Material Comparison

Choosing the right product

When choosing your garden or indoor furniture, it is important to select the right material for your needs. There are a number of different materials used for both indoor and outdoor furniture, and you will see the following terms used to describe the products across our website. Different materials however have different suitability for their use, whether indoor or outdoor, as some materials are natural and some synthetic.

Synthetic Rattan

For BOTH outdoor and indoor use Synthetic rattan is a fantastic garden product. It can be left outside 365 days a year, it is easy to clean, and needs no maintenance. It is made of an extruded resin with an added UV filter to make it waterproof, weatherproof and sunproof. Made of aluminium, the frames used for all our synthetic rattan garden furniture are also rustproof. It is the perfect product for patios, gardens and poolsides, and can be enjoyed all year round. All of our rattan garden furniture has a 8mm tight rattan weave for strength and durability. Rattan dining sets also look stunning in conservatories and dining rooms as an alternative to traditional indoor dining suites, especially as they won't fade or crack under sunlight.

Natural Rattan

NOT suitable for outdoor use Natural rattan is an extremely durable, natural material which can withstand extreme heat without splitting or drying out. This makes it ideal for conservatories and other indoor use. However, it is not weatherproof and should not be used out of doors. Our natural rattan furniture tends to be slightly smaller than the water hyacinth/wicker furniture and is ideal for smaller spaces.

Water Hyacinth

NOT suitable for outdoor use Water Hyacinth has been described as the new successor to traditional rattan. It is a natural, untreated material which is very strong and durable. It can withstand extreme heat and is perfect for conservatories, sun rooms and other indoor uses. As with rattan, however, it is not weatherproof and should not be used outside. Throughout our website, we often describe our water hyacinth items as 'Wicker Furniture.' For more details about Water Hyacinth, click here.

Kubu Rattan

Kubu rattan is another species of Rattan that grows abundantly and wild in the lush Indonesian forests of Kalimantan, Sumatra and many other areas. It is white to beige in actual dried state and is further processed to be either used as weaving materials or as wicker core. Kubu rattan can be naturally stained to reach a grey colour known as Kubu grey.


Traditional cane wicker is often used for trunks and baskets, and also some indoor conservatory furniture. However it is not weatherproof and should not be used for outdoor products. Confusingly, outdoor rattan is often termed 'wicker' due to the look and feel of the weave used. When referring to outdoor furniture, 'wicker' is not the traditional wicker cane that springs to mind. Wicker in this instance simply refers to the wicker-style weave of the synthetic rattan.

'Wicker' is a word which is widely used to mean almost any type of woven furniture. It can refer to cane, rattan, water hyacinth, or almost any material at all. On our website, we use the word 'wicker' to describe many items and they are usually made of woven Natural Rattan, Synthetic Rattan or Water Hyacinth. At Wovenhill, we specialise in all weather wicker furniture. Our use of the word 'rattan' refers to synthetic rattan as used in all rattan garden furniture. The use of the word 'wicker' also refers to the same material and is the leading material used for garden furniture.

It is important not to confuse wicker garden furniture with wicker conservatory furniture as it will not be designed for use outdoors. Cane wicker furniture for conservatories will perish when faced with the elements; whereas synthetic all weather rattan will last year after year.

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