"Cane Creations..."
Construction World
June 2003
 By: Arati Raja Menon

From the classic to the minimalist, cane furniture provides a range of possibilities, says ARATI RAJAN MENON. Definitions , options, care, perspectives... a cool guide to cane.

Cool, classic yet contemporary cane. Trends comes and go, but cane furniture remain popular. It spans the outdoors effectively and effortlessly ;finding place in gardens and patios as well as impeccably appointed living rooms. Today, one can chose from the old world and the cutting edge. The classic woven-look sofa exist along side minimalist ‘new look’ cane furniture. Apart from the furniture itself, a wide range of accessories like planters, magazine racks, etc., are available.


Cane is durable, strong, cost-effective and easy to maintain says Mumbai based Anjali Sathi, Interior Designer. It thus remain a popular option.
Cane, wicker and rattan furniture is light in weight, aesthetic in appearance and easy to maintain. Says Manju Singh of Vetasa, New Delhi. Therefore it is more practical in our environment which is extremely dusty .as it is lighter in weight, it can be move around easily for cleaning. Founding in 1979, vetasa’s USP has been excellent quality, unusual design and a product hitherto unseen in India. Vetasa’s furniture has been used by top architects like Karan Grover and Romi Khosla and a hostel including The Imperial Hotel, New Delhi; Oberoi resorts in Udaipur , Ranthambore, Jaipur and Agra; The grand place intercontinental Park Royal Nehru Place New Delhi; Hotel Kanishka New Delhi; And Club Mahindra Verca Beach Resort, Goa.
Cane furniture is no longer seen as rustic, outdoor furniture, says Jagdish Jain of Mayur’s Cane Corner, Thane. It is now bought with the living room in mind; it is much more aesthetic. A 14-year old company, Mayur Cane Corner has supplied Cane furniture to prominent residential town ships and project including Swastic Gardens, Thane and Hiranandani Estate, Thane.

Cost-wise, cane is cheaper, says Mahendra Kumar Bhatia, proprietor, India Cane House, Mumbai. Also it is natural material; eco-friendly and long lasting. India Cane House, operational since 1959, has maintain the quality, durability, comfort and aesthetics of it’s products. It has supplied to many corporate companies consulates and hotels like the Taj and the Oberoi.

Creative Options
The design option available with cane are endless. "Cane can be combined with wrought iron and very effectively, " says Sethi."A cane sofa table or a single chaise longue or armchair can provide a great accent to any room." "Cane, wicker and rattan have been used in a vast variety of designs and there is no furniture that can be made from wood that cannot be fashioned from cane, " Singh tells us. "The minimalist look. In fact can be far more effectively interpreted in the cane medium since cane can be design to look airy and convey a feeling of

being light in weight. Often. This look can not come through in other types of furniture, especially wood and fully upholstered furniture which tends to be bulky and heavy. I have combined cane, wicker and rattan with leather, wood sparingly and mild steel".
Thick cane has its own appeal; but one can opt for delicacy too with a light, soft look, it can be customized and tailored to the finish of the room. Cane combines very well with wrought iron ;it soften it .It also looks good with wood. Cane looks beautiful in itself, says Bhatia, but it also combines well with wood and wrought iron.
I do a lot of occasional chairs, says Singh, which are often used by interior designer as single pieces to offset a whole interior. Also, you have sofa sets, bar stools, trunks or chests which are used at the base of beds or as separate accents, wicker baskets and trays, magazine racks, etc .I advice my clients not to use cane dining tables because they tend to become bulky without adequate space for legs underneath .I offer the alternative of metal base with cane or leather accents and a plate glass top which makes them trendy and attractive .I also do head board but advise my clients to have beds of wood and board with an attractive cane head-board to go with it.
I have used cane sheet for the fronts of wardrobes in different finishes, Sethi tells us cane also makes lovely screens that looks rustic; you can add a finished fabric like a tissue to them to give a sense of drama.
Cane does not have to be monochromatic. As Bhatia says, There are natural shades, wooden shades and colors available. However, we recommend natural shades; they can always be painted later if she desired .You can also use wood finishes to match the cane with the rest of your home furniture. Sethi tells us that cane painted black and gold or different colours is a popular design option.
According to Jain, There are a variety of colour finishes available which look better than paint. These finishes are more of a polish through which the natural texture of the cane still be seen. Paint gives a very commercial look and hides the natural texture.

There is a lot of cheap cane available locally at rock bottom rates but the quality and finishing is often suspected. Good quality cane, though it costs a little more, is still highly affordable. A living room ensemble would range from about rs60, 000 , with individual pieces ranging from Rs. 500 to Rs. 10000
However, exclusively does have its price. My prices range from Rs 5000 to Rs 15000 a seats for sofas and occasion’s chairs, Singh tells us, Dinning chairs are from Rs. 3500 to 6500, depending upon the labour and material costs involved. According to her, people tend to feel that cane furniture is cheap but cane raw material has, over the past 10 years, risen in price tenfold, unlike hard wood which has perhaps only double costs are the same as for wood. The additional costs in producing my type of finished furniture lie in the intricacy of manufacturing each piece, adds Singh. This fact is often not understood by some one who just looks at a finished item. Sometimes, an intricate sofa chair takes more than a month to make from start to finish.
Intricate or simple, there is an unmistakable character about cane furniture, a class that has endured and prevailed.
Contact: India Cane House, India House, A.B.Godrej Chowk, Kemps Corner, Mumbai-400036.Tel : 022-23865702.

Mayur’s Cane Corner, I, Brite Building, Agyari Lane, Tembi Naka, Opp, Parsi Agyari, Thane-400601, Tel: 022-5341177, Email :jagdish@mayurscaneindia.com

Ramboo India Pvt. Ltd., Ramboo Galleria, Valecha Chambers, Andheri New Link Road, Andheri (West), Mumbai-400053. Tel:022-6351282, 6351284.Fax :022-6351281. Email: ramboo@vsnl.com

Vetasa, A-31 Friends Colony East, New Delhi-110065.Tel :011-26846302. Email :manjuvetasa@hotmail.com

What’s in a name
Cane and rattan are commonly mistaken to be the same as bamboo. This is not so. Bamboo is hollow from knot to knot and rigid, while cane and rattan are strong , solid and flexible. Cane and rattan are members of the palmae family. There are 600 species found in the rain forests of India. Southeast Asia, China and Indonesia.
Rattan grows by sticking itself to trunks of trees and cane be in lengths up to 600 ft. Its strength when properly cured, has been compared steel. The only Difference between cane and rattan is that cane has thicker poles while rattan is the thinner species, which is normally used for wicker furniture.
The difference between rattan , cane and wicker is more of nuance. People generally tend to use these three terms interchangeably. Technically, rattan is the actual reed or vine, which grows in the continent of Asia. Rattan is used in different ways depending upon its thickness, rigidity and maturity. There are many different varieties of rattan vine which grows into a thickness above one inch is used for making frames of chairs and other pieces of furniture through the application of heart, generally a blow lamp. Thicker rattan is generally referred to as cane. Rattan vine which remains malleable and does not increase in thickness beyond an inch is shredded either by hand or by using a coring machine into thinner sections which are used in ‘wicker work’.
Wicker is a term used for all woven materials in the construction of a piece of a furniture made from rattan. The term wicker comes from technique used in basket making. Varied materials can be used for wicker work, such as thin reeds or vine of rattan, split rattan willow twigs, fine outside skin of the rattan vine , water hyacinth, fibre, banana leaf or even manmade strands from papier mache.
The actual word cane generally refers to the more mature thicker vine which has a tighter tissue arrangement and does not easily spilt .It has a thicker skin. Sometimes it is used in its entirety, without peeling, where the colour of its outer skin is attractive. This thicker stick of cane is normally used for making the frame of a piece of furniture.

Manju Singh

Cane Craft
Cane is a natural renewable resource .The quality of a cane varies considerably according to the surrounding habitat and the prevailing weather conditions. The ultimate quality of furniture varies according to the species of cane used and the processes applied during treating and finishing.
To match the quality requirement, the cane chosen must be strong, durable and of consistent character .Of more than 100 species of rattan palm, only 20 percent of the cane harvested can be used to ensure that quality is maintained.
The environment-friendly label is well deserved. Cane’ growth rate of more than 20 cm. A day makes it easily sustainable. And its removal aids the growth of other forest trees. The process of harvesting and manufacture is labour intensive, offering valued employment in the poorest areas of the world.
The numerous processes involved include chopping, harvesting and gathering from dense jungle areas; striping and removing thorns before transportation to the factory; selection and grading; and debarking and peeling, sanding and plucking, soaking and steaming.
The rattan is now ready to undergo transformation into an item of furniture by applying further handcrafting skills like bending and shaping; weaving; and assembling and binding.
The now recognizable furniture is finished and coloured . Numerous processes can be used like staining or washing; spraying or dipping; and lacquering .The resulting frame of cane furniture will last for many years with only a little care and attention.

Faux Cane
It looks like cane. but isn't Ramboo furniture from Ramboo problem (India) Pvt. Ltd. claims to be an eco friendly substitute to traditional furniture made of cane, wood or wrought iron.
Priced between Rs. 2, 500 and rs.1.5 lakh, Ramboo offer 25 shades to choose from; the furniture is made with the internationally patented Prolen technology, which uses high tech composites to manufacture furniture, which looks like wood and cane but has high performance characteristics. The range includes chairs, tables, sofa sets, dining tables, longer and beds.
M.S.Bhandari, President, ramboo India, says: being rain proof, misuse-proof and termite-proof, Proline furniture is a life time concept with no maintenance and breakage cost.
Especially popular are the tabletops with unique and distinct finishes. There is a plain finish, where actual fabrics of the customer’s choice is covered with a transparent prolen coating. This enables the table to match with other furnishings in the room!

Cane care
  Wipe gently with a moist clean cloth from time to time. About once a month , sponge or fine mist spray the panels with tepid water, protecting the surrounding wood and/ or up hoistery. Remove any excess moisture and allow the panel to dry fully in free air.
  Polish occasionally with a spray of furniture polish.
  Protect from direct harsh sunlight to preserve the colours longer.
  Rotate and turn cushion whenever possible. Plump the cushion to restore shape.
  Keep away from heaters, blowers etc; This will dry out the cane, making it brittle, allowing individual strands to snap easily.
  If any strands break, get them repaired; as each strands goes it puts an added strain on the others.
  New cane work will mellow to a lovely warm brown colour in only a few months and in this natural state will last far longer if it were painted.
  Any localized pressure, like someone often standing on a cane chair or stool, will break the seat. A load that is evenly spread out is quite safe.
  Untreated cane furniture is prone to insect attack or infestation .Pin hole borers will bore through cane and leave a fine powdery sustain on the floor. To prevent this, spray insecticide or use anti-termite spray over the furniture.
  Do not place cane furniture under direct sun and rains as the cane may loss its elasticity and crack.
  Furniture should be dusted regularly with a paintbrush. This will allow you to reach between the grooves .A good alternative is to vacuum with a brush attachment.
  Oil cane once or twice a year, to keep it from drying out and becoming brittle. This is not necessary for the first several years.