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Article: Rattan or wicker: What is the difference?

Rattan or wicker: What is the difference?


  • Origin: Vine that grows in tropical climates around the world, particularly in Asia, Africa and America.
  • Features:
    • Thick, vine-like stems, flexible.
    • Can be separated into thin, narrow stems.
    • The vines can reach several meters in length.
  • Usage:
    • After removing the leaves and bark, the rattan is dyed and woven.
    • Manufactures a variety of furniture: chairs, sofas, coffee tables, decorative baskets.

chaise en rotin avec des tiges épaisses

Rattan has thick stems, like this chair.


  • Origin: Material woven from the stems of tropical plants such as rattan, bamboo, sisal, sugar cane and willow.
  • Features:
    • Thin, flexible stems.
    • Transformed into a wide range of furniture: chairs, sofas, tables, storage containers.
  • Usage:
    • The stems are cut and woven by hand or on a loom.
    • Various weaving patterns: basketwork, checkerboard, plain.
chaise en osier
The wicker of the chair here has thin rods, compared to the rattan in the previous photo, where there are thicker rods.
How to tell the difference:
  • Rattan: Thicker, flexible stems, ideal for a variety of furniture.
  • Wicker: Usually woven into chairs and baskets. Less durable than rattan.

Which one to choose?

  • Durability: Rattan furniture is more resistant to wear than wicker furniture.
  • Cost: Rattan is more expensive to purchase and produce than wicker.
  • Usage: Rattan is often used for indoor furniture while wicker is common for less expensive outdoor furniture.

In summary, the choice between rattan and wicker depends on your budget, the intended use and the desired durability.

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