Repairs To Rattan Furniture Items
It is something of a misnomer to refer to certain types of furniture as "rattan" in that almost all furniture that is woven is made with rattan. The cane used to weave seats is sliced from the skin of the rattan vine. Wicker furniture is often built entirely of rattan formed in different shapes and sizes. Furniture with woven seagrass panels is built with an underlying structure of rattan. So what is being referred to when people speak of rattan furniture? This term is used to refer to furniture items made with the large structural poles of rattan left exposed.
Often people assume rattan furniture to be made from bamboo because of the similarity of appearance and the greater familiarity with bamboo. The difference between these is that bamboo is rigid and hollow, whereas rattan is flexible and is not hollow. Bamboo also retains the glossy outer layer while rattan that is bent has been stripped of the outer glossy layer. You will be unlikely to see any furniture actually made with bamboo.
The poles and structural strands of rattan furniture are usually nailed together and then wrapped with binder cane at the joints. Occasionally entire poles and strands are wrapped with binder cane. The repairs that are most common with rattan furniture are the replacement of broken strands, rewrapping of the windings of binder cane around joints, or for covered rattan, the rewinding sections where the binder cane covering is broken or missing.
This is the typical way the windings around the legs or joints of rattan furniture looks when it has been outdoors and subjected to the effects of sun and weather for a number of years. The finish as well as the skin of the rattan will be damaged and the windings very often pulled away from the brads used to secure its ends. Rewinding the joints is not difficult and recreates the very attractive original appearance of these joints and feet.
You can easily see the loose windings around three of the legs, the cross bars underneath and on the upper right chair back. In the completed photo to the right you can see even more areas which required repairs. In addition we painted some binder cane black to restore the accents on the back and arms of the chair.