Wicker Vs Rattan: What’s The Difference And Which One to Choose?

Are you looking for something to decorate your backyard—where you always spend some golden hours with your friends and family in your house? It is time for you to browse some outdoor furniture to fill that space. I believe that when you come to choosing outdoor furniture, rattan products will be your top choice. It perfectly fits an outdoor area such as a patio or garden due to its natural and woven appearance.

However, there must be some confusion while looking at the rattan furniture on the website. At this moment, you might find it difficult to choose products between rattan and wicker since some shops often mix these two concepts or use them as the same thing. However, don’t worry; I will explain the differences between these two things and help you clarify them while making purchases.

1 Outdoor Rattan Furniture
Outdoor Rattan Furniture

Wicker Vs. Rattan: The Major Difference

Most importantly, to clarify rattan and wicker, you have to keep this in mind: Rattan is a kind of natural material that is normally used in furniture making. Wicker, by contrast, is a weaving technique instead of a type of specific material. The following paragraphs will explain more details of these two concepts for you.

2 Wicker Weaving Method
Wicker Weaving Method

The History of Rattan and Wicker Furniture

Rattan originates in warm tropical areas and thrives in Africa, Asia, and Australia. With over 600 diverse species and 13 genera worldwide, rattan closely resembles the texture of bamboo. The history of rattan and wicker furniture can be tracked back to ancient Egypt. People have crafted furniture from rattan materials, weaving a rich tapestry of tradition for centuries. When picturing rattan furniture, it’s easy for you to think of some images of old tradition, evoking a sense of out-of-date. However, in today’s design landscape, rattan and wicker furniture have undergone a remarkable transformation. 

Far from being outdated, these rattan furnishings now emerge as symbols of contemporary style and aesthetic appeal. As a result, rattan and wicker furniture stand as not just pieces of the past but as dynamic and stylish companions, seamlessly blending into the modern setting. The natural look of the products makes them perfectly fit the outdoor environment, creating you a sense of comfort and calm while embracing nature outdoors.

3 Rattan application in ancient Egypt
Rattan application in ancient Egypt

Natural Rattan, Natural Appeal

Talking about rattan materials, you might wonder why some furniture is made of natural rattan while others are made of synthetic rattan. Natural rattan finds popularity in indoor furniture, providing a genuine feel with its original appearance. Those drawn to a native ambiance often opt for sofas and chairs crafted from real rattan. However, due to its inherent nature, real rattan is unsuitable for outdoor furniture. It struggles to endure diverse weather conditions and poses challenges when cleaning. Therefore, some individuals prefer furniture crafted from synthetic rattan, as it can withstand various outdoor conditions while retaining the authentic appearance of natural rattan.

4 Appealing rattan furniture
Appealing rattan furniture

Popular Furniture Material: Synthetic Rattan

Synthetic rattan, also known as PE rattan, is an artificial material that mimics the appearance of natural rattan. It’s typically made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE) and UV stabilizers, making it environmentally friendly and resistant to different weather conditions, making it ideal for coastal or garden areas.

This material comes in various styles, from modern to more traditional designs, and is often used in outdoor dining sets and lounging furniture. The benefits of synthetic rattan include its low maintenance, durability, and non-fading. With all these advantages, you don’t have to worry about the quality when you put PE rattan furniture in your backyard. They are sturdy and do not need any additional care. All you need to do is to use some warm and non-soapy water to wipe it smoothly when cleaning, which is really convenient.

5 Weaving technique
Wicker: a weaving technique

Wicker: A Kind of Weaving Skill, Not A Material

On the other hand, wicker is a traditional crafting skill distinct from a specific material. This is the most confusing point for most customers when they are choosing rattan furniture for outdoor areas. Wicker, as a weaving skill, involves weaving natural fibres like willow, bamboo, or other artificial materials into furniture. It’s known for its intricate patterns and enduring charm. It is essential to note that the wicker furniture that most of the sellers refer to is not limited to natural or PE rattan; it may incorporate a variety of materials that I mentioned here.

Natural Wicker Furniture, A Sense of Pure Elegance

Furniture crafted from natural wicker is famous for its robustness and durability. People with a penchant for nature and indigenous design often opt for it to create a sense of peace in their living spaces. Various plant parts, like cane or rattan stalk cores, or entire plant thicknesses, can be woven into these furnishings. However, it’s crucial to note that natural wicker furniture demands careful maintenance to preserve its condition. This will be a big problem if you are not interested in household chores.

6 Indoor rattan furniture
Indoor rattan furniture

Eco-friendly Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture can also be eco-friendly if they use other synthetic woven materials during the production process, such as reusable PE rattan. In synthetic wicker furniture, such as benches, chairs, stools, and other seating devices, a sturdy frame is typically used to build the shape, and synthetic materials are woven into the frame to fill it. The benefits of wicker furniture include its exquisite craftsmanship, natural beauty, and easy maintenance. It is stronger and more durable than natural wicker furniture and can fit in your garden or patio with no pressure, leveling up the outdoor ambiance of the spaces.

Rattan or Wicker?

After reading the above paragraphs, you might have a clearer understanding of the differences between rattan and wicker. There are no comparisons between these two terms since they are different. Rattan is a specific material that can be used to weave in furniture, while wicker is a type of weaving skill. In other words, when browsing furniture for your home decoration, you need to consider what material you are looking for. Suppose your preference leans towards rattan furniture rather than other alternatives. In that case, you should better ask the seller for detailed specifications since wicker products may not be exclusively crafted from rattan materials.

7 Rattan sofa indoors
Rattan sofa indoors

Natural Rattan or PE Rattan?

During the purchasing step, the environment where you are going to settle down the furniture is also a critical factor. If you are enhancing your garden or patio, opting for PE rattan furniture proves to be a superior choice. LTR’s PE rattan not only mimics the look of real rattan with its natural grains but also boasts a longer lifespan and increased durability compared to its natural counterpart. Its resilience makes it sturdy, resistant to breakage, and capable of withstanding diverse outdoor weather conditions, requiring minimal maintenance on your part. Now, all that’s left for you to do is relish the delightful outdoor moments with these beautiful and comfortable furniture pieces. You can get your free samples or place a bulk order to enjoy LTR’s one-stop solutions, benefiting both you and your valued customers.

By contrast, natural rattan furniture is more suitable for indoor settings, such as your living room or bedroom. It keeps the native look and charm of the rattan itself. The indoor environment is good for the storage of natural rattan furniture since it does not need to undergo different harsh weather conditions. Moreover, as a rattan furniture lover, you might also be interested in some small decorative pieces like rattan baskets or lampshades to add a touch of charm. With these delightful rattan accents and furnishings, you can effortlessly bring the refreshing and natural ambience indoors.

8 sigarten sofa set
sigarten sofa set


In summary, rattan and wicker represent distinct concepts within the furniture industry. Rattan serves as a material for furniture, while wicker denotes a weaving technique rather than a specific substance. Rattan furniture can be made of natural rattan materials or synthetic PE rattan, based on your preferences and needs. However, wicker furniture is not only about rattan; it can also be made of other natural or synthetic fibre. If you’re after a modern, low-maintenance option, synthetic rattan is a great choice. For a more traditional and native look, natural rattan is the way to go. Regardless of your choice, both materials exude a unique charm and durability, elevating the appeal of both your indoor and outdoor living spaces.

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