Cape Thatch Reed Species

The heart of any Cape thatch reed roof or structure is of course the thatch reed species, also known as the type of Restio. There are +/- 330 species of Restio in Africa, and most of them in the broader Cape Region.

The most commonly known species, Thamnochortus insignus, is used for thatch work in the Cape Region and is also known by the names Rooi riet, Dekriet, Mannetjiesriet, Winterriet or Albertinia riet.

This specimen is harvested in winter (March – August) and as an alternative, its female counterpart, Thamnochortus erectus, also known as Sommerriet
or Wyfieriet, is harvested and used in summer (September – February).

Interesting fact about both these reed species:
both male and female consists of both male and female sexes. After harvesting, these bunches of cut reed should measure 1200 – 1800mm in length and lie flat to dry for about 2 weeks in summer and up to 2 months in winter.

Thereafter, they are shaken and bundled roughly the thickness of a soft drink can and bound with twine, and stacked upright in bunches to prevent rotting and deterioration. Special care needs to be taken not to cut the reed out of season or it will be prone to breaking easily.

The wonderful natural qualities of these reed species are that they are 100% organic and grow wildly with little interference, are flexible, naturally fire resistant and have excellent heat and cold-resistant qualities.  If thatched correctly, waterproof qualities are sufficient.

Legendary Thatching endeavours to use only the highest quality thatching reed approved by ourselves and our suppliers
at all times.


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