I recently picked up this (seen above) fantastic set of patio furniture from a garage sale. I was telling my husband it was advertised as a rattan set, to which he asked how one knows if it is rattan or wicker. For a moment I stared at him blankly. Yes, folks for a brief moment I was speechless. I actually never thought about the difference between wicker and rattan. My next thought was, is there a difference?
I went to the trusty Internet to start my research.
According to wise geek: Here’s where the difference between the two terms lies: rattan is a specific material, but wicker is the general process of weaving this wood or other materials into finished goods. A rattan chair is definitely made from that specific wood, but a wicker chair may use other materials such as straw or bamboo slats around a rattan frame.
I learned that rattan Rattan is considered to be one of the strongest woods available, since its grain grows vertically instead of forming the concentric rings of most other hardwoods. The straight wood is usually steamed and then bent into the desired shape through the use of specialized shapers. Once dried, it will retain its shape forever. These poles are often used to form the frames of what will become rattan or wicker furniture.
So now I know… there is no such material called wicker. Wicker is the process. Now I need to find my hubby so I can fill him in on my new found knowledge.