sempak. Furniture. February 17th , 2017.
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Is Rattan Furniture Eco-Friendly? Rattan garden furniture is perhaps the most popular decorative item for gardens, patios and outdoor areas across the western world. The material’s sturdy, weather-resistant nature and low maintenance requirements, make it a perennial favourite among home-owners; as a result, both natural and synthetic rattan garden furniture are common sights in homes the world over.
Natural Materials: Natural fibres have traditionally been some of the most popular and widespread among the different materials for outdoor furniture, and that is a trend which continues to this day. As popular as synthetic fibres have become in recent years, there is still a certain charm to natural materials which causes many home-owners to choose them over their man-made counterparts – even despite the significantly higher degree of care and maintenance they require.
The good news is, as far as naturally sourced materials are concerned, rattan is one of the safest from an environmental standpoint. While the palm tree the material is derived from is geographically limited in location, rattan itself is easily renewable, and the impact its sourcing has in the environment can be considered negligible.
Wood veneers can be difficult to match. It is possible to buy new veneer strips, but they are generally thinner than the old hand-sawn veneers and do not always match in colour. It often pays to go to an auction to look for a broken oddment of furniture that has suitable veneers. To remove a veneer from its backing, first clean off any old polish with white spirit and carefully clean the varnish or wax. Place a damp cloth over the cleaned strip and press with a fairly hot iron. Keep the cloth damp. This melts the Scotch glue holding down the veneer, which can then be peeled off. The same technique is used to raise small areas on the antique piece, but use a soldering iron instead of an iron. Wipe all traces of glue while it is still warm. Dampen the veneer and flatten it between two pieces of wood for about 24 hours before use. Do not let it dry completely, for veneers must be re-laid while still damp and pliable. The replacement veneer should be slightly thicker than the existing one, to allow for sanding. Stick the new strip down with Scotch glue and apply a weight or clamp until the glue has completely set. Wax and polish to match the existing finish.
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