Article by Nick Rinylo
Not all rattan furniture is waterproof, so it is best to cover up your sets to protect them from damage on rainy days. Sadly, the sun can’t stick around forever. And with the inevitable rainfall approaching, many of you are probably wondering what to do with your outdoor furniture sets.
Natural rattan furniture should not be left outside when out of use. Natural materials are more prone to damage and deterioration compared to synthetic rattan. When left in the rain, natural rattan will start rotting- or worse- if hit by snow, will begin to split. So be careful where you decide to park your bum after a heavy downpour…
Can you leave rattan furniture in the rain?
The short answer, no. You should not leave furniture prepared from natural rattan out in the rain. Not only will this ruin the quality of your furniture, but it will also ruin the overall aesthetic of your garden. Instead of a Mediterranean paradise, your garden will look like a rundown campsite. This isn’t exactly the aesthetic we’re going for, is it?
Rainfall can creep up on you out of nowhere. And no matter how fast you’re on your feet, no one wants to lug all that furniture inside. Luckily, synthetic rattan made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is not susceptible to rain. This means that you have all-year-round, all-weather items that can be left outside even when you have to unexpectedly take refuge indoors.
For this reason alone, many garden enthusiasts typically opt for pieces woven using synthetic rather than natural fibres. Synthetic rattan is much more durable and can remain in good condition for a decade or more.
Why does synthetic rattan last longer?
Demand for outdoor furniture increased earlier this year with half the nation deciding to spruce up their gardens for summer. Unfortunately, low rattan supply and increased shipping container prices from around £870 to nearly £12,300 led to a shortage of garden decor. Of course, we have no doubt that the lockdown coupled with the popularity of shows like Love Island did not help with demand.
Since, many manufacturers have turned to synthetic rattan. Synthetic rattan is made of man-made plastics, such as PVC, PU and PE, to replace natural ones. High-quality synthetic rattan is typically prepared from high-density polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE rattan is waterproof, weatherproof, strong, has good outdoor durability, and is less likely to be damaged by insect bites.
Come rain or shine, you can leave synthetic rattan in your garden without worrying about the quality significantly worsening. Moreover, at Skyline Design we use Sunbrella fabrics, the world’s leading outdoor performance fabric, which means that our rattan furniture is completely weatherproof. Sunbrella fabrics are designed with a protective layer that dries quickly, allowing you to get back to enjoying your garden. So there’s no need to check the weather forecast every five seconds.
How do I protect my rattan furniture outside?
Not everyone has the garage space to house outdoor furniture, so using waterproof covers is a great alternative. Though you can leave synthetic rattan outside throughout the year, covering it up helps maintain its pristine condition for longer. PVC and other waterproof covers will keep your outdoor furniture dry and your back strong. No one has time for heavy lifting after you’ve spent all day manning the bbq or lunching with friends.
When using covers, make sure that you cover the sets all the way down to the legs. This helps prevent mould or dust gathering. Not only that, but it will also save you wiping down furniture and dusting off dirt or leaves each time guests come over.
How to spot bad rattan furniture
It can be hard to tell whether rattan is good or bad quality- or should we say- which rattan is weatherproof and will last.
No matter how many garden centres you’ve been to or how much of a garden expert you are, rattan is rattan to the naked eye. From afar, sets can all look very similar: a sea of outdoor chairs, stools and daybeds. So, it’s best to take a closer inspection. Here are some signs to look out for when choosing outdoor furniture.
Hand woven vs plastic shells
Some furniture may appear to be hand woven, but in actual fact has a hard plastic shell with grooves to give it an authentic appearance. These items are prone to cracking and are more likely to become damaged when left outside, so you should avoid these items.
Aluminum vs steel
Most outdoor furniture is made using aluminium frames, which do not rust when left out in the snow or rain. However, some furniture is made using steel frames instead. Steel rusts when exposed to outdoor elements like frost and rain. Not only will your furniture look bad, but it will also be unusable. Furniture crafted with steel frames tends to be heavier than those made with aluminum. This is a good indicator of products to avoid.
Looking to turn your garden into a tropical villa that you don’t have to disassemble every time it rains? Look no further than our wide range of weatherproof outdoor furniture. Discover the joys of our rattan furniture and you will never have to worry about the rain again. You can find everything from daybeds and sofas to outdoor stools and dining sets. It’s always best to select rattan furniture that is weatherproof and lasts. You’ll thank us later!