Lately, we’ve noticed a number of features proclaiming “Rattan Making A Comeback!”

We beg to differ, it never went away…

This Vintage Rattan Furniture Suite, featured in a Designer is Showhouse, customized with C.K. Bradley fabric is now a Swift Morris Lucky Find!

This Vintage Rattan Furniture Suite, is customized with C.K. Bradley fabric. (Side tables, temple jars, vases and Khilim rug also available at Swift Morris Lucky Finds!)

What do Moses, Victorians and Burt Reynolds all have in common? Throughout the ages millions have favored rattan furnishings, from babies to swinging bachelors… it is not just antique it’s ancient!

For centuries, wicker furniture has been treasured for its many unique qualities including, strength, beauty and adaptability. More than 5000 years ago Egyptians made vessels woven of rattan, evidenced by many examples found at archeological sites.

According to the Bible (Exodus 2:3) Moses was set adrift in a wicker basket made of reedy plants found along the Nile River. Rattan has also been used for a more recent infant conveyance, the baby pram. (Example from the Lightner Museum collection.)

Wicker? Rattan? What’s the Difference? Wicker describes the method of weaving fibers into an object. Rattan is the stem of a tropical tree that is related to the palm. The flexibility of rattan allowed artisans to manipulate it into the complex patterns that the Victorians favored.Antiques, Love To Know

Reportedly, rattan fist made its way to America onboard the Mayflower, and was commonly used as packing material around ships cargo. In 1840, young American Cyrus Wakefield observed it being cast off of ships in Boston Harbor and recognized its’ potential as a raw material for furniture manufacturing. Initially, items were made only for indoor use before slowly moving outdoors, first as baby prams.

Germophobic Victorians favored rattan over upholstered furniture for it's ease of cleaning. Edwardians continued the tradition as seen here at Downton Abbey's garden party.

Germophobic Victorians favored rattan because it was seen as a clean alternative to upholstered furniture. Edwardians continued the tradition, moving the furniture outdoors, seen at Downton Abbey’s garden party.

Fast forward to the Swinging Seventies (1970s), rattan furniture captured the laid back, pop-culture vibe of the times…

The swinging 70’s saw another modern resurgence in popularity of rattan furniture. At left Burt Reynolds magazine cover, at right, Swing Chair featured in Designer Showhouse, now available at Swift Morris Lucky Finds!

At left, Burt Reynolds “hanging out” in a 70s swing chair.  At right, we featured this contemporary swing chair in a recent Designer Showhouse, it is now available at Swift Morris Lucky Finds!

Because of its ease and durability, rattan is often associated with mundane outdoor furniture or clichéd island-theme interiors. But when designers impart their special touch on the everyday wood material, rattan furniture can be the next new statement piece in your home.– Architectural Digest

Today we love rattan for its exotic, yet inviting look which compliments any number of design styles from coastal to classic. It is extremely durable and adds natural texture and beauty to both indoor and outdoor settings. The photos below show a number of vintage and newer pieces we combined at a recent Designer Showhouse. Most are now available at one-time-only prices in our Lucky Finds Shop.

President John F. Kennedy chose his famously prized rocking chair, fitted with a seat and back of woven rattan, for its comfort. These swivel rockers with custom C.K. Bradley fabric are now available for your comfort in our Lucky Finds shop!

In this setting, we mixed rattan cocktail and side tables with a contemporary custom sectional to add texture that results in a warm inviting look. (Shop for these items at our one-of-a-kind Lucky Finds shop!)

Rattan is an extremely durable, surprisingly strong, comfortable, timeless chameleon of design that will add an inviting feel to any space.

Shop our Lucky Finds collection and treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind treasure today!

Information Sources: Architectural Digest, Antiques, Love to Know, How Stuff Works.