How Gardening Science Is Affecting Modern Garden Furniture UK

Garden Furniture

We at have always believed in developing new methods and researching new implications of modern outdoor and gardening technologies (even in biology!).

That being said, this week we decided to look into the development of outdoor furniture over the last 100 years, particularly looking at the progression of rattan, as it have moved from a natural product into a new man made material.

About Rattan

About rattan furniture

Rattan describes the woven furniture that is threaded around a solid frame to create a forgiving, comfortable seat. It can be formed into chairs, armchairs, rattan sofa sets, corner sofas, dining sets, and loungers. However there is some confusion, as there are two different meaning to the word rattan furniture which you may need to be aware of.

What is traditional rattan furniture?

Traditional or natural rattan, is the classic furniture of the 80’s and 90’s that creaks when you sit on it, and is mainly used indoor. It isn’t suitable for outdoor use because it degrades, due to the material being natural. It tends to fade over time, and may need oiling to prevent cracks from appearing.

What is modern rattan?

Modern rattan furniture (or synthetic wicker) is a man made material, aiming to use the same style as the traditional rattan furniture, but allowing it to be used outdoors due to the greater longevity. It still has a range of qualities though, with some being made from a hard shell, whilst others are hand woven to ensure a natural webbed give in the seats.

How the Introduction of weatherproof rattan changed things

Whilst the early modern rattan furniture wasn’t completely without flaws, the new weatherproof variety has fixed this with a focus on better quality materials. They use UV stabilization in the production process, to ensure that the suns UV rays do not damage the material, and prevent fading or rotting. An aluminium frame is also uses to prevent rusting in the snow or ice of winter, and also makes it lightweight enough to carry around the garden with ease.

Here is a video for more information on this:

We also found this product to be quite a good example of the quality involved:


Here are some more resources for you to read up on gardening science and garden furniture development:

You can read another useful post we did about spring time here.


Malcolm Lowe

Researcher at Independent
I'm a gardening researcher specialising in ecosystem science, where we look for future technologies to help stop climate change and other negative factors affecting wildlife.

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