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Thatching Materials


There are three main types of thatching materials involved in thatching a roof. All three vary in both look application method and how long they will last. But as an environmentally friendly building solution, thatch offers an aesthetically pleasing alternative to the standard roof tile.

Water Reed

This material is the most widely used Nationwide. It is also known as Norfolk Reed and Continental Water Reed. This material is very hard and has the longest lifespan of all the thatching materials.. New properties are thatched in this material because it offers the most cost effective thatching solution to customers. Water Reed roofs are generally straighter and less rounded looking than the other straw and reed types. It can be applied to look like Wheat Reed.

Wheat Reed

Wheat Reed, Combed Wheat Reed or Wheat Straw. This is a material produced by cutting wheat with a binder, stooking it in the field and then storing it until it is put through a threshing machine to remove the grains. The straw that this left is then bundled ready to be used for thatching. Combed Wheat Straw has been used as a thatching material for decades. It was the bye product from grain production. . Combed Wheat Reed roofs generally have a more rounded appearance than Water Reed. This material has a lifespan of around 25 - 35 years. Most ridges are made of Combed Wheat Reed They generally last 10 - 15 years depending upon the material used and aspect of the property.


This is the same material as Combed Wheat Reed but it is produced differently once it has been brought in from the field. It is made into a bed and drawn into yealms with ears and butt ends mixed. A Longstraw roof is more shaggy in appearance as the straws are put on with both ears and butts of the material facing downwards. Often there are spar patterns around the eaves and barges. It is the most labour intensive material to apply. Not all thatchers are trained in Longstraw so make sure you get references if you are looking for a thatcher to do you longstraw roof. Lifespan expected is 15 - 25 years.

Heather,Turf, Sedge, Rye Straw and Veldt Grass

These (with the exception of the last one) are other more old fashioned thatching materials but despite their less neat appearance can work just as well. Sourcing some of these materials and finding a thatcher with experience in applying them is more difficult.



Fire Retardants

As Fire retardant specialists Master are able to give advice on fire safety and fire retardants for thatch.


SMF Crouch & Co Ltd are registered UK distributors of Magma Firestop® fire retardant spray for thatch, and THATCH-SAFE® flexible insulating fire barrier.


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