What is Weaving Furniture?
“A comfortable house is a great source of happiness”, said English author Sydney Smith. In today’s stress-filled world, all of us need our pocket of comfort to relax and unwind. The comfort we crave does not come from the brick-and-mortar house, but what lies within – the furniture. The main purpose of furniture is to make our lives easier and more comfortable, while providing beauty and warmth to our living or working spaces.
‘Furniture’ is a blanket term that encompasses innumerable forms, designs and types of furniture items. One such type of furniture that probably comes the closest to being perfect for our comfort is – woven furniture. Woven furniture is a category of furniture that includes all furniture pieces that have been constructed by weaving natural or synthetic materials to form a fabric-like structure.
Also known as wicker, weaving is one of the oldest furniture making methods in history, dating as far back as 5000 years ago. Archaeologists exploring the sites of ancient Egyptian civilisation found several pieces of wicker furniture, from baskets and boxes to chests and chairs. The word ‘wicker’ is said to be of Scandinavian origin, derived from ‘vika’ (to bend) and ‘vikker’ (willow). Traditionally, natural materials like reed, cane, rattan, seagrass and bamboo were used to make woven furniture.
The popularity of woven furniture was not restricted to the Pharaohs of Egypt. From Rome to the rest of Europe, and finally reaching America, the demand for wicker furniture soon became a global phenomenon. Though recent years have seen a growing trend in synthetic wicker furniture – using materials like resin or vinyl – historically, rattan was always the most widely used material for woven furniture.
What is Rattan?
If you have travelled to the tropical forests of Asia, especially Malaysia and Philippines, you have probably seen rattan in its natural surroundings. Rattan is a fibrous, climbing, vine-like palm tree, which can grow to lengths of 500 feet! After reaching a certain height, the rattan plant grows back towards the ground and finally along the ground.
There are several varieties of rattan growing around the world – over 500 types! Only a few types, however, are harvested for commercial purposes.
- Cane Rattan – Cane refers to the outer bark of the rattan tree, which is peeled off. Extremely flexible, cane rattan is used for weaving chair backs and seats, and as wrapping material for furniture frames. Since cane does not absorb stains well, most cane rattan furniture pieces retain their natural colour.
- Reed Rattan – Reed rattan is procured from the inner, wood-like portion of the rattan plant. More absorbent and porous than cane rattan, reed rattan can be coloured in various shades to match your décor. Most of the decorative ‘curls’ and ‘swirls’ one can see on the elaborate Victorian-era wicker furniture were made using reed rattan.
- Synthetic Rattan – Also called PE rattan, synthetic rattan is designed to look like natural rattan. Synthetic rattan is made from polyethylene, a light, flexible, synthetic resin. Since it is tougher than natural rattan and can withstand the forces of Nature, PE rattan is usually chosen to make outdoor furniture – like patio or garden furniture.
Types of Weaves
Irrespective of the material being used – natural or synthetic, rattan or bamboo – woven furniture can be created using a variety of weaving styles. The type of weave used could significantly impact the durability, weight and comfort of the furniture.
- Flat Weave – Probably the most popular weave style being used today, the flat weave woven furniture is in great demand by individuals and businesses alike. Flat weave furniture is durable, lightweight, economical and easy maintenance – all the more reason why it is in such great demand.
- Half Round Weave – Offering a huge variety in styles, half round weave furniture not only looks luxurious, but is also extremely comfortable. Though slightly heavier than flat weave, half round weave is equally durable and easy to maintain. Half round weave furniture’s variety – both in colour and design style – makes it a popular choice.
- Rod Weave – Not only is rod weave furniture one of the heaviest categories of woven furniture, it is also one of the most expensive. The added weight makes the rod weave furniture very comfortable and luxurious, while also increasing its longevity.
Woven or wicker furniture has been around for many centuries. What started out as the privilege of the pharaohs of Egypt, soon became the rage in ancient Sumerian civilisations. From there, the popularity of woven furniture spread to Rome and the rest of Europe. A wicker baby cradle introduced America to the benefits of woven furniture.
What makes woven furniture – a style that is still in vogue after thousands of years – so popular?
- Durability – One of the main reasons why wicker furniture is so popular is its ability to last many years. PE rattan furniture, especially, is made to weather the elements of Nature without suffering any damage. When you invest in furniture, would you want to repair or replace it frequently?
- Eco-friendly – In today’s era of environment protection, eco-friendly furniture is in great demand. Rattan is harvested by cutting vines, which grow back quickly. There is minimal impact on the ecology.
- Comfort – Comfort is highly coveted in the mad rush we call life. Even though the comfort provided by woven furniture depends to a large extent on the quality of weaving, style of weaving and design, there is no doubt that woven furniture is one of the cosiest types of furniture available today. Add a cushion or two, and you won’t feel like getting up all day!
- Aesthetic appeal – Woven furniture has a timeless and antique aesthetic appeal, which never goes out of date. It adds warmth and cosiness to the surroundings. Wicker furniture has a sophisticated, yet natural beauty that blends perfectly in both rustic and modern décor.
Woven Furniture Today
These are but some of the reasons for the increasing popularity of woven furniture today. A trend that started 5000 years ago, faded to the background for a few years in the 1970s, has once again taken centre stage and is here to stay. From hotels, resorts, B&Bs and campsites to offices, designer boutiques and supermarkets, woven furniture is in great demand worldwide.
Catering to this demand in the Indian and global furniture market is Suren Space, a leading Indian furniture designer, manufacturer and exporter from Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Suren Space is known worldwide for its exquisite designs and excellent craftsmanship. Not only does the company have a vast collection of all types of furniture, including woven furniture, it also has the skill to make customised furniture. Suren Space’s bespoke furniture is highly sought after in India and abroad.
Woven furniture by Suren Space can be seen in almost all types of establishments – homes and hotels, small shops and supermarkets, fine dine restaurants and micro-breweries, malls and outlet stores. Woven furniture for outdoor use, especially, has seen a marked increase in demand in recent years. According to a recent study, the global outdoor furniture market – the bulk of which is woven furniture – is expected to be valued at over $31 billion by the end of this decade.
Commercial establishments – Décor is a very important part of any commercial establishment, be it a hotel, a restaurant, a bar, a resort, an office, etc. Hotels and dining establishments are often decorated according to various themes. The advantage of Suren Space’s woven furniture is that it can blend into various types of themes, and also become the star attraction!
- Dining Establishments
- White Distress Natural Wood Cane Dining Chair
- Natural Cane White Distress Solid Wood Fine Dine Chair
- Natural Cane Indian Wood Round Arm Dining Chair
- White Distress Solid Wood Natural Cane Dining Chair
- Grey Distress Finish Natural Cane Carved Dining Chair
- Natural Cane Sky Blue Distress Folding Bistro Café Chair
- Natural Cane Distress Finish Upholstered Dining Chair
- Natural Cane Solid Wood Bar Chair
- Natural Finish Indian Rosewood Rope Seating Dining Chair
- Natural Finish Acacia Wood Rope Seating Dining Chair
Personal use – The décor of our homes is an expression of our tastes, our style, our personality. With Suren Space’s impressive collection of woven furniture, there is something to suit every personality, every individuality. Whether it is colour coordinated furniture or theme-based furniture, a particular era’s style or just an eclectic mix of unique furniture pieces, indoor or outdoor furniture, cane, rattan or rope furniture, Suren Space is ready to meet your every demand, satisfy your every whim.
- Indoor Use
- Rope Weaving Solid Wood Designer Chair
- Natural Rattan Cane Balloon Chair in Solid Wood
- Solid Wood Unique Natural Cane Chair
- Old Teak Rattan Cane Cabinet
- Carved Wood Rope Work Indian Style Chair
- Outdoor Use
- Rope Metal Semi Outdoor Chair
- White Rope Work Solid Wood Bench
- Solid Wood Rope Two Shade Rope Bench
- Dual Shade Solid Wood Rope Work Bench
Woven furniture in any style, using any material, made for any purpose, is just as elegant, durable and attractive. Suren Space has ensured that the customer will never lack choice. Which wickerwork are you taking home with you today?