The Thatched Roofing Company in Perth and Melbourne was the first company to import Balinese Thatch-Indonesian Thatch (Alang-Alang) grass roofing material into Australia. This process included botanical identification of the product and involvement in the first AQIS approved quarantine regime for the product. Since the first imports in 1983 we have been the only company to continuously stock this product, specialising in wholesale production and retail supply in Australia together with tile products, bamboo woven matting and coconut poles.
In Australia, with our outdoor lifestyle, thatch roofing has become a natural and attractive way of roofing leisure structures. As many Australians have made Bali their holiday island, Balinese thatch has become the product of choice for gazebos, outdoor bars and pool side structures. This product is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, provides excellent insulation properties for hot climates (many people say it is at least 10-15 degrees cooler than other materials) and depending upon the density at which the roof is installed, the product can be 100% waterproof, although wider spacings often provide more cost effective showerproof solutions.
In Bali, traditional Balinese roofs are made with bamboo rafters, however in recent years a significant portion of structures have been constructed utilising locally available timbers. This is the material which is commonly used in Australia and is a far less expensive alternative. Most Australian gazebo builders and DIY handymen are not skilled in the installation of a full bamboo rafter type roof, and therefore most structures in Australia would be built using timber dried to the Australian Standard. This minimises the warping and cracking which is common when Indonesian timbers are used. On traditional structures the lower rafters for Alang-Alang roofs have had additional short rafters, set at a lower pitch, overlapping the bottom of the main rafter. This creates a slight upward lift to the roof at the eaves, however the same effect can be achieved by utilising a thicker batten at the lower edge of the roof.
The Thatched Roofing Company is able to provide a service to customers nationally with representation on both the West and the East Coast of Australia. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your individual requirements.
BLACK VS YELLOW STRING
In recent times there has been a huge surge in misinformation provided on the websites of sellers of Thatching in Australia. A number of retailers have started taking the position that white or yellow string used to stitch the Thatch is better than the traditional black string, and that the colour of the string effects the quality of the Thatch.
Nothing could be further from the truth. When we started exporting Thatch to Australia more than 30 years ago, only black string was available, white or yellow string has become an invention of the re-sellers of Thatch in Australia. Black string is called Tali Ijuk (Tali meaning string in Indonesian and Ijuk is a black fibre which comes from the Sugar Palm (Arunga Pinnata)). Traditional Indonesian Thatch has only ever been stitched together with Tali Ijuk.
When looking at the issue of a product being inferior or otherwise, the reality is that the type of string has no effect on the quality of the Thatch (Alang-Alang)-these are two totally different products (the string does not effect the thatch grass and the thatch grass does not affect the string). The quality of the thatch is dependent on many things, the most important of which is where the grass is grown and how early in the growing cycle it was harvested-this affects how long the grass is. Longer grass is generally considered to be better, however the climatic conditions in which the grass was grown, the speed of growth and the effectiveness of pest control during growth all effects the quality of the product.
- Some websites talk about the black string rotting earlier than white string and this assertion is totally inaccurate for two reasons:
- Firstly, in a properly installed thatch roof the string will never get wet and therefore will not rot.
- Secondly, the question needs to be asked as to why in Indonesia temple roofs are only made from Tali Ijuk (black string) and this product is totally exposed to the elements, it does not rot, and temple roofs have lives in the order of 50 years – you can see that misinformation abounds on the internet and on these sellers sites.
The product used since ancient times has been used in excess of 1000 years. For Australian importers to believe that their white string replacement is better than the time proven product is arrogance in the extreme.
Some sellers say that their Thatch is designed to be waterproof. In fact all Alang-Alang Thatched roofs can be waterproof and it is not the design of the Thatch that is the major factor in determining this, the factors that determine waterproofness are how densely the Thatch is installed on the roof, how steep the roof is and what prevailing weather conditions apply to the site or surrounding trees rubbing on the roof. If all of these factors are handled correctly then yes a completely waterproof roof is achievable with almost any Alang-Alang Thatch that you would buy in Australia.
If you would like to discuss anything in regard to these products or your proposed use of these products please call me on (08) 95301347