designers etc., who decide to add synthetic rattan to their projects.


Characteristics and main applications.

Natural rattan is a material that for many decades has been used in almost all countries but in different ways and that is mainly because it is a highly versatile and flexible material, this material is mainly known for its use in the manufacture of furniture, however it is also used to manufacture accessories and complements of civil works projects, in short among the main factors that generate the popularity of this material is undoubtedly the versatility.

rattan furniture lounge
rattan furniture lounge

Versatility as a main factor allows natural rattan lovers to obtain natural rattan in different versions, i.e. natural rattan can be obtained in lattice rolls, lattice core or in its natural form and then adapted to the customer’s needs.

  • Rolls : furniture manufacturers and craftsmen use this form of natural rattan mainly as a complement in the manufacture of furniture, wardrobes, bedsteads and lamps..
  • Mesh medulla: the versatility of the material allows manufacturers to obtain the material in this form but in different sizes e.g. 2, 3, 4 mm thick. The material is mainly used for weaving furniture and for making decorative accessories and baskets.

Countries and regions with the most manufacturers and craftsmen of rattan furniture and accessories

Rattan is mainly obtained in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, China etc., in these countries there are a large number of manufacturers and craftsmen who over time have become great experts in the manufacture of furniture and rattan accessories, however at present there is also a greater number of manufacturers in Latin American countries, African countries and in certain Asian countries such as India etc..

Companies such as Mimbre and Rattan El Bosque, Rattan Roberto de Rivero have consolidated their reputation in their countries as experts in the design and manufacture of rattan furniture and accessories.

Sunset dreams with outdoor furniture
Sunset dreams with outdoor furniture


This is a phenomenon that is undoubtedly occurring all over the world, many manufacturers and craftsmen who initially only used natural rattan have decided to add synthetic rattan to their projects and this is mainly due to market demand as the vast majority demand rattan products but at the same time these products must meet the factors of strength, durability, easy maintenance and low cost. 

Main factors influencing the transition from natural to synthetic rattan

  • Resistance and Durability, although natural rattan is a material whose products enjoy a long life span, however if these products are exposed to certain environments such as high temperatures, rain etc., the products undergo certain changes in their composition which lead to the deterioration of the products and consequently they are no longer used, however these climatic agents do not have the same effect on synthetic rattan. Synthetic rattan, being a material made from high density polyethylene and recycled plastics, is immune to exposure to high temperatures and rain.
  • Easy maintenance, Natural rattan products require constant maintenance otherwise they may deteriorate in composition and wear out prematurely, while synthetic rattan products require little or no maintenance as they can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth and clean water.
  • Low cost, Since most manufacturers and craftsmen who use natural rattan have to first import it from Southeast Asian countries and assume high costs which are not only limited to price, transport, but also certificates such as fumigation and disinfection, products made from this material tend to be sold at very high prices. In contrast to synthetic rattan, which is also imported by manufacturers and craftsmen, the costs are relatively lower and no certificates are required, which saves time and capital in the import process.
  • Manufacturing time, natural rattan takes longer to manufacture. Many manufacturers, in order to meet the demands of their different customers, need more than 40 days to be able to deliver a quantity of 2000 kg, however it takes very little time to manufacture the same quantity of synthetic rattan.
Chairs monique synthetic rattan
Chairs monique synthetic rattan


Through the process of transition from the use of natural rattan to synthetic rattan, manufacturers and craftsmen obtain the following benefits:

  • Cost reduction, by purchasing synthetic rattan the costs are exponentially reduced compared to buying natural rattan.
  • Versatility, synthetic rattan offers products in different finishes in both shapes and colours.
  • Easy import process, importing synthetic rattan is very easy as no special permits or quality inspections are required.
  • Flexibility, synthetic rattan can be used to make the same furniture and accessories as natural rattan.
  • Increased sales, by offering products that not only have the same physical appearance as natural rattan but are stronger and cheaper, many manufacturers’ sales often tend to increase.
  • Although many people think that synthetic rattan is not environmentally friendly, it does preserve this aspect. It can be recycled to make, for example, other furniture. Therefore, now that we understand more and more the importance of helping the planet with our actions, choosing synthetic rattan furniture is a good choice.
Twisted Seagrass BM32263
Twisted Seagrass BM-32263


Although synthetic rattan is mainly known as a substitute for natural rattan for the manufacture of outdoor furniture, however, those manufacturers and craftsmen who initially used only natural rattan, when they decide to work with synthetic rattan are not limited to making only outdoor furniture, they use the material to make beds, baskets, well vazos etc., here are some illustrative examples of products that can be manufactured with this material.

  • Rolls of rattan panels, this is a new trend that has spread in many countries in Europe and Latin America, these are rolls of synthetic rattan that are used to cover the windows, balconies, gardens in order to have more privacy in your home.
panel ratan balcon fence
Panel ratan balcon fence
  • Rolls for roof coverings, this way of using synthetic rattan has become a trend that is mainly used in hotels and homes. Interior designers use synthetic rattan to decorate the upper part of a room, living room or terrace.
  • Manufacture of baskets, flowerpots and baskets, these are some of the other main applications in which synthetic rattan can be used and which are in great demand in the world market.
Synthetic rattan basket
Synthetic rattan basket

Synthetic rattan lattice rolls are undoubtedly the main model of synthetic rattan sought after by many manufacturers because it is a model that perfectly imitates the appearance of natural rattan and at the same time offers all the benefits of synthetic rattan.


  • What guarantees does synthetic rattan offer?

With a synthetic rattan order you can enjoy a 2, 3 or 5 year guarantee.

  • Can synthetic rattan furniture withstand high temperatures and rain?

Of course, this is because the material is made from high-density polyethylene and recycled plastics.

  • Is the material sold by the roll or by the kilo?

The rattan fibre used to weave the furniture is sold by the kilo while the rattan grating is sold by the roll.

  • If I place an order, how long does it take for the material to arrive in my country?

Depending on the selected method of transport and the distance, it takes between 20 to 28 days for the material to arrive.

  • How many kilos of rattan can I import in a 20′ container?

According to the method we use to pack the material, a 20′ container holds 8000 kg of synthetic rattan.

  • What models and colours do you offer?

Leisure touch rattan mainly manufactures four types of synthetic rattan: flat, round, half moon and seaweed. All models are available in both single and mixed colours.

  • Does your company offer samples to check the quality of the product?

Of course, we have thousands of samples available for our customers, and it is worth mentioning that the samples are free of charge.

  • How many metres is a roll of synthetic rattan mesh?

The material is mainly available in rolls of 30 metres in length, while the width varies from 45 to 100 cm.


Rattan is a highly demanded material both in its natural and synthetic version, the need to offer materials that meet the standards of quality and adaptation to new trends and market demands motivate many manufacturers, craftsmen, designers to opt for the model of synthetic rattan. With this decision many benefits are obtained that are not only limited to the price of the material but also to the ease of importing and working with this material. Synthetic rattan is a safe option for those who wish to start making furniture and accessories from synthetic rattan because they can enjoy several years of warranty and after using the furniture, it can be recycled to make other products, so by choosing synthetic rattan. We not only have access to the manufacture of a wide variety of synthetic rattan but also contribute to environmental sustainability.

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