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Rattan to make furniture

Rattan is the natural forest products. Rattan plants live by wrapped and twist on the other tall trees to grow and get the sunlight. Rattan is a kind of tree with long rod which is strong, flexible, and unique. Rattan rods can then be cut, slashed, and woven to make many pattern. While the rattan rod can be bended, curved to make frame in any form. The rattan tree is a vine plant that lives by climbing the big trees in the forest. The rattan plantation is good way to preserve the forest, because by taking the cane only and leaving the big trees mean the maintaining to the forest. The rattan that is harvested from the forest must pass a series of processes to become the finished products that can be used for human life. Here are the process of the rattan to become the furniture.

rattan furniture

The processing to produce semi-finished rattan.
This process starts from the harvesting of rattan from the forest. Rattan is cut cleaned from its leaf to make a long wet rod. The rattan need to be dried before can be used to supply the rattan industries. There are several ways to cultivate the rattan.  The first is by frying the rattan in the special mixed oil. The frying can make the dry rattan quickly to prevent fungal and insect attacks. Frying the rattan also helps to make more even color and cleaning the wax coating that sticks at rattan skin.  After being fried the rattan rod need to be washed and cleaned from its oil and sap. Then it is needed to be dried to a until reach a standard moisture content (about 10%).
Freshly cut rattan also can immediately be immersed in a insect repellent solution and then dried. The drying with the oven is recommended, since the drying can be faster and better controlled. The naturally drying will require longer time and have high risk for fungal attack.

Cutting and slicing the rattan.

The dry rattan then is sent to furniture, handicraft factory to be processed to make many products. Rattan can be cut to make rod in the required size, peeled or sliced ​​to produce woven in any pattern. The rattan rod is used as framework or leg, while the woven are used as panel, wall or accent a wall for the furniture.
The outer shell is usually separated and has higher value because he is stronger, flexible and has the clear and bright appearance. The rattan rod with the skin is also have higher price then the rattan peel. The rattan peel have rough surface because of its fibers and have rather dull appearance.
In the furniture factories the rattan sticks can be cut and shaped with the any size and certain forms to make components. Rattan can be heated with the steam and bended or curved to make any form. The rattan sticks then are assembled with rattan wicker and other components to make furniture. Rattan can be combined with wood or metal to make furniture.

 steamer to process the rattan

Sanding process to the rattan.
The unfinished rattan need to be cleaned from its dirt. The peeled rattan will contain many fibres at its surface. The fibers can be cut by sanding process or burning. The controlled fire can be directed to the rattan to burn the rattan fibers. The sanding is required clean the fibers that still left at the rattan surface. The sanding is also needed to the rattan skin to clean the residue of the rattan wax that may still attached at the surface.

burning the rattan to clean up the fibers

Finishing to the rattan.
The finishing for rattan principally is the same as finishing to the wood. The materials used are the same materials that are used for finishing the wood products. But finishing for the rattan products should be more accentuate to the unique shape of the rattan, either its bended rod or its woven pattern.
We need to difference the rattan into two parts, the skin part and the peeled part. The rattan skin is very dense material, it have very little absorption to the finishing materials. Rattan skin is also containing of   wax that can interfere the adhesion of finishing materials to the rattan surface. Some finishing materials suppliers provide a special material to handle the rattan skin. The finish layer for the rattan skin cannot be too thick since it higher the risk of adhesion problem
While the peeled rattan tend to have a rough surface. It has lot of fibers that will raise and stiff when it is layered with finishing material. It is also has high absorption to the finishing material. The more coating layer and more sanding process are needed to make the smooth finish surface.

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