Thatch Materials

Three main types of thatching materials…

Dorset Thatcher

Thatching Materials

All Thatchers have differing views concerning materials and are heavily influenced by the parts of the country they are working in and the traditions that have been handed down to them.

Combed Wheat Reed

Is a form of straw, which rather than being ‘threshed’ to remove the grain, is combed. This process keeps the stem of the straw stiffer and produces a crisp finish to the eye.

The base coat tends to be between 4-12” thick, depending on the roof, and is why you sometimes see thatch which multiple layers. Unless the structure of the roof needs strengthening or completely re-building, we do not remove all the thatch.

With roofs thatched with Combed Wheat Reed, the roof is completely enclosed with wire netting, to keep vermin out of the thatch.

Water Reed

Is not grown specifically for thatching and is an indigenous weed that is managed and cropped for thatching and some other purposes. Water reed is normally harvested after one year’s growth, during late December through to late March.

Continued cutting after this time results in cutting the tillers of the following year’s growth. The majority of cutters now use machines to harvest their reed.

The reed then requires cleaning and sizing into bundles later in the year. For ease of handling most commercially grown reed is banded into large bales of 80-100. It is important that the reed is tied, baled dry and kept dry.

Long Straw

Easily recognisable with long lengths of straw visible on the surface and gives the general appearance of having been “poured on” in contrast to the closely cropped look of combed wheat reed and water reed thatch.

Long straw also has exterior hazel rodding at eaves and gables, a feature seldom seen on the reed types. Long straw requires more preparation on the ground before applying. Many roofs, thatched in long straw, are known to have lasted up to 50 years (most commonly 25 years).

In most instances, re-thatching in long straw will not involve the complete removal of all the old thatch. It is normal practice to fasten long straw to the existing coat of thatch. The existing thatch is stripped back to a sound base; all loose areas and decayed material should be retightened and replaced as necessary.

Our Services

  • Re-thatching
  • Ridging
  • Repairs and Patching
  • Finishing

Friendly and professional service

Call us on 07780 704 419 or alternatively email your enquiry

All aspects of Thatching work undertaken

From thatch roof installations and repairs to maintenance and surveys, Mike Howes handle all aspects of thatching work. Whether you want to fix your thatched roof or re-thatch it, you can count on my skill, expertise and dedication to the craft.

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Please feel free to contact us whatever your idea or requirement might be.

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