How to maintain rattan furniture

Sika Design, rattan lounger
Photo: Sika-Design

We’re glad to see a familiar favourite – rattan furniture – in the limelight again. Being a natural material, the vine is used to make furniture because of its great strength and durability.

However, always keep rattan pieces away from strong sunlight and rain, as these elements can weaken its fibres, says Colin Banning of Dreamweave &
Other Stories. His shop carries Danish brand Sika-Design, which specialises in rattan furniture. Humidity is fine though, as rattan grows in this climate.

To keep rattan pieces in tip-top condition, Colin advises brushing them now and then
to keep them free from dust
and mildew, which can cause the fibre to decay. Then, wipe them down with a soft cloth dampened with soap suds made with dishwashing liquid (to avoid over-wetting the rattan). Use a toothbrush to get into the cracks and crevices.

Always distribute weight evenly on the seat; never kneel
 or step on the seat as the concentrated weight will exert unnecessary pressure on the strands, says Colin. Spills should be taken care of immediately before they harden or stain, by wiping with a sponge wrung from sudsy water. If you spot mould or mildew growing on your rattan furniture, simply clean with warm soapy water. Then, rinse well and dry it outdoors.

To restore dry, cracked, or split rattan, apply boiled linseed oil with a brush. When the furniture won’t absorb any more oil, wipe it clean with a soft cloth. Allow it to dry or harden before using the furniture piece.