Wicker, jute, rush, what’s that. Rattan, man.Design
Most everyone knows wicker furniture.
I mean, it’s what you usually reach for when you need furnishings for your screened porch.
Yet we are seeing an EXPLOSION of textiles beyond wicker theses days.
Jute, rattan, and rush are a few of the durable fibers used today. The look of these clean, modern pieces aren’t anything like those wicker pieces your grandmother sat on, on her porch, sipping ice tea in the summer. Forget the porch, every room needs texture and these fibers are a great way to introduce texture, from a basket, stool, even lighting.
Let us introduce you to a few of these lovely fibers.
Rattan is harvested from the solid core of a Southeast Asian climbing palm. It is steamed and molded to create stunning shapes. For instance, this stylish daybed below is showing up in many bohemian interiors today. It is versatile, functional (guest bed or summer daydreaming), and oh so chic.
Cane is found in Indonesia. It is harvested without harming the tree and comes from the outer skin of rattan silk. Did you know that caned furniture is one of the most ancient techniques of furniture manufacturing? Used in Tibet, Peru, and Egypt for thousands of years. The British Colonial look has a classic summer appeal.
Is a fine light cloth that resembles linen. Grasscloth is woven from the fibers of the inner bark of the ramie plant, woven and backed with rice paper which makes it a perfect wallcovering. No two pieces of grasscloth are alike. Grasscloth is beautiful and delicate.
Rush is green in its natural state. It takes up to one year to change into the golden tone. Rush is made of dried cattails. Don’t they look awesome in perhaps the most instagrammed bar stool?
Water hyacinth is essentially a weed and yet big business in the Philippines. They weave this ‘weed’ into beautiful baskets, furnishings, and handicrafts.
We love raffia…we use it to put a bow on our gifts to beautiful furniture, raffia is a sustainable fiber that we get from the raphia palm tree which grows in the tropical wet soil of Madagascar, Africa, and the Philippines.
Jute & Sisal
We commonly know jute and sisal as great natural fibers for rugs. Jute is grown in the Indian subcontinents of Bengal and Bangladesh. Sisal is a natural fiber from the agave plant. Sisal (agave) was originally grown in Mexico although today it is grown in other parts of the world. The biggest differences between the two is that sisal is more durable, and jute is smoother.
Have you seen these baskets? The baskets are called Iringa baskets. The Hehe people of Tanzania make them from the reed-like fibers of the milulu grass. Many of the designs are symbolic and tell a story.
We learned a lot from this post. These fibers are awesome to incorporate into every space, and we’ve loved working with these fibers. However, now we have an appreciation for the work, craftsmanship and their overall sustainability.