Rat what? Rattan, according to Wikipedia, is the name for approximately 600 species of palm native to the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australasia.
For those of you not in the loop, rattan is best known for its use in furniture – both indoor but predominantly outdoor. The leaves of rattan can be weaved and intertwined to create beautiful furniture. The stem of rattan can be cut and used as wood in furniture and the inner part used as wicker. Rattan is strong, lightweight (depending on its width and thickness), flexible, and durable. The effect in the hands of an expert is beautiful. Rattan also is conducive to being stained and painted so it is available in many different colors.
Rattan has become very popular due to its natural look and durability, yet it does have some drawbacks. Although it is durable, leave processed rattan in the outdoors for too long and it will start to degrade. Also, due to its popularity and diminishing supply due to over exploitation it is not exactly cheap. However, you can have your cake and eat it as well.
Keter has created a line of furniture with the look of rattan yet manufactured from resin. Available in a range of colors, the patented Trenza™ technology gives the look of rattan with the strength and resilience of molded resin - the best of both worlds.
The quality and look is superb and so is the price.
Rattan is also used in the manufacture of planters, baskets, and other works of art.
THE ECONOMICS OF RATTAN
What does rattan have to do with the price of milk or the state of the economy?
Well the price of milk and rattan has no connection to the best of my knowledge but if you are from Indonesia and more specifically Sumbawa, Sulawesi, or Borneo it may have a strong effect on your economy. You see, rattan is used predominantly in the manufacture of furniture.
Since rattan grows so quickly it is sustainable and economic as it is quite easy to harvest and transport. Consequently, loggers would rather harvest rattan than timber.
Rattan is a fantastic natural product but it seems as though man and technology have managed to “out-nature” nature with synthetic products that imitate the look of rattan but without its limitations. I guess imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery after all.