Why Rattan Furniture Will Always Have a Place in All Our Homes — 7 Good Reasons from Us at SCENE SHANG


1. Every room needs a bit of soul

Handcrafted with an angular polygon seating our JIA JU Rocking Stool, the brass hexagon inset represents the six senses, including emotion, while the rattan within harks back to childhood nostalgia.

Express yourself and tell your story through meaningful statement pieces that double as beautiful conversation starters. It’s an easy choice with rattan furniture. The nostalgic material instantly brings back memories and is entirely handcrafted using techniques passed down through generations.

Style it in singularity as an eye-catching accent chair or to complete a seating area. The iconic, Art Deco curves and double wicker inset make THE BOTANIST Cane Chair an unforgettable beauty. (Bottom image credit: EightyTwo)

Some silhouettes instantly bring up childhood memories - THE BOTANIST Cane Chair. Even just a sliver of the material can bring forth a feeling of familiarity - The wicker hexagon on the JIA JU Rocking Stool.

2. Preserving rattan craft is preserving our heritage

Inspired by the black and white bungalow houses of Seletar, the DUKE Collection features black lacquer rattan, natural wicker, fluted glass and brass details. Enjoy the breezy, tropical vibes as you sip on a nightcap from the charming DUKE Bar Cart.

It is a pride of Southeast Asia. When one thinks of rattan, one most likely thinks of Indonesia, where 70% of the world’s rattan comes from. Rattan is a significant part of Singapore’s story. Not only was rattan furniture in every Singaporean household in the 1970s, Singapore was at one point Southeast Asia’s rattan furniture production centre. Until the late 1980s, Singapore was probably the biggest exporter of rattan furniture.

3. Rattan furniture is a labour of love

Our rattan crafters in Surabaya, Indonesia work the curve of our designs back and forth till the furniture pieces feel comfortable to rest on.

A lot of time and effort goes into the craft of rattan. Rattan is harvested manually and the furniture remains mostly made by hand. Each artisan has to undergo at least two to three years of training under a master craftsman before being able to make his/her own furniture. Handcrafted by artisans, every finished product has a unique individuality.

4. There is a community of rattan artisans in Singapore

Other than SCENE SHANG, there is a community of designers and makers who are passionate about rattan furniture.

Goh Kiok Seng, founder of Hak Sheng & Co which started in 1969, is believed to be Singapore’s last rattan weaver.

Chun Mee Lee Rattan Furniture was founded in 1948. The current owner, Chen Foon Kee, has been practising his craft for more than 50 years since the age of 12 and earned the trust from clients to repair their sentimental, antique heirlooms.

With renewed interest and appreciation for rattan craft, Ng Si Ying is one of Singapore’s new artisans on the rattan scene. She explores rattan as an artistic medium, introducing a new aesthetic to the traditional rattan weaving. You can find out more about her work on her instagram @atinymaker.

5. Rattan craft is ever-evolving

Smooth on one side, grooved on the other. Run your hands under the arms of THE MAVERICK Cane Chair and THE GENTLEMAN Cane Chair to feel the grooves of rattan core fused together.

We’re always finding new and better ways to work with rattan, re-imagining the craft so that it suits the contemporary style. One innovation that SCENE SHANG has taken on is fusing rattan core together to form a plank. This sustainable technique produces a beautiful look that requires less material and produces less waste than creating a plank from wood.

6. Beautiful, comfortable and sustainable

Rattan is a species of climbing vine that grows in the tropical rainforests, native to Southeast Asia.

Its climbing nature and fast growth makes rattan a sustainable material. Because it needs to grow on other trees, rattan-producers are inclined to preserve and regenerate forests. And unlike other trees which can take decades to reach maturity, the renewable plant only takes about five to seven years to be ready for harvest.

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7. The perfect medium for modern heirlooms

Have an al fresco brunch with the ART DECO Cane Trays or use it to organise fresh produce in the kitchen.

Rattan’s natural golden colour and earthy texture brings a subtle tropical touch of nature and understated beauty. Long lasting and easy to maintain, it is also indoor and outdoor friendly. Light and comfy rattan furniture creates a feeling of softness that every room can benefit from. Enhance any space with small pieces such as baskets, drum stools, ladders, or large furniture such as armchairs, screens, coffee tables.

Its versatility allows the material to fit in different home decor styles throughout the years. From Victorian and Colonial, Tropical and Bohemian, to Scandi, Japandi and Contemporary, the timeless appeal of rattan will continue to stay in trend.

How do you use rattan in your home? Share with us!
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