Brandi Campos. Furniture. November 14th , 2017.
Of these, resin-based synthetic rattan is of course the most popular, as well as the most widespread across public consciousness; however, unlike what many home-owners might think, not every rattan garden furniture item is made of the same type of synthetic polymer. Much to the contrary, rattan items on the market can be made out of any one of four types of resin: polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC or nylon.
In fact, rather than harm the environment, rattan can be considered to benefit it, insofar as it is used as a replacement for wood wicker in many furniture items. This, in turn, helps preserve forests, as it reduces the need to source wood from trees, preventing deforestation and logging. Furthermore, this plant is often grown in floodplains, thereby facilitating the appearance of animal populations in said areas and making use of soil which would, otherwise, go unused. Finally, rattan harvesting and sourcing helps provide jobs for inhabitants of the areas of the world the material is commonly found at, thus helping maintain a sustainable economy.
The oversize pieces work well in large open settings. You can easily imagine over-sized sofas and chairs in a hotel lobby, but they can just as easily be used in a very large living room. Choosing pieces that work well in your environment is really a matter of taste. Picking items that fit nicely into your home or business setting may take a bit of browsing, but finding items that make you feel good, and that look good in your space, is really what it's all about.
It is clear, then, that when it comes to the sustainability of natural rattan garden furniture, home-owners have even less cause for concern than they would with items made from the synthetic variant.
Finding suitable replacement materials for inlay and boulle antiques is an even greater problem. They tend to use more complex and varied materials. Antique and second-hand shops often have boxes containing suitable oddments and it is worth searching through them to find matching pieces. As a last resort, missing pieces of inlay can be built up with synthetic resins or wax, coloured to match. If boulle has lifted seriously or is bent, leave the repair to an expert restorer; but if the lifting is only slight, carefully remove the section and scrape clean all the dirt. Stick with an epoxy resin adhesive and weight it down until the glue has dried.
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