Longstraw is the same material as Combed Wheat Reed (CWR), harvested in the same manner as that used for producing CWR only the processing after reaping and binding differs. ie. The straw is fed directly in to a thrashing drum where the ears and butts become mixed.
Longstraw has the same rounded look as with CWR but can be distinguished by the use of an exposed Ligger or Cross Sparring running around the eave line. The roofs tend to have a flush ridge and at a close view you can see the mixed ears and butts. Life expectancy of between Fifteen to Twenty Five years.
Combed Wheat Reed
Combed Wheat Reed is also known as Devon Reed and it has a life expectancy of Twenty to Thirty years.
CWR has a more rounded look or the ‘Hovis Loaf’ look because of the build up of thatched layers.
The eaves are cut by hand rather than dressed in to place as in Water Reed.
Re-ridging will need to be done at Ten to Fifteen year intervals. The roof tends to be completely covered in wire netting.
Water Reed, also known as Norfolk Reed, is the most durable thatch. Water Reed tends to be flat and angular and more accurately follows the shape of the underlying roof timbers. New roofs only tend to have the ridges wired. Note the sharp corners known as hips and gables.
Maintenance will include a re-dressing and re-ridging every Ten to Fifteen years.