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Getting your rattan furniture ready for next summer

Traditional rattan is a plant fiber thatís often used to make furniture, including outdoor furniture. The source of rattan is a palm tree thatís native to the tropics. A very well made piece of rattan furniture is esthetically pleasing and durable, and can be stained and painted like any other wood.†

With some care, rattan furniture can last a long time, though rattan furniture for outdoor use is often woven of resin or vinyl, which lasts even longer than the plant material. Here are some tips to get rattan furniture ready for summer use.

Rattan furniture can be a bit tricky to clean thoroughly because of the tightly interwoven texture of the material. Any spills to the furniture should be wiped off right away before they have a chance to harden or stain the fabric. To get rid of dust the furniture should be vacuumed, or at least brushed off.
Deep Clean
To more deeply clean the rattan, the furniture should be scrubbed with a solution of dishwashing detergent and warm water, though the owner should take care not to soak real rattan with too much water, as it can swell, and the fibers can be weakened. The owner might even want to use a hose with its sprayer put on a mist setting and attached to a reservoir that holds the detergent solution.

How to repair
Real rattan or wood should be wiped with a damp cloth. If some fibers of the rattan need to be rewoven, the area should be dampened till the fibers are flexible enough to be repaired. A brad or tack might have to be used to secure the repair.

After cleaning, the furniture should be placed in the sun to dry and shouldn't be sat in or otherwise used until itís completely dry. Using it while itís still damp can distort its shape. Drying in the sun also kills mold or mildew. If mold and mildew do show up, they can be removed with hot water and a bit of bleach applied by a cloth or a brush with soft bristles.

How to prevent future damage
To prevent drying out and splitting, real rattan should also be treated by putting a dab of boiled linseed oil on a clean lint free cloth and rubbing the oil into the furniture. Since the cloth soaked in the oil is flammable, it should be completely rinsed out, then stored in a plastic bag.

During very cold weather, the rattan furniture should be brought inside to a storage area and covered with a cloth that allows air to circulate around itPsychology Articles, and prevents it from drying out.

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Colin McDonald writes on behalf of The Cotswold Company -†Rattan Furniture

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