Thatching with Straw – Straw

Thatching with Straw – Straw

The other widely-spread and used roofing material of rural architecture is straw, specifically rye straw. Fortunately, some ancient types of rye that avoided gene-manipulation have survived until today. They can grow as high as 2 metres, and have very tough, hard stems. In the past these plants were widely available due to grain production. Thatching with straw in Hungary had several versions which were different from each other in terms of the materials used and technologies applied. The straw of the grain could be used in broken form (pressed and threshed by machine) or without breaking, i.e. by means of manual threshing. The simplest way of thatching by broken straw was the nationwide applied method when the bundled straw was turned to the roof structure in a way that it reached a thickness of 0.8 – 1 metre. Nowadays, this method is used only in open-air village museums where the aim is to preserve old traditions for future generations. Manually threshed thatching straw is used even today for roofing, since, just like with reeds, durable roof structures can be made of it. This method used to have different versions in each county. The most wide-spread version is when the straw is woven to the stave in double sheaves.

 

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