Rattan Fiber is a type of material that is used in wicker weaves. Rattan is a naturally growing vine-like species that is native to tropical regions of Australia, Asia, and Africa. For production use, the skin is peeled away and utilized for weaving purposes. Rattan has been used for furniture because it is lightweight, durable, flexible, and attractive.
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Chemical Properties of Rattan Fiber
Generally, rattan stem consists of holoselulosa (71 – 76%), cellulose (39 – 58%), lignin (18 – 27%) and longa (0,54 – 8%) as well as starch (18 – 23%). Chemical contents of 16 rattan species shown in Table 5. Cellulose and lignin contents correlate significantly with rattan strength.
Uses of Rattan
Because it is light, durable, and relatively flexible, rattan is used for a range of purposes:
- Food: The inner core as well as the shoot of some of the rattan species is edible.
- Furniture: Furniture is the main end product of rattan.
- Shelter: Rattan is an approved material for house building in rural areas.
- Handicraft: Handicraft, besides furniture, provides the main income of the rattan industry.
The skin of rattan strands is peeled off and used for weaving, while the “core” of the rattan can be used for various purposes in furniture making (wicker).
Some rattan fruits exude a red resin called dragon’s blood. This resin was once considered to have medicinal properties and was also used as a dye for violins.
In 2010, scientists pioneered a new “wood to bone” process for the production of artificial bone made of rattan.
Physical and Mechanical Properties of Rattan
Physical and mechanical properties is the most important properties of rattan. The physical properties of rattan are closely related to its specific gravity. The higher the specific gravity, the greater the content of ligno-cellulosic substances resulting in the thicker fiber wall, thereby increasing the strength of rattan (Brown et al, 1952). Mechanical properties of certain material are associated with its ability to resist force or external load, and for woody or ligno-cellulosic fibrous materials, affected by thickness of fibre wall (Haygreen and Bowyer, 1982 in Subekti, 1995).