Differences between rattan and bamboo


According to the Australian Onya Magazine, rattan is a plant belonging to the palm family that is found primarily in Asia and especially Indonesia. It grows quickly in tropical jungles in the shape of a stem that can be as large as three inches in diameter.

Unlike bamboo, rattan stems have a solid core, making rattan a very durable material. In fact, it is among the strongest of woods.

Natya bookcase

One of rattan’s greatest qualities is that it can easily be shaped into pleasing curved forms using steam and it can also be woven. It retains its shape once cooled, which makes it an ideal material for chairs and arm chairs, for instance.


Looking at bamboo, it’s easy to confuse it with rattan. There are similarities in the colour of the bark and in the knots or nodes. But unlike rattan with its solid core, bamboo is hollow and so cannot be curved. It is cut into strips that are then assembled to form a solid material with a hard, dense and sustainable fibre.

Bamboo belongs to the grass family. It grows abundantly in Asia and it only takes five years for it to reach maturity, which is much faster than a tree. Some species have quite a spectacular growth rate of up to one metre per day.

Since these two materials are natural, sustainable and renewable, they are a sound ecological choice.

Sanju pendant lamp

Natural materials and contemporary design

There’s a sense of nostalgia surrounding the renewed popularity of rattan and bamboo, since these materials were very much in fashion in the 1950s and the 1970s. But they have now been completely reinvented. New rattan and bamboo products have pure, simple, structured lines and a much less decorative look overall than they once did, which makes their design more contemporary, timeless and, above all, versatile. Just like the new collections, Natya and Norah. They can fit with every style of décor. These materials lend the décor character by softening it, adding a retro feel, or introducing a splash of nature.

Bringing nature home

Rattan and bamboo evoke an appealing Bohemian spirit. What was once material associated exclusively with garden furniture now has a place inside the home all year long, lending the interior decor a warm and relaxed feel with a touch of the exotic. The natural and authentic qualities of these two materials create a change of scenery that can whet your sense of wanderlust- get inspired.

rattan cane furniture, rattan chairs dresser mobilia
Norah cane chairs and Natya rattan curio cabinet

The boho-chic trend

Natural materials like wood, rattan and bamboo are part of the trend known as boho-chic. Bohemian decor takes inspiration from nomadic culture, blending colours and materials along with exotic, botanical and vintage elements.

The trend can be integrated into any decor with small touches in the form of accessories such as cushions, lamps, mirrors or wicker baskets which also nicely capture the trend.

Rattan and bamboo can be incorporated in a more prominent way with furniture, such as a coffee table or a head board, or even a bamboo floor! And you can feel confident experimenting with this aesthetically pleasing and ecological trend, since it’s here to stay! Find more ways to add a touch of rattan to your decor

On Mobilia.ca, shop for rattan furniture.

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