The structure of rattan is comparable to that of a bundle of tubes. The rattan palm can transport water up to 160 meters through its long capillaries. out for space takes advantage of this natural property for its one-of-a-kind, patented technology. When the capillaries are injected with various bulking agents,
rattan is transformed from a
limited-use wood into an innovative wood-based material of
The new material, karuun, is firmer, harder, weather-resistant and even has a new character-
istic coloration. karuun presents an alternative to other more
expensive materials, with applications in multiple areas.
karuun® color –
Aside from the structural enhancements, the new treatment technology also gives karuun the advantage in terms of appearance and maintenance. The characteristic coloration of karuun color runs throughout the profile of the material and creates a whole new aesthetic. The impregnation of the material through capillary injections allows karuun color to be used as a base material for various semi-finished products such as wicker, veneer or boards.
Surface imperfections can simply be sanded away and through the integration of oils and waxes in the dye it is possible to both finish and protect the surface in the same production step.
out for space’s process treats the material from the surface through to its core.
karuun color exists in three base materials.
karuun proof is the first natural rattan material with a long term weather resistance.
karuun solid enables new formal scopes of design
karuun® solid –
of Rattan and
With its improved material properties karuun solid is comparable with bentwood. A clear advantage of processing raw rattan is its high elasticity and bendability. These properties allow rattan to be shaped with very little force or energy. For manufacturing
rattan’s elasticity is a disadvantage because of the effect it has on the strength and stiffness of the material. For example, the extra struts needed to increase the structural stability of a chair made of rattan detract from its aesthetic
out for space solves this problem by treating karuun solid with compostable bulking agents. In this way the natural flexibility and elasticity of rattan is
retained while at the same time lending
rattan the strength of
a hard wood. karuun
solid therefore creates new possibilities not only for furniture design.
karuun® proof –
Upgrading Rattan to
This great step forward against weathering makes karuun appealing for outdoor use. Rattan is by nature not suited to outdoor use due to its poor weathering, leading the way for a dominance of plastic in the domain of outdoor furnishing. However, the hydrophobic bulking agent in karuun proof greatly improves the weathering of rattan so it can be used outside. The bulking agent fills the pores of the rattan
wood, turning what would otherwise be a breeding ground for mold and moisture into the backbone of the material. Outdoor furniture made from karuun proof could last just as long as other outdoor accessories made
from tropical woods, without the ecological consequences of the deforestation of our rainforests.
Future Prospects –
A Bright and Successful
Path Lies Ahead
The material improvements lent to rattan
by refinement are comparable to those of
processed bamboo. Bamboo has become an important wood-working material and is now used in areas in which it was previously deemed unsuitable.
karuun has the same potential to become relevant as a new and innovative natural wood material. With continued material
research, the development of manufacturing processes and a
degree of creativity, karuun has a bright and successful future ahead of it.
It is also of great importance to out for space that rattan once again becomes a steady source of
income for the native populations of the areas where it is produced. Long-term reforestation projects along with environmental
initiatives not only
contribute to rattan production but will also lead to a sustainable future.
out for space is looking forward to cooperation with partners who wish to support the further development of karuun as a valuable, intelligent and futuristic
material. If we’ve awoken your interest please contact us via
email or facebook.
kc is the first collection by out
for space made from the new material, karuun color. The
collection features five products, all of which center around the unique properties of this new material.
The collection’s design is characterized by a clear and reduced language of form as
well as the unusual use of rattan as wooden boards. Products from the kc collection are therefore not only easily distinguishable from traditional rattan products, but debuting the use of karuun color, also represent an innovation in product design.
out for space is an interdisciplinary team of engineers and designers who share the vision of combining research with aesthetics to create a whole new way of developing and producing products.
Passionate about heading outdoors out for space is (re)dis-
covering natural materials, using them to create innovation and sustainability.
Profile – the Rediscovery
At the heart of the design process is the material. Inspired by nature and traditional manufacturing techniques out for space develops innovative production processes and products that are good not only for consumers but also for the environment. out for space sets the bar high for quality and creativity, from the very first steps of production right through to the final in the belief that in today’s world transparency and sustainability should be a matter of course. Just as important as the joy of developing and shaping a new creation is the social responsibility that comes with it!
out for space first took the stage with the rediscovery of natural rattan. Rattan is a type of palm native mainly to tropical areas in Africa, Asia and Latin America, which provide an ideal warm and humid climate.
Through visits to Indonesia, out for space became aware of this neglected material
and soon developed a vision for reanimating its use.
In Asia rattan is traditionally used as a material for furniture and is the foundation for many pieces. With the advent of materials such as polyrattan, however, natural rattan has sadly lost some of its former popularity and significance. Especially in Europe, the properties, production processes and potential sustainability of the material are almost forgotten today.
For out for space, however, rattan is a source of unlimited potential and far more uses than formerly imagined.
In cooperation with
the Innovation Center Lichtenfels and the
University of Applied Sciences Coburg, out for space has developed a patented refining process that lends rattan a characteristic new coloration and resolves the significant technical disadvantages of raw unprocessed rattan.
out for space first premiered material samples at the imm cologne 2014 and was afterwards invited by the Indonesian Ministry of Industry to the world rattan production center in Cirebon as well as to the Indonesian Rattan Innovation Center, PIRNas, in Palu.
Using the knowledge picked up in Indonesia, out for space was then able to develop a machine that enables the refinement of rattan in serial production, adapted to the local and regional conditions.
The name of this processed material is karuun, it opens up the use of rattan in previously inconceivable ways. karuun carries the promise of a
new, environmentally-friendly material for high quality products.
out for space’s sponsors include the Federal German Government, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as well as the European Social Fund.
out for space combines research with aesthetics.
In Indonesia the processing of rattan has a long tradition.
The processing technique allows the injection of various bulking agents.
During a visit to Indonesia out for space got an insight into rattan cultivation.
Rattan – a Proven
Material with a Long
Qualities – Benefits
and Drawbacks of
an Almost Forgotten
Rattan or Rotan (ind.-malay) grows almost exclusively in rainforests and 80 % of global rattan production is in Indonesia. The most important genus is native to Africa and Asia and is called Calamus. With 374 different species, Calamus is the most diverse palm.
It is widely unknown that certain species of rattan grow to a diameter of 100 millimeters and can reach a total length of 160 meters, making it one of the longest plants on the planet! Thin rattan called peddig is traditionally used for wickerwork and thicker rods are used for furniture frames.
The wood of the rattan palm is unique in its internal structure. Unlike other woods, the capillaries of rattan are long single tubes which travel the length of the entire plant and supply it with water. Due to this, rattan is very elastic when made wet and even more so when exposed to heat or steam. This makes further processing efficient and gives rattan advantageous properties such as its light weight, elasticity and high bendability.
On the other hand, it isn’t possible to treat the surface of unprocessed rattan with conventional methods because the orthosilicic acid in its skin prevents adhesion.
If the outer layer is removed, surface treatment such as painting and dyeing is possible, but even then the color will fade with time and there is only limited protection against weathering and usage.
This is due to the material’s large pores, which make it susceptible to moisture and mold. The elastic and supple wood lent to rattan by its porosity also limits its field of application. Even stronger rattan rods with diameters of over 30 millimeters, used as chair legs for example, need extra struts to give them additional stability.
Rattan grows very quickly and has significant advantages over other types of wood. For example, rattan naturally forms a symbiotic relationship with its neighboring plants in the rainforest, such as the centuries old Meranti Tree. The rainforest is essential for rattan: this means that cultivating rattan would promote rainforest preservation or even reforestation as opposed to the expansion of monocultures into the rainforest. Purchasing rattan products indirectly contributes to the health and preservation our world’s rainforests.
The raw material rattan has to be dried before it can be further proacessed.
After drying, rattan is processed into different semi-finished products.
Peeled rattan in particular can be applied universally.
The skin of the rattan can be used for wickerwork.
With its spikes rattan climbs up trees.
Supported by EXIST Business Start-Up Grant
and SIGNO – protection of ideas for commercial use
Support programs of the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy
, co-financed by the European Social Fund
In collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences Biberach
Information in accordance with section 5 TMG.
out for space GmbH
+49 7563 913 8401 T
+49 7563 913 8402 F
Julian Reuter and
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