Two Trendy Styles of Plastic Rattan Material: Plastic Rattan Strip & Synthetic Wicker Panel


When it comes to manufacturing outdoor furniture, selecting the right materials that are both aesthetic and durable is crucial. That is because there are tons of popular selections in the industry. Those rattan furniture suppliers might be familiar with the two popular terms regarding plastic rattan material. That is plastic rattan strips and synthetic wicker panels.

Although these two types of materials are made of the same thing- plastic rattan, they are different in their characteristics and applications, making them suitable for different indoor or outdoor settings and personal preferences. However, some people might still be confused about these two rattan styles and mix them up together. In this article, we will discuss the specifics of plastic rattan strips and synthetic wicker panels to help you make better selections for your indoor or outdoor furniture.

Weather-resistant pe rattan gold design BM-8554 cross section
Exquisite Plastic Rattan Material

Plastic Rattan Strip & Synthetic Wicker Panel: A Quick Overview

Here, I will give you a short overview of the two styles of plastic rattan. Although they are all made of synthetic rattan material (Click here for more comprehensive information about synthetic rattan), plastic rattan strips and synthetic wicker panels differ in their shapes, appearances and applications. The major difference between them is that plastic rattan strip is in the shape of a strip and synthetic wicker panel is in the form of an integrated rattan sheet. Moreover, plastic rattan strip is a component of synthetic wicker panels since it is used to weave an artificial wicker panel. However, it does not mean that synthetic wicker panel is made of plastic rattan material since it can also be made of natural rattan based on customers’ needs.

Except for the difference in their look, plastic rattan strips and synthetic wicker panels also have different applications in the furniture industry. While plastic rattan is commonly used in outdoor furniture manufacturing, synthetic wicker panel is mainly used for furniture decoration and is more elastic than plastic rattan strips.

PE rattan sale brown big size synthetic BM-32693 detail
Synthetic Rattan with Natural Appearance

Plastic Rattan Strip: One of the Most Popular Outdoor Furniture Materials

Being one of the most trendy and favourable furniture materials in outdoor settings, plastic rattan strip is a kind of recyclable man-made rattan material that mimics the natural look and grains of real rattan. In the outdoor furniture industry, plastic rattan is also called synthetic rattan, PE rattan, man-made rattan and artificial rattan. It is primarily divided into three major types which are PE, PVC and PU rattan with PE rattan being the highest quality. Therefore, in the following paragraphs, we will focus on the discussion of PE rattan.  

What Is PE Rattan Made of?

PE rattan is 100% made of plastic, mostly HDPE (High-density Polyethylene) or LDPE (Low-density Polyethylene), with some additional additives to boost the practicality and durability of plastic rattan such as pigments, antioxidants, anti-UV agents, light stabilizers, etc. During the manufacturing process, PE rattan is normally produced by a machine to achieve its desired shapes, patterns and surface effects. Because of its synthetic properties, plastic rattan can be customisable in various shapes and patterns based on customers’ needs.

Wicker Weaving Method
Wicker Weaving Technique

Wicker Vs Rattan

Besides, when purchasing plastic rattan material, people are often confused about “wicker” and “rattan” as most sellers will use these two terms interchangeably (See this article for more detailed information). However, they are not the same thing. Wicker refers to a type of weaving technique and rattan refers to a kind of specific material. All the rattan materials can be woven into a finished product by the wicker weaving technique, but not all wicker furniture is made of rattan.

Applications of PE Rattan in the Outdoor Furniture Industry

In recent years, PE rattan material has merged as a popular outdoor furniture material since it has a strong resistance to withstand various harsh outdoor elements. As an ideal choice for outdoor settings, PE rattan is normally used to manufacture outdoor sofas, tables and chairs.

When selecting outdoor furniture for the garden, many people prefer to choose furniture that is made of synthetic rattan. That is because it not only has the appealing and elegant look of natural rattan but also has wonderful durability and practicality, making it suitable and long-lasting for outdoor areas. Moreover, plastic rattan furniture does not need too much care of people and is easy to clean, so people can spend more time enjoying the relaxing outdoor paradise with no pressure.

Plstic rattan furniture in the patio
Plastic Rattan Material in Outdoor Furniture Making

When manufacturing rattan outdoor furniture, a metal frame, such as an aluminium frame, is normally used in the middle to strengthen the stability of the furniture. After that, plastic rattan strips will be weaved around the metal frame manually by labourers in the factory.  When weaving rattan outdoor furniture, machines cannot be used to replace the labour force due to the exquisite weaving craftsmanship. People need to weave PE rattan according to various designs and shapes of the furniture, which demands effort and skills from people. As a result, the aesthetic and elegant plastic rattan outdoor furniture is welcomed by outdoor lovers. 

Synthetic Wicker Panel: A Special Decorative Material

Synthetic wicker panel, also called artificial wicker panel, is another trendy style of plastic rattan that is used in the furniture industry. Just like plastic rattan strips, artificial wicker panel is also made of PE rattan but in a different form. It is weaved in the shape of an integrated sheet of plastic rattan strips. Compared with normal plastic rattan strips, artificial wicker panels are softer and more elastic than rattan strips. As a result, it is more suitable to be used in furniture decoration instead of furniture making.

Compared with synthetic rattan strips, artificial wicker panel is normally woven by machines instead of humans during the production process. However, if you require doing so, LTR can also offer this service for you in order to satisfy your unique needs.

In terms of breathability, a synthetic wicker panel is weaker since it is normally weaved by machines tightly.  By contrast, plastic rattan material that is used for furniture making is more breathable since there are gaps between them.

Synthetic Wicker Panel On the Wall
Synthetic Wicker Panel On the Wall

Applications of Synthetic Wicker Panel

With the diversification and progress of people’s aesthetics, synthetic wicker panels have become one of the most popular decorative materials. It is best to be used in indoor settings since it can add a feeling of nature and calm to the setting. If you pay attention to your surroundings, you might notice that it is commonly used in some houses, restaurants or lounge areas in coastal areas, resorts or places with forest or Bourdonian styles.

For example, synthetic wicker panel is often used to decorate the walls, ceilings and cabinets. When it is used on the walls or ceilings, people normally cover the areas with a large piece of synthetic wicker panel. However, when it is applied on walls or ceilings, some necessary materials such as screws and glues are needed to fix its position and make it stable (View this post for a real case). By doing this carefully and strictly, synthetic wicker panels on the walls or on the ceilings will not fall easily, making it a perfect decoration for your indoor areas.

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Wicker Panel Applications in the Home Project

What is more, small pieces of synthetic wicker panels are often used to decorate the surface of a cabinet. With the aesthetic wicker panel, the cabinet can be a cute and practical decoration in the corner of your room.

Can Plastic Rattan Material Be Left Outside?

Many people are curious about whether plastic rattan material can get wet and can be left outside. The answer is “Yes”. Plastic rattan material can be left outside since it is weather-proof, waterproof and has a strong ability to withstand various weather conditions outdoors. No matter whether you are thinking of buying plastic rattan strips or synthetic wicker panels, they can stay in an outdoor setting for a long time since they can undergo strong wind, storms, UV rays, rain and so on. Furniture that is made of plastic rattan material will not easily break or rot after rain, which is a long-term investment in your garden areas.

However, although plastic rattan material is suitable for outdoor settings, proper care and maintenance can help boost its life span and maintain its aesthetic look. For instance, when the plastic rattan outdoor furniture is left outdoors for a long time without usage, you can try to move it to the storage room or cover it with protective covers. By doing so, your rattan furniture will not suffer from damage caused by prolonged sunlight exposure or rain.

PE Rattan in Outdoor Furniture Applications
PE Rattan Outdoor Furniture Exposed Under Sun

Any Disadvantages of Synthetic Rattan Material?

To be honest, there are no disadvantages to synthetic rattan material since it is a perfect alternative to real rattan. Unlike natural rattan, plastic rattan can live for a long time in outdoor areas due to its strong resistance to harsh outdoor elements. What is more, since it is 100% made of plastic and can be fully recycled after use, it brings no harm to the human’s living environment. Since it is a kind of man-made material, Leisure Touch Rattan, an experienced rattan supplier, can produce plastic rattan in various shapes, sizes and patterns based on your different needs.

In my opinion, the only drawback of synthetic rattan is that it does not look exactly like real rattan since it is made of plastic materials. However, in LTR’s factory, there are lots of advanced machines and technical labourers manufacturing plastic rattan with a highly similar look to natural rattan, offering the best quality to its customers.

Aesthetic Synthetic Rattan Furniture

Enhance Your Living Areas with High-quality Synthetic Rattan Material!

Nowadays, because of people’s increasing preference towards outdoor furniture, plastic rattan material has become popular in the furniture industry. That is because it not only has the aesthetic appeal of natural rattan but is also more durable and has a longer life span in outdoor settings. In this article, we have talked about two different styles of synthetic rattan, which are plastic rattan strips and synthetic wicker panels. I believe that after reading this article, you have already had a clearer understanding towards them.

Although they are made of the same material, they are different in their appearance and applications. Plastic rattan strip is normally used in outdoor furniture making, while synthetic wicker panel is commonly used for decoration. As a furniture manufacturer, you can choose the corresponding style that fits your products. If you would like to seek more options for high-quality synthetic rattan, contact us now!

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