The Garden Guide

Cane and rattan furniture - review

Landscape and Garden Product Directory

Cane is a traditional material for garden furniture. To sit on, cane is warmer and softer than metal, because it does not conduct body heat. Cane is a natural material for use in a natural setting. Cane has a warm soft colour and bends easily into elegant curves. Another property of cane furniture is its light weight, an advantage when you want to move furniture around and a disadvantage in windy conditions. Cane is used to make chairs, table, benches.

The most serious worry with cane garden furniture concerns its durability. Providing cane is well ventilated, it will in fact last a long time out of doors. Moisture keeps cane supple and prevents cracking. Many people therefore leave cane furniture outside during the summer and place it undercover during the winter months.

Another solution is to treat the cane with a wood preservative. Some cane furniture is pre-treated and sold for outdoor use. Other cane furniture is untreated and intended pimarily for use in conservatories. Paint makes cane attractive but does little for its rot resistence.

The material known as 'cane' in fact comes from two different plants: bamboo and rattan

  • Bamboos is a tall, woody grass. Bamboo is light strong and durable.. A single bamboo clump can produce 15 kilometres of usable cane in the lifetime of the bamboo plant.
  • Rattan is a climbing palm belonging to the genus Calamus. It has long many-jointed stems which are widely used to make 'cane' furniture. Rattan grows wild in forests throughout Southeast Asia. It is mostly harvested by women and children, sustaining the forests in which rattan grows and providing poor people with a source of income.

Pink cane chair

Green cane chair

Cane screen with yellow rose