Roof Thatching - An Introduction
Roof thatching is the process of covering a roof frame with vegetation. The materials used vary widely throughout the world. They are a vernacular choice and include vegetation such as straw, water reed, seaweed, sedge, rushes, heather, palm fronds, and more. Now selected, the material is built up in layers. The layers being placed then overlapped from the eaves, up unto the ridge. This, once complete, sheds rainfall down the surface of the vegetation, then onto the ground.
The skill of the roof thatcher comes with training, experience, and a willingness to learn. Choosing the right design, materials and tools are part of the roof thatchers craft. Local knowledge is good too, although it can be a double edged sword. At times it is the right thing. Other times it just may mean lack of wider experience. many have heard the saying, ’30 years experience, or 1 years experience 30 times’.
Thatching a roof is a necessity in some parts of the world where other sources of roofing materials are either unavailable, or just not affordable. A thatched roof on a mud-walled hut, or on a cottage, is wonderfully iconic. It is Rural. Rustic. Simple. Beautiful
In other parts of the world, where it had gone out of fashion, thatch as a roofing material has been re-embraced and adapted to suit modern structures. Roofs and walls of buildings are now being thatched in countries such as The Netherlands. The revival is real, and welcome.
Thatched roofs are beautiful. They vary in colour, style, shape, materials, beauty and many other things but, they all have one thing in common. Uniqueness.
A thatched roof always stands out from the crowd. A thatched roof is always like no other roof.
To ensure the survival of thatch roof buildings there needs to be passionate people, skilled people, and others that are prepared to support the thatch owners and thatch businesses. You can play your part. Get involved in the conversation on the Thatching Forum.
Stay in a thatched holiday cottage, or hotel. Visit a thatched pub, thatched cafe, or a thatched restaurant. Take photos of thatched roofs and share them online. Encourage others to do the same. Many thatched buildings are hundreds of years old. Let us all do a little to help.
View Galleries of images thatched buildings and thatch cottages.