Indonesian Rattan Material

Rattan material refers to natural rattan and natural fiber. Below is glance of rattan material which is usually used for Wisanka’s products:

1. Natural Rattan

Rattan is one of Arecaceae (palm) family. There are so many specieses of rattan in Indonesia – it’s around 300 species. It is known that Indonesia is the main supplier for worldwide’s rattan requirements – it’s around 70% of the total world rattan demand.

Rattan usually grows upward, the trunk has a segment and diameter about 0.3 - 10 cm. Rattan can reach a maximum length up to 100 m. Rattan has thorns that cover the whole trunk. These spines are used as self-defense weapons and also to help rattan grow upward.

Rattan is considered as a very powerful material for handicrafts and furniture. This is caused by rattan’s characteristic that is ductile, springy, and elastic. Thus, rattan are able to withstand a certain pressure – affected by its age when harvested. When rattan rod is already green, means that it’s already old enough to be harvested.

From all of rattan types existing in Indonesia, only several types that are often used in as handicrafts and furniture materials. They are rattan Kubu (grey and yellow), manau, lacak, and slimmit.

2.Water Hyacinth

Water hyacinth, which is also known as Eichhornia crassipes, is a plant that floats in water but sometimes its roots stick into ground. Water hyacinth has no trunk - only has, roots, stalk, leaves, flowers, and fruit. The leaves are pointy at both end and base. The pasrt which is used in the furniture industry is the stalk part.

The habitat of water hyacinth is in wet soil such as swamps and ponds. Water hyacinth grows so fast. Some says that they grow too fast that this plant is referred as a pest. Until oneday it is found that water hyacinth contains a high cellolose – people start to use it as furniture and handicraft material.

How to make water hyacinth as material of furniture and handicraft is by harvesting them. Then leaves and roots of waterhyacinth should be separated, cleaned, and dried under the sun. Dry waterhyacinth will go to next steps - tie to each other to make it lengthwise as a rope. Once reaching a certain length, this waterhyacinth has become furniture’s raw material – it’s ready to be woven to be furniture. In Wisanka, waterhyacinth usually called as WHK and WHL - depends to the raw material bond type.


Sea grass is the only one of marine plants having flowers. Seagrass differs than seaweed. This plant looks like grass growing on land. The part of seagrass used as furniture material is its leaves. The leaves are dried and then tied to each other. This is what is called seegrass as furniture material.

4.Banana Leaf

Banana leaf is a material made of banana. Bananas are plants that grow in the tropics and moist area. The tree consists of roots, underground stem, trunk, leaves (there are midribs in the middle of the leaves), and fruit. This plant can live and bear fruit throughout the year no mater what the season is.

Banana leaf is a natural fiber made from banana leaves. Banana leaves are separated from midrib and then cut into lengthwise. It should be dried under the sun. When it is already dry, they are tied to each other and then twisted. This is called banana leaf. The color is yellowish.

5. Abaca

Just like banana leaf - Abaca is one of natural fiber (furniture material) made of banana. Abaca is made from dried banana tree trunk. And the color will be brownish with black spots.

Related News