How to Identify Rattan Furniture: A Beginner's Guide by Alexander Francis

How to Identify Rattan Furniture: A Beginner's Guide by Alexander Francis

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As the summer season approaches, many of us are eager to spruce up our outdoor spaces and enjoy the warm weather. Rattan furniture is a popular choice, known for its durability, timeless charm, and natural appeal. However, with various options available in the market, it can be challenging to determine if your garden furniture is genuine rattan or an imitation. In this beginner-friendly guide, Alexander Francis will help you identify rattan furniture with confidence.


natural rattan furniture on sunny terrace


Visual Appearance

Genuine rattan furniture has a unique look that distinguishes it from other materials. Rattan is derived from palm-like plants, giving it a natural texture. Look for a woven pattern that resembles thin strips, with slight variations in colour and thickness. Genuine rattan often features intricate weaves and a warm, earthy tone, adding elegance to your outdoor space.

Texture and Flexibility

One characteristic of rattan furniture is its natural texture and flexibility. Run your hand gently over the surface to feel the smooth, slightly rough texture of genuine rattan. It should feel organic and pleasing to the touch. Rattan is known for its flexibility, providing comfortable seating with a slight bounce when pressure is applied.

Weight and Sturdiness

Rattan furniture is lightweight yet sturdy. When lifting a piece of furniture, you should notice its lightness compared to other options. However, don't mistake lightweight for fragility. Genuine rattan is strong and resilient, capable of withstanding different weather conditions. It's a durable investment for your garden.

Milano Rattan Outdoor Sofa Set

Natural Variations

Being a natural material, rattan can exhibit subtle variations in colour and texture. These variations enhance its charm and authenticity. Look for slight variations in hue, as they indicate genuine rattan. Imitations often have a more uniform appearance.

Smell and Sound

While not fool proof, rattan furniture may have a mild, pleasant earthy smell due to its organic origin. This can be a clue to its authenticity. Additionally, tapping on rattan furniture should produce a hollow sound, like tapping on wood. Other materials may sound more solid and plastic-like.


Choosing rattan furniture for your garden adds natural beauty and elegance to your outdoor space. By considering the visual appearance, texture, weight, flexibility, natural variations, smell, and sound, you can confidently identify genuine rattan furniture. Remember, investing in high-quality rattan furniture ensures years of enjoyment and creates a welcoming oasis in your garden.

If you’re looking for genuine rattan outdoor furniture, we have multiple collections to fill that void in your garden. Our Milano, Verona & Tosca sets all offer a unique aesthetic to your outdoor space, along with incredible comfort and durability. As we enter the more ‘social’ months of the year, the Verona Large Outdoor Sofa Dining Set acts a classy centrepiece, providing its own mini hub for friends and family to enjoy each other’s company. Whether it’s sunset dining or moonlight parties there’s plenty of memories to be made with Verona.

Verona Large Grey Rattan Outdoor Sofa Dining Set - £3350 (more info here)

Verona Rattan Outdoor Dining Sofa Set