Water Reed (Also Known As Norfolk Reed)

Water Rereed3ed (Phragmites Australis) is the most durable roof thatching material. It is grown in reed beds and harvested in Autumn. At StrawMaster we only source the highest possible quality of reed, straw and ridge materials. We work closely with the National Society, to share best practice and ensure we remain at the forefront of new roof thatching techniques.

Long Straw

Long Straw is a winter wheat straw that has not been combed (its name refers to a style of roof thatching rather than a material achieved by any singular process, although generally for the last 90 years long straw thatching has used the processed straw from the threshing drum). It has the shortest life expectancy of the three commonly used materials. And unless stipulated by a local authority, we do not recommend the use of this material in our region. We feel the alternatives give better durability and appearance.


Combed Wheat Reed (Also Known As Devon Reed)

Combed Wheat Reed is winter wheat straw that has had the leaf removed and is laid in a similar
Way to water reed. With modem farming methods tall strong straw has become less readily available. The developments in the cultivation of Devon reed has made this a preferred material for many people that require a straw Thatch.

Other roofing materials include Flax, Heather, Broom, Sods, Marram Grass etc



Water reed, the most durable common thatch, can last up to 50 years. Maintenance will include re-ridging every ten to fifteen years. Combed wheat reed can have a life expectancy of twenty five to thirty five years. Long straw can last between fifteen to twenty five years. As with water reed both these materials will require re-ridging at ten to fifteen year intervals. These life expectancy figures can drop noticeably the further west the thatched property is situated. This appears to be due to climatic conditions. The warm, high humidity, clean air conditions experienced in the West Country are ideal for the microbes that begin the decomposition process.