Behind the Scenes: Making Rattan Furniture

Rattan Koboo Plantation

Stylish Furniture with an Ethical Background

As consumers, we are becoming more aware of where goods come from, how they are made, from what and by whom. We want to be confident that we are not only getting a great deal on a great product but that the people who have either made it, or have been part of the process, are paid a fair wage in their country.

The days of consumers relentlessly pursuing bargains at all costs are on the wane. And they are expecting that retailers, suppliers, manufacturers and all others who are part of this chain also act in an ethical way.

As a retailer, we also want to be part of an ethical manufacturing and supply chain, which is why we take our responsibility to people and the environment seriously.

Products with Stories

There are many products made from a mix of materials sourced from within the UK and far beyond its borders. These products are either manufactured or are natural materials; either way, they need to be sourced in a way that is ethical, both for people and the country from which they come.

rattan chairs with small table

At Modish Living, we work with a range of independent suppliers and producers in the UK, as well as partners across the globe.

We get to know our suppliers. We want to understand their story, the process behind how products that we will eventually sell are created as well as how the material is grown or made, and who makes them.

This means that every piece you buy from us, including rattan furniture, has a personal story attached to it and you know that it has been made not only to a high standard, but in a safe environment for workers too.

This means that every piece is unique. It means that someone has woven or made the item with love, passion and care. Isn’t that so much better than a flat-pack, machine-made piece of furniture?

What is Rattan?

Rattan plantation at Koboo

Rattan is a common material used in the production of furniture. It is often described as wicker furniture.

Rattan comes from a climbing palm, Calamus. It is incredibly fast-growing, shooting up by 36 inches (or nearly a metre a day!) making rattan an abundant and renewable material.

The exterior layer is processed as cane, but it is the pithy interior of the plant that is what we know as rattan. It is cut into canes, of various lengths, which are then used to create items of furniture.

Our Rattan Furniture Range

Rattan is a material used to create different kinds of furniture, from stylish lounging chairs to occasional tables and foot stools.

The rattan used in our furniture is sourced from the Rattan Koboo plantation, in Kalimantan on the tropical, green paradise island of Borneo. In fact, 90% of the rattan used in our furniture range comes from this plantation.

And we source it from here because it is grown with love and care, not only for the product itself so we have the best quality rattan, but for the local environment and population too.Rattan Harvesting and Soaking process

Rattan is a plant and is harvested in Kalimantan, where it is processed and made ready to be used in creating beautiful pieces of furniture.

At this stage, it is transported to Cirebon, a port city in northern West Java, in Indonesia. Here the rattan undergoes the soaking process. It is submerged in ponds for three to four weeks so that it turns from its natural colour into a more greyish toned product.weaving and smell test process of making rattan furniture

This soaking process is also a form of cleaning, with the water teeming with ‘good’ insects that rid the rattan of mud and other debris.

Once soaked, the rattan is now ready to be handwoven, creating unique pieces that adorn many homes across the world. In the UK, we favour rattan chairs, sofas, day loungers, foot stools and occasional tables but in other countries, rattan beds, dining chairs and storage solutions are not uncommon.weaving and packing process

Why Choose Rattan Furniture?

As well as being an abundant, sustainable and renewable material, there are other benefits to choosing rattan furniture;


Rattan furniture is lightweight, can be easily moved from one place to another. The way in which it is woven also creates an incredibly strong structure that withstands all kinds of use.


Rattan also lasts a long time. This is because of not only its strength as a material, but also in the way that it is processed and used in making furniture. By combining and ‘knotting’ the canes together, the strength of the material is increased, making it incredibly durable and robust.


There is something classic about the look and appeal of rattan furniture. It comes in a range of colours, mainly browns, blacks, white, tan and in recent years, olive green too. Not matter what style of interior design you have in your home, rattan furniture fits perfectly.

Quality with Ethics

As a consumer, you want high quality items which is why all the rattan furniture pieces in our range are quality checked at various stages in the construction process. Canes are checked before use; they are checked after the pool and cleaning stage, as well as during the creation of furniture items. And finally, the item itself is checked for quality.

We offer a wide range of items, perfect for your home but better still, you know that as a retailer, we support local industries and crafts peoples, as well as ethically sourcing materials and companies across the globe.

Making of rattan furniture -quality with ethics