Natural rattan is a great choice of material for children’s furniture. Derived from the vines of the rattan plant, it’s lighter and more sustainable than wood, and more planet-friendly and stylish than plastic. Each of our rattan products is unique and handcrafted by expert artisans. Of course, the trade-off here is that these pieces will require a bit of care in order to stay beautiful. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Protect from the elements
True natural rattan is a fully biodegradable, minimally processed plant material. So, unlike plasticky ‘synthetic rattan’, it's not suitable for the outdoors, being prone to bleaching or cracking from sunlight, and mold or mildew from moisture. If you insist on leaving your piece outside, consider investing in a cover.
2. Clean occasionally
Kept inside, rattan items should stay beautiful for years with only occasional cleaning. Use a vacuum or microfiber cloth to gently dust the surface of your rattan piece weekly or as needed, paying attention to the nooks and crannies.
Depending on your usage, dirt or grime may begin to build up over time, requiring a deeper cleaning every couple months or so. In this case, add a few drops of mild dish soap into a bowl of water and agitate until soap suds appear on the surface. Without getting it too wet, use a washcloth to skim the suds and wipe down the piece. If necessary, use an old toothbrush to scrub hard-to-reach crevices.
To avoid stains, clean any major spills—whether food, drink, or mud—as soon as possible. In case of dried, caked-on solids, add a drop of dish soap directly to a slightly damp cloth or toothbrush and wipe well until freed. Then, wipe again with a fresh, damp cloth, and wipe any excess moisture before allowing to air dry.
3. Condition annually
After months or years, rattan can become dried out and brittle, especially in very dry climates. You may need to recondition your piece every year or so. After routine cleaning and being allowed to fully dry, use a brush or cloth to apply boiled linseed oil generously but evenly. Work from the top down to avoid drips. Once the rattan appears fully saturated, wipe up the excess with a cloth, and allow to dry completely, up to 48 hours.
That's it! With a little maintenance your favorite pieces can be saved as heirlooms.