Rattan is a member of the palm family ( the genus clamu). Several hundred species flourish in the rattan plantation of India, Southeast Asia, China and Indonesia. Rattan grows as a long slender stem, similar to a vine, up to 200 meters in length according to the species. Yet it maintains an almost uniform diameter throughout its length. It has an inner core and is not hollow like bamboo.

It is one of nature's strongest materials. The outer portion of the stem is extremely hard and durable, while the inner portion of the stem is softer and somewhat porous and not hollow like bamboo. It will not splinter or break, is extremely resilient and is ideal for the making of furniture.
There is no harvesting season for rattan as it grows year round. Harvesting can be difficult due to the topography and inaccessibility of the jungle. The harvested rattan is cut into 12-15 foot lengths and tied into large bundles to make the journey from the jungle to a processing area.
There the workers remove the bark and cut the lengths into thin strips to be used in cane seats and chair backs. The pithy interior is then cut into reed for use in wickerwork. Because rattan is extremely strong and can be fastened as securely as wood, the entire pole is used to make furniture. This looks like bamboo but is much stronger.

When heated with steam or a blowtorch, rattan becomes very pliable and can be bent into a variety of shapes without cracking.
Finished rattan furniture is as strong as steel and is nearly indestructible. It requires no particular maintenance and is extremely durable. Having been fumigated at the factory, it is also virtually immune against rodents, unlike bamboo which deteriorates relatively quickly.
Even if the condition of the furniture is in disrepair, most items can be restored to their original condition.