There are three types of thatching materials available. Which is the best? Thatchers have differing views heavily influenced by the parts of the country they are working in and the traditions that have been handed down to them. Controversy reigns, especially when fuelled with a pint of cider. Or two.
Combed Wheat Reed - the most commonly used material in the West Country where the roofs are less steeply pitched. Wheat is dressed and knocked into a more compact shape typified by the curvaceous Devon and Somerset chocolate box cottage
Water Reed also known as Norfolk Reed. This is not an agricultural by-product but a true reed. It also produces a precise shape. Laying Water Reed requires a different technique and you will find a thatcher with many years of experience of working with water reed on this site.
Long Straw - goes through a threshing process which leaves it malleable. Hence the ‘poured on’ look typical of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk houses, whose steeply pitched roofs are ideally suited to long straw.