Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Thatch is one of the oldest roofing materials and a favorite when depicting a building from this era. The problem is that a true thatch is costly, cumbersome, and not that portable. Real thatch can be a foot or more in thickness, with a very characteristic appearance. With the exception of ambitious permanent structures, real thatch is impractical, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be faked as a detail on your more temporary structure. Rather then attempting to recreate the thickness of thatch, it is better to go for something a little more theatrical. There are faux thatch materials on the market that are most often used to create tropical huts, sometimes found in Tiki themed establishments. These materials come treated with fire retardant, but cheaper quality faux thatch can have a plastic appearance. Thatch can also be faked by bundling your own reeds, straw, or other organic materials, or better yet attach them to thin strips of wood that can be layered onto the roof of your booth and easily removed and used again for a future Faire. Handmade thatch will need to be treated with fire retardant, so speak with the local fire department or your Faire organizer before considering this particular building material. Allowing the thatch to droop over the edge of your booth will suggest the curved appearance of real Elizabethan thatch, and help hide just how thin your roof surface actually is. A thatched Faire booth or building will definitely help your structure stand out, as long as it is done well, and with an eye to recreating the illusion of real thatch.

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