The name “Papasan chair” is a corruption of the Tagaytay city area in the Philippines. The chair comes from the traditional rattan and wicker chairs that are woven into the tapestry-like seat cover. While most rattan is made up of one continuous piece, wicker allows for many separate pieces to be woven together into the perfect covering. In the Philippines, these chairs are called papasan cushions because of this wicker look they have. It seems that the name is chosen to honor the place where these chairs were first made.
The papasan cushion is made from rattan leaves, which is why the name rattan. They are sometimes made with resin or fiber fill, but most often they are made from natural rattan stems/trunks. The stems are twisted together to form the desired pattern – sometimes these can be real thick and sturdy, while others tend to be more winkle-deflecting. It is up to you to decide what kind of design you want in your papasan cushion.
These cushions often come in two pieces, making them a great addition to a room accentuated by other traditional Filipino touches such as baskets, plant containers and ceramics. In fact, the addition of this cushion to any home in the Philippines is sure to go over well with both the tourists and the locals alike – especially since it goes so well with traditional Filipino foods such as leis. Traditional papasan chairs are also sometimes called bowl-shaped chairs, especially when they have floral decorations on the seat cover.
Papasan chair cushions can be used indoors or outdoors; however the real life proof is when people use them for outdoor sitting cushions. The unique design of rattan chair cushions makes them excellent for sitting in the sun on a patio or by a pool. The bright colors of the rattan coverings come in many vivid tones, making it easy to match with most existing outdoor furniture in your home. It is even possible to find colors that will blend perfectly with other materials used in your home.
Because these chairs have a thick waffle cover, they are extremely comfortable to sit on. Sitting on them gives one a very authentic feeling of dining outdoors. This is because a papasan cushion usually has a very thick cushion with a flat center and small side rims.
This makes the chair extremely comfortable to rest upon, as one does not sink into the cushions when seated on them. It is for this reason that people choose to use this type of chair cushion when they want to eat outdoors, relax in their backyard or lounge in front of their swimming pool.
In addition to being extremely comfortable, the rattan and wicker covers of these chairs make them look extremely attractive. The colorful designs and shades of yellow, red, blue and green are especially eye catching, especially combined with other outdoor furniture pieces. The papasan seat covers of the 18th century were often decorated with decorative patterns. Today, they still exude an aura of fun and whimsy. The wide array of colors and designs available ensures that any interior decorator can easily find a color and design that match the rest of the furniture in the home.