Thatching is an ancient craft found in various forms around the world. European thatch dates back to the middle ages when the first small, permanent villages were established. The creation of villages brought with it the need for readily available, inexpensive, and durable building materials. One of these materials was thatch.
In America, early settlers used thatch as far back as 1565 and Native Americans used it for generations before that. When the first settlers arrived in Jamestown in 1607 they found Powhatan Indians living in thatched dwellings. The settlers used the same type of thatch on their own buildings, and this method of roofing was used commonly into the 18th century.
Various types of vegetation can be used as thatch. Reed and straw are two common choices, but in any case the material has to be gathered, dried, bundled, and secured to a framework on top of a building in thick, overlain layers. A skilled, professional thatcher can create a visually appealing roof that is easy to repair, highly effective as an insulator, and resistant to rain, snow, wind, and vermin. Click here to find out more in our "About Thatching" section.
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