Dec 10, 2009

The Wicker and Cane Confusion...

People tend to use rattan, cane and wicker interchangeably. Here is a quick bite on what is what.

Rattan gets it name from the Malay name - ROTAN. Rattan, though a palm, grows like a vine and creeps on the ground and on vegetation.
 Image source:
Image source:
Where as bamboo can support itself and grows tall wiht leaves on the top
Image source: Flickr

Unlike bamboo, which is hollow from with in, rattan grows as a solid stem.  Rattan is so strong that it can crack a hard wood stick into two. Most martial art forms make use of rattan sticks.

Image source:


Image source:
Rattan doesn't crack or split when exposed to elements /extreme conditions. While bamboo is cylindrical and hollow, and tends to split with exposure to temperature changes and humidity. Just in case you plan to buy whole bamboo stalk furniture and accessories, follow this simple rule "The larger the diameter,  weaker the stem ". The most common use for bamboo stalks - fencing and outdoor/indoor decor.

Cane is the name given to a rattan stem which can be processed, steamed and bent to make furniture pieces.

Cane strips are rattan peels used to bind cane furniture pieces and also for caning.

Patterns generally used in caning


A beautifully canned wooden chair
It interesting to note that there is no material called Wicker! The method of weaving, bamboo, grass, rattan or any other fiber into furniture and accessories is called wicker.

Off late, we come across all weather wicker furniture. It just means that plastic/resin yarn has been woven into furniture pieces. I intend write more about rattan and bamboo and their uses in furnishing in my future posts. I bought a pair of cane and jute accent lamps recently and am using them on the night stand. Herez a picture of one of them...Isn't it lovely!


  1. Hi Sudha, your research is flawless! Iam going to feature this post in my site. I want Kaleidoscope readers to visit your blog and read this.

  2. Hi Preeti

    Thanks a ton for the gesture...I am more than glad to share it with your readers....:)

  3. Very interesting. I never knew the difference.

  4. hey Dana

    :)..many i spoke to dint know the difference so i decided to do the post


Thank you for your comment. You made my day!

adding pinterest script 3. Changing the Position of the Pin it! button The cool thing about this code is that you have some freedom over where the Pinterest button for Blogger will go over the image. Take a look at the code that you just copied and pasted into the HTML for the word 'center'.