Project Description


The outdoor furniture which you select for your deck area need to be welcoming, relaxing, and to project an image of elegance and charm


Whether you are eating or relaxing on the deck or patio, rattan furniture looks great. However, how do you select the appropriate design that looks good in your setting and are made to last? Here are 4 pointers from the team at Style Plus | Renovations Auckland:

  1. Natural Rattan Furniture.
  2. Synthetic or Natural Rattan Furniture.
  3. What is the cost?
  4. Choosing Outdoor Furniture.

Natural Rattan Furniture


Rattan is a unique palm plant found in parts of south-east Asia. It is characterised by its slender stems and vine like growing patterns.

As its grain grows vertically, instead of fanning out like most hardwoods, it is considered one of the strongest woods in the world.

To make rattan furniture, the straight wood is steamed, bent into the desired shape, and then dried. When the drying process is completed, it retains its shape permanently.

Outdoor rattan furniture is often referred to as wicker furniture. This causes some confusion, as wicker furniture can be made of other materials besides rattan. Rattan is the material, while wicker is the process used to weave it into the finished product. However, generally the two terms are often used interchangeably.

Rather than the type of rattan used, the aesthetic appeal of rattan furniture is influenced by the design. It is important to keep in mind that the quality of the fibre used and the quality of weaving have a major influence on the overall beauty of the rattan furniture. The higher the quality of rattan and weaving, the more aesthetically pleasing the rattan furniture is.

While virtually all other very tough outdoor furniture materials are heavy, rattan is light weight. This remarkably rare pairing of both strength and almost weightlessness makes it the top choice for people looking for outdoor furniture.

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Synthetic or Natural Rattan Furniture


Rattan garden furniture can either be made from natural rattan, one of over 600 species of tropical palms or from synthetic fibres. As a result, many people have difficulties deciding between the two options.

The reason synthetic rattan is produced is that natural rattan furniture does not always stand up particularly well to the climate of New Zealand and can be affected by mould if it becomes wet too often. Synthetic rattan is usually resistant to the elements and more suitable for outdoor use in New Zealand.

Rattan effect garden furniture is often made from poly-rattan, plastic, polythene or a polyethylene alternative which is designed to look identical to natural rattan. The up side to synthetic rattan furniture is that it is more resistant to the New Zealand weather conditions.

Synthetic rattan is lighter and stronger than natural rattan, extremely flexible, and can be woven into an infinite range of shapes. Some types of polyethylene weave are also resistant to ultraviolet light so they will not fade.

It is generally agreed that natural materials reflect a special sense of warmth that simply is not there in man made materials no matter how much they resemble the original. When it comes to rattan, it is hard to tell the difference between natural and synthetic version. Additionally, there is no difference between natural and synthetic rattan when it comes to comfort.

If you do prefer natural rattan you can make it more weatherproof by applying a coat of water sealant or lacquer.

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With regards to cost, there is no major difference between natural and synthetic rattan outdoor furniture of comparable quality. However, quality does have a price. In contrary to cheap versions, quality garden furniture is actually built to last, not to mention that it looks more beautiful.

OceanWeave supply quality outdoor rattan furniture. OceanWeave use only the highest quality synthetic weaving materials from a German company “Rehau”. OceanWeave furniture is made using heavy duty 1.6mm – 2mm thick rust free aluminium framing that is engineered for heavy commercial use. Most outdoor furniture uses only 1mm – 1.2mm thick aluminium.

Rehau “RAUCORD” weaving material is tested to withstand 50,000 continuous cycles of load on a woven chair and is also tested under load at freezing -10°C temperatures right up to a scorching 50°C all without damage to the weaving.

OceanWeave also use a good quality outdoor fabrics from “Sunbrella” who are the market leaders for outdoor fabrics that are durable and colourfast. Sunbrella fabric is available in a wide range of stunning colours, stripes and patterns which are backed up by Sunbrella’s 5 year warranty.

For example the Paris modular synthetic outdoor rattan furniture range provides a system that can be added at a later date to make the set larger. Brackets can be mounted on the underside of the furniture to lock the modules together:

• For a Paris lounge chair (W1150 X D950 X H720mm) the cost is $1,590.

• For a Paris corner | end module (W950 X D950 X H720mm) the cost is $1,590.

• For a Paris middle module (W750 X D950 X H720mm) the cost is $1,290.


Just like interior furniture, comfortable outdoor furniture will be used regularly as opposed to uninviting outdoor furniture, which may look good but not so good on comfort. We recommend that you always check the comfort of any set before you buy.

Two additional things you should consider before you purchase your rattan furniture set:

• The size of your family, and likely number of guests you will be entertaining.

• The available outdoor area so that it does not look overcrowded and there isn’t space for items such as BBQ’s and enough space for people who prefer to stand.

Tip: There is the old saying that “you get what you pay for”. Shop with care, checking consumer reports and reviews before making your rattan furniture set purchase.

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