At Wisteria we have a deep love and connection to the world of Rattan.

First discovered buried with pharaohs in ancient Egypt, wicker is an ancient craft that uses raw materials originally developed for basket weaving. Later, the Romans were inspired by Egyptian woven furniture, and adopted wicker as their own technique, spreading the style across their empire.

In more recent times Rattan and Wicker furniture is an original American craftsman tradition dating from early in the 19th century. In the 1840’s Cyrus Wakefield started the first rattan furniture company in South Reading, Massachusetts.

Rattan is fast growing, strong and flexible making it perfect for weaving beautiful patterns yet strong enough to support like a traditional timber frame.

There are over 600 varieties of this ancient climbing plant but it is not to be confused with its hollow cousin Bamboo which is strong but cannot be bent.

Rattan although fast growing is difficult to grow commercially and many plantations are still deep in the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia. This makes it dangerous and difficult to harvest driving the price of quality rattan quite high. At Wisteria we work with small makers and weavers who ethically source their rattan and employ traditional techniques in heat bending, skinning and hand staining.

Although grown in the great wild outdoors rattan furniture is best suited to indoor use in covered areas. Once skinned and stained it doesn’t like rain and should be treated like precious timber furniture.

We hope that you love and appreciate these beautiful pieces as much as we do. 

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